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Document number: 5428
Date: 31 Oct 1845
Recipient: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Author: HENNEMAN Nicolaas
Collection: British Library, London, Manuscripts - Fox Talbot Collection
Collection number historic: LA45-143
Last updated: 15th February 2012

Reading <1>
Oct 31 /45


I have been to town last Monday and Mr Windsor <2> [sic] showed mee how to varnish the Pictures, but in my opinion it is not a bit better than those I varnished my self in fact the method is the Same and far from having that plasant gloss of Mr Mansions, <3> however I shall leave you to judge for your Self, I have done about a Doz in deferent degrees of Strengt. I did not take the pictures with me to town because it took me two days to Iron <4> them to get rid of that muddy collar and I am Sory to say they are but little better than when you saw them here, but I have found out the cause and that is that thiss paper does not require more than 100 grs of Salt to the SI There being no doubt some Saline mater in Composition of the paper you will no doubt find som not so good as they may have been but I beg you to consider that I have at present 254 negatives and that is impossible to get good ones of every one onles you want som quantity of eatch, I have Send about half wish amount to one thousand large ones and am only going on with those you requere a larger number off if you could Oblige mee with about 30 pound in the course of a week I shall feel greatly feel [sic] Obliged (the bill I Send with the Pictures amounts to £27, 1,4.)

your Obedient Servant
N: Henneman


1. Henneman set up his Calotype works at 8 Russell Terrace, Reading. Commencing operations at the start of 1844, it functioned both as a photographic studio and as a photographic printing works and continued through late 1846, at which time Henneman transferred his operations to London. Although Talbot supported Henneman through custom, such as printing the plates for The Pencil of Nature, and loans, it was always Henneman's operation. His business cards made no mention of "The Reading Establishment," the designation that it is popularly given today; the only contemporary use of that title seemed to be by Benjamin Cowderoy - see Doc. No: 05690.

2. William Winsor (1804Ė1865), artistsís colour manufacturer & Sacred Harmonic Society member.

3. Leon Mansion, a London miniature painter and artist, who had also invented a varnish. See L. Mansion, Letters upon the art of miniature painting (London: R. Ackermann, 1822). Mansionís colouring of daguerreotypes was advertised in the Art Union, 1 July 1845, and the Athenaeum, 4 July 1846, p. 601. See Larry J. Schaaf, Sun Pictures Catalogue Five: The Reverend Calvert R. Jones (New York: Hans P. Kraus, Jr, 1987), p. 13. [Also see Doc. No: 05381; Doc. No: 05398; Doc. No: 05428 and Doc. No: 05444].

4. See Doc. No: 04282.

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