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Document number: 6516
Date: 16 Nov 1851
Recipient: KNIGHT George
Author: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Collection: Royal Photographic Society Coll, National Media Museum, Bradford
Last updated: 30th December 2010


Nov 16 / 51
Knight /. I reqst y wll hve ye gdnss t infm me immy, whr y hve md a contract wth ye Exve Comtee to supply ym with Sevl thousd posve copies, if y hve made no such contract it has made by an unlicensed persn agst whm my lawyer will ^ I believe probably take immedte proceedgs

[expanded version:]

November 16, 1851

I request you will have the goodness to inform me immediately, whether you have made a contract with the Executive Committee<1> to supply them with Several thousand positive copies, because if you have made no such contract it has [been] made by an unlicensed person against whom my lawyer will I believe probably take immediate proceedings


1. Of the Great Exhibition of 1851. The issue was the production of prints for Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations, 1851: Reports by the Juries. Four volumes, illustrated by original photographic prints from negatives by Hugh Owen and Claude Marie Ferrier. In the copies given to WHFT, a dedicatory sheet was inserted (most likely printed up by him): 'This Work, on the Results of the Great Exhibition of 1851, Illustrated with Photographic Plates, being One of Fifteen Copies Given by the Royal Commissioners to H.F. Talbot, Esq. of Lacock Abbey, as The Inventor of this Branch of the Photographic Art, was by him presented to _____'. This publication caused WHFT considerable consternation at the time, for he felt that the Commissioners had stealthily and unfairly taken the job of printing the plates away from Nicolaas Henneman. For a summary of this complex situation, see Nancy B Keeler, 'Illustrating the "Reports by the Juries" of the Great Exhibition of 1851; Talbot, Henneman, and Their Failed Commission,' History of Photography, v. 6 no. 3, July 1982, pp. 257-272.