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Document number: 1100
Date: 09 Aug 1823
Recipient: AMICI Giovanni Battista
Author: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Collection: Biblioteca Estense Universitaria Modena
Collection number: 7309
Last updated: 14th June 2014

Casa Serbelloni
Varese, pres de Milan<1>
le 9 Août 1823


J’ai été longtemps en voyage, maintenant étant fixé ici pour quelque temps je serai bien aise de recevoir le micrométre <2> que vous avez eu la bonté de me promettre.

Si je ne me trompe, vous allez en donner une description dans la Correspondance de Zach, <3> ce que je desire beaucoup– J’ai vu le Baron de Zach il y a deux mois, il se portoit très bien, son journal se repand de plus en plus, même en Angleterre où il y a grande difficulté d’avoir des journaux Etrangers, à raison des impôts à la douane. Il est beaucoup question à présent dans son Correspondance du travail de M. Struve <4> sur les étoiles doubles – Quel accord trouvez vous entre vos observations et les siennes? Quand M. Struve reçoit sa nouvelle lunette de Fraunhofer <5> nous saurons quelque chose sur les étoiles doubles. – J’ai vu cet instrument à Munich et je crois quil a 9 pouces d’ouverture, et 15 pieds de foyer. Il n’avoit pas encore été dirigé vers le ciel, mais les objets terrestres se voyoient bien

Je suis, Monsieur, avec beaucoup d’estime Votre dévoué
W. H. Talbot

à Monsieur
M. le Professeur Amici



Casa Serbelloni
Varese, near Milan
9 August 1823

Dear Sir,

I was travelling for a long time, now being settled here for some time I will be delighted to receive the micrometer that you have been so kind as to promise me.

If I am not mistaken, you are going to give a description of it in Zach’s Correspondence which I would very much like. I saw Baron Zach two months ago, he was very well, and his journal is circulating more and more widely, even in England where it is very difficult to obtain Foreign journals because of taxes at customs. There is much consideration at present in his Correspondence of the work of Mr Struve on double stars. What similarities do you find between your observations and his? When Mr Struve receives his new Fraunhofer telescope we will know something of double stars. – I saw this instrument in Munich and I think that it has 9 inches of aperture, and a 15 feet focus. It had not yet been directed towards the sky, but terrestrial objects were clearly visible

I am Sir, with great esteem, Your devoted
W. H. Talbot

Professor Amici



1. Lady Elisabeth and Charles Feilding enjoyed a three month stay at the Villa Serbelloni, joined by WHFT. The Villa Serbelloni is in Varese, in Lombardy, Italy, north of Milan and near Lake Como, and is known today as Palazzo Estense. Built as a baroque palace by Francesco III d’Este, Duke of Modena and Governor of the Duchy of Milan (1698-1780), it went by descent from his third wife by morganatic marriage, Renata Teresa d’Harrach, Princess Melzi, to Rosina Zinzendorf, Countess Serbelloni. The Countess allowed wealthy paying guests to stay there. Although this was their only stay in the Villa, the house remained strong in their family memory. WHFT showed it to his new wife in October 1833, just as he was conceiving of the idea of photography and his sister Horatia made a point of visiting it in 1847.

2. See Doc. No: 01019.

3. Franz Xaver, Baron von Zach (1754–1832), Hungarian astronomer editor, ‘Lettre xxvii from Professor Amici’, Correspondence Astronomique, v.9 no.5, 1823, pp. 517–543. The letter covers an achromatic lens of Amici’s as well as the micrometer.

4. Friedrich Georg Wilhelm Struve (1793–1864), astronomer who founded the study of binary (double) stars.

5. Joseph von Fraunhofer (1787–1826), optician, Munich.

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