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Document number: 5489
Date: 22 Dec 1845
Recipient: HALL Samuel Carter
Author: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Collection: PRIVATE
Collection number: Lucian Goldschmidt Collection
Last updated: 12th August 2010

31 Sackville St <1>
22 Dec /45

S. C. Hall Esq

Dear Sir

The 3 thousand copies for the Art Union <2> are all in the hands of the binder and will be mounted in 2 or 3 weeks time, as he has engaged additional help for the purpose.

Yours very truly
H. F. Talbot

I hope you have received a copy of No 5 of the Pencil of Nature <3> just published – If not, please to inform me, or else make application to Longman’s for it.


1. 31 Sackville Street, London residence of the Feildings, often used as a London base by WHFT.

2. The Art-Union Monthly Journal of the Fine Arts and the Arts, Decorative, Ornamental (launched in 1839, the same year as photography) was a lavishly illustrated journal that included many demonstration pieces. Hall originally estimated that he would need 4000 or 5000 prints, but in the end 7000 were required. An original mounted Talbotype was bound in each copy of the June 1846 Art-Union, v. 8 no. 91, facing p. 143. Since each print had to spend some time in the sun under the negative, Henneman pressed every available negative into service, leading to a great variety in different copies of the journal. Hall must have heard from some skeptical artists, for he felt compelled to explain in the next issue that the prints 'were taken from the actual objects they represent; they were, strictly, copies from NATURE; in no case had a print been made use of for the purpose of transfer' - 'The Application of the Talbotype', The Art-Union, July 1846, p. 195. The final effect of this effort was costly to WHFT, both in out of pocket expenses and in reputation. The production of so many prints in such a short time span with the approach of winter suffered from a paucity of sunshine and Henneman's inability to supply (and afford) sufficient warm water for adequate washing. Many of the prints began fading almost straight away, and this fiasco was one of the factors that led WHFT to abandon printing with silver in favour of his photographic engraving and later photoglyphic engraving, both expressed through time-tested printer's ink.

3. WHFT, The Pencil of Nature (London: Longman, Brown, Green, & Longmans, June 1844–April 1846 [issued in six fascicles]).

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