Feb. 15 1845
My dear Sir,
Accept my best thanks for your kind present of the Pencil of Nature <1> which I am anxiously expecting.
I have made some attempts with the present increasing light to do a Talbotype <2> worthy of sending you, but, though I succeed in Daguerreotyping <3> as well as any performer whose results I have seen, there is some little point wanting which has hitherto prevented me from doing the same in your beautiful branch of the Photographic art.
My iodized paper is beautifully even and well coloured; and after washing it with A and exposing in Camera and then washing with B the image begins to come very well, without any heat, but in general without a sufficient range (if I may so express it) in the gamut of Chiaroscuro: i.e. the whitest parts begin to discolour before the darkest have become black enough: alas, sometimes I have had stains something like the discoloration of lichen on stone which seem to be rather on the back of the picture, and to be more visible after the washing with hot Hyposulphate of Soda.
These stains however do not always occur, and my principal bar to good pictures has been the want of intensity above mentioned.
As far as making paper J. D. Llewelyn <4> has succeeded better, but he yesterday told me, it is with some sold by Whatman for the especial purpose; he and I are going to try and do some Marine Talbotypes in the port of Swansea which we hope may perhaps be acceptable for the “Pencil of Nature”.
M. Claudet <5> has been so kind as to send me a number of capital Portraits, he is a very ingenious and indefaticable [sic] man.
Lady C. Talbot <6> wrote us word two days ago that you have made wonderful improvements; I am most anxious to hear what they are, and if they are not secrets, should be infinitely obliged if you wd at your leisure let me hear of them, as I have no doubt they will much add to the certainty of the results which I hope soon to arrive at.
I have mislaid a positive picture which had [sic] wished to send you: it was thus produced, – happening to drop a little wax from a candle on a group which had come out very well after the gallic acid wash I laid it face upwards on a table in the sun, and soon after, on taking it up I found a positive picture on the under side.
Among other improvements have you directed your attention to copying paper? Llewelyn is fond of preparing it with succinic acid, but I have not tried it,
believe me your sincerely obliged
Calvert R. Jones Jnr
1. WHFT, The Pencil of Nature (London: Longman, Brown, Green, & Longmans, June 1844–April 1846 [issued in six fascicles]).
2. Although WHFT modestly prefered the term calotype, Jones and other friends honoured the inventor by calling these Talbotypes, in direct parallel to the use of the term Dagurerreotype.
3. Although only one Daguerreotype by Jones is known to have survived, it is a splendid one of Margam Castle - Jones had mastered the process at least by 1841.
4. John Dillwyn Llewelyn (1810–1882), Welsh photographer, JP & High Sheriff.
5. Antoine Françoise Jean Claudet (1797–1867), London; French-born scientist, merchant & photographer, resident in London.
6 Constance Talbot, née Mundy (1811–1880), WHFT’s wife.