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Document number: 6310
Date: 15 Mar 1850
Dating: corrected from Feb
Recipient: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Author: MALONE Thomas Augustine
Collection: British Library, London, Manuscripts - Fox Talbot Collection
Collection number historic: LA50-17
Last updated: 28th November 2012

44 Harwood St
Hampstead Rd
March 15th Feby 1850

To H F Talbot Esqr


I have been ill for some days past – in danger of a fever – & therefore compelled to give up all occupation. I am now much better & will return on Monday to Regent St.<1> The Physician thinks it best that I delay for a day or two longer rather than risk a relapse which might confine me to the house for a long period.

This illness will account to you for not receiving an answer to your last note<2> in which you were kind enough to make us a present to be disbursed in advertisements.

If you look into the Times, Literary Gazette or Athenæum <3> of last Saturday you will see that I lost no time in carrying out your suggestion.

Since then the Times has placed our notice in its first page – a much better place than the supplement or “Sepulchre” as it is called by newspaper people & to which we have generally been carried Do you approve of the advertisement? It may be amended I have no doubt putting more words into it will add to the expense 10s/ is paid for each insertion at present If you can put in more matter & fewer words with good effect It will do us a service.

I believe I may say that Henneman <4> has a task given him that will bring in one hundred pounds It is to go to Lord Ashburnhams<5> to copy some rare pages of books &c something like what Mr Stirling<6> had done The execution of this work is left to NH’s leisure – in the summer

The time for sending the slabs from Minton is drawing near If any delay occurs I shall write. until after then I do not think it advisable to go to the Potteries.

Mr Garrett assured me that all haste should be made with them.

I am Sir your most obed Servt
T A Malone


1. 122, Regent Street, London, the studio of Henneman & Malone, Photographers on Paper to the Queen. Malone's health fell into a dangerous condition, so much so that the partnership was dissolved in July 1851.

2. Letter not located.

3. The Athenaeum carried their advertisement on the first page: "Talbot Sun Portraits on Paper", in which they announced their improved portrait process that could be used in dull weather, their ability to copy Daguerreotypes on paper, and the availability of chemicals and a Collection of Photographs taken around the world. No. 1167, 9 March 1850, p. 1.

4. Nicolaas Henneman (1813–1898), Dutch, active in England; WHFT’s valet, then assistant; photographer.

5. Bertram Ashburnham, 4th Earl of Ashburnham (1797-1878), who had an extensive library of early and rare books. Given the fact that there was no rush, it is unlikely that these photographs were meant to illustrate the Catalogue of the entire and valuable collection of Italian, Flemish, Dutch, and French pictures, the property of the Earl of Ashburnham: which will be sold by auction, by Messrs. Christie and Manson ... on July 20, 1850. Perhaps he hoped to illustrate the Catalogue of the Manuscripts at Ashburnham Place (London: printed by C.F. Hodgson, 1853). From the descripton in WorldCat: "Includes, in addition to the collection known as the 'Appendix', the Libri manuscripts, bought by Lord Ashburnham in 1847, and the Stowe and Barrois manuscripts acquired in 1849./ The Stowe manuscripts were purchased from the estate in 1883 by the British museum, the Irish manuscripts being transferred to the library of the Royal Irish academy at Dublin. The British museum issued a catalogue of the collection in 1895-96./ In 1884 the Italian government bought all but 100 of the Libri manuscripts and deposited them in the R. Biblioteca mediceo-laurenziana at Florence. The remaining 100 of the Libri manuscripts and 66 of the Barrois were turned over in 1888 to the Bibliothèque nationale, having been proved to be manuscripts stolen from French libraries. The Bibliothèque nationale also bought 69 manuscripts at the auction sale of the remainder of the Barrois collection June 10-14, 1901. The 'Appendix' was bought by Henry Yates Thompson in 1898, and after some of the manuscripts had been selected for his own collection, the remaining 177 were sold by auction 1 May 1889."

6. 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. [See Doc. No: 06154].


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