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Document number: 4503
Date: 12 May 1842
Recipient: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Author: COLLEN Henry
Collection: British Library, London, Manuscripts - Fox Talbot Collection
Collection number historic: LA42-031
Last updated: 1st September 2003

29 Somerset Street

May 12. 1842.

Dear Sir

I have the pleasure of enclosing some of the latter specimens of portraits I have made, they are not however completed, but will serve to shew you the general effect of what I am doing. – I have to thank you for the specimens recd today, as well as some on a former occasion which I forgot in my haste to acknowledge, – the arm chair is very successful, but in several of the others, the tints are very far from clear and solid, this is uniformly the case with mine, & to make them otherwise costs me much, labour and consequent expense, the light back-ground which you have much recommended, and make great use of, gives certainly a clear sharp outline, but not an artistical effect, – you also make your pictures almost always in sunshine, which is however not to be used when the public please to sit –

Mr Beard <1> has never communicated with me, and as I had nothing to propose to him, nor expected any advantageous proposition from him, nothing of course has been done –

I consider it very unfortunate that you did not agree to my proposal, or something like it at the beginning of the year, when I might have concluded something advantageous as to capital, and have had time to make good use of it for this season, – it is not however easy to renew a subject when the obtaining of money is the point, nor do I think it would be advisable to attempt to avail myself of what I might of <sic> had, with only a quarter of the proposal I ventured to make on the strength of the Conversation I had with you in Sackville Street, <2> Added to which the advanced state of the season will prevent me making any very considerable change in my operations for some time, as although I am doing but few portraits, I work very closely myself in order to avoid great expenditure –

I remain
Dear Sir
Yours Truly

Henry Collen


1. Richard Beard (1801–1885), coal merchant & daguerreotypist, London.

2. 31 Sackville Street, London residence of the Feildings, often used as a London base by WHFT. [See Doc. No: 04500].

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