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Document number: 5546
Date: 31 Jan 1846
Postmark: 31 Jan 1846
Recipient: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Author: HALL Samuel Carter
Collection: British Library, London, Manuscripts - Fox Talbot Collection
Collection number historic: LA46-21
Last updated: 20th September 2012

The Rosery
Old Brompton.
Jany 31.

Dear Sir.

I truly regret the trouble and expence to which I have put you. <1> It is needless to say that I shall [illegible] to make amends in any way within my power.

But certainly a less number than 6000, will not be a supply for me. My circulation is at least that and it is increasing much every month. I would gladly presume to offer to lessen the expence you have incurred, but the expences of conducting my Journal are so great that I am labouring with but a remote hope of remuneration; and the cost of the Monthly is as much as I can bear.

I will at once call in Bond S.; <2> and of course it will be my duty to aid the prospect of the assistant of whom you speak <3> and to press the principle every where

Your faithful servant
S C Hall


1. 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.

2. Most likely at Henry Brooks, publisher, stationer and printseller at 87, New Bond St, London, who displayed Talbotypes in his window and began selling them with an elaborate label on the verso - see Doc. No: 05488 and passim.

3. Nicolaas Henneman (1813-1898), Dutch, active in England; WHFT's valet, then assistant; photographer; opened calotype printing studio in Reading in 1843 and transferred to London in 1848.

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