122 Regent St
Jany 7th 1848
To H F Talbot Esqr
I have sent by the Railway an engraving <1> of Melrose Abbey done by Mr Barclay the expence per hundred of the impressions will be 6/–. –
There is also a parcel from Mr Claudet. <2> –
The quick process would be very valuable just now. On Monday although the Sun was shining we could not take a portrait in 2.½ minutes. – We have tried the Sulphate of Iron but have not yet sufficient skill to use it with any degree of certainty. –
I do not despair because I haved [sic] obtained several times, good results.
I should like to try the process you have in view. –
as there is now leisure time for experimenting. –
I think some beautiful impressions may be taken by a positive process.
Some of Mr Stirlings engravings <3> for instance – The original would then take the place of a negative. if found to be superior a higher price would I have no doubt be given for them Have you any Memoranda of a direct positive process? In the “Comptes Rendus” for October last will be found a paper by M. Niepce de Saint Victor <4> he says white of egg spread upon glass is rendered insoluble by Nitrate of Silver & that negative [sic] may be taken upon this substance. –
With respect to your kind proposal I find it impossible to say anything definite at present.
Mrs Henneman is still dangerously ill <5>
The Physician says she may die in a few days it may be weeks. – or she may recover, but this is barely possible. –
This state of uncertainty unfits Mr Henneman for serious consideration of future arrangements, In the mean time I will consult with my friends as regards myself.
I remain Sir Your obedt Servt
T A Malone
1. This is almost certainly the print in the former Royal Photographic Collection (now NMeM, Bradford), no.RPS025528. It is inscribed ‘Engraved on Steel by G. Barclay from a Photographic Picture Taken Under the Direction of H.F. Talbot Esqr. 1844’. It is a reduced size view of plate 21 in Talbot’s Sun Pictures in Scotland.
2. Antoine Françoise Jean Claudet (1797–1867), London; French-born scientist, merchant & photographer, resident in London.
3. Nicolaas Henneman collaborated with the collector Sir William Stirling-Maxwell to produce the first art history book to be illustrated by photographs. This took the form of a fourth volume to Annals of the Artists of Spain (London: John Ollivier, 1848) – only 25 copies of the photographically-illustrated volume were produced. Although Talbot advised Henneman on some technical matters for this volume, he played no direct role in its publication.
4. Claude Félix Abel Niepce de Saint-Victor (1805-1870), photographic experimenter, a cousin of the famous photographic inventor Joseph Nicéphore Niépce, published his albumen on glass process in the 25 October 1847 Comptes Rendus. Slow in exposure, this approach to making negatives was soon rendered generally obsolete by the wet collodion process, introduced in 1851 by Frederick Scott Archer (1813–1857). However, it lived on in specialised applications, such as the production of lantern slides, where its extremely fine grain and high resolution was valued.