122 Regent St <1>
12th June 1850
To H F Talbot Esqr
I have commenced a letter to you in reply to yours of the 4th but have not found time to complete it. The fine weather has made us busy & Henneman has been occupied in copying some pictures for Mr Stirling. In addition to other business I have had to teach the Art to two rather dull pupils. All these circumstances leave but little time for experimenting &c.
I wish to tell you that the result of my examination of our books proves that the
3 5 months of this year g have given an increase, very considerable, compared with the 5 corresponding months of last year. this increase commenced with the year.
An increase of influential patrons is also evident; by desire I have again Taken Talbotypes <2> to Lord Rosse’s. <3> The Countess of Rosse is about to call & see our Establishment. The Countess of Oxford. Lord Shelburne. <4> Lord Dudley Stuart. – have lately sat to us for their portraits.
We are not yet sufficiently known. Sir D Brewster <5> told me that he was surprised at the general ignorance prevailing as regards
the Talbotype Portraits. I can assign a reason for this; but as I know it will involve a point that may be controverted I shall content myself in assuring you that the improved manner of carrying out the Art will certainly bring it every day more & more into favour. I must be allowed to assert that nowhere else are portraits so generally successful as with ourselves. The German’s [sic] spoil the resemblance in touching. In Paris bad taste is shown in the lighting. In America Langenheim copies from Daguerreotypes <6> I have seen his paper pictures as many as 20 surprisingly bad.
In Scotland Major Playfair sat 4 minutes for a portrait on glass. There it is not used for every day work.
With all this our Establishment has not, until
T now, prospered we have had heavy expenses. 200£ have been sunk for items required – nor current expenses. This must be taken into account. I will prepare for you an exact statement as promised that you may learn the exact amount of increase already referred to.
Next year the Exposition promises to inundate London with persons having money to spend. Tradesmen generally complain of the state of business during the two past years. The revolutions of 1848 have certainly interfered with the laying out of money for anything but necessaries. 1851 is looked for as a new starting point for a more prosperous career.
I have hastily written this not knowing when I shall have ready the more elaborate statement I had contemplated and thinking you would expect
a me to write again before you return from Ambleside
I am Sir your very obedt Servt
T A Malone
I have just tried the experiment you suggested on porcelain. The silver is reduced as I expected on burnishing it is quite metallic. Black substances must be employed for the ground of the picture.
T A M.
12th June 1850
The powder I sent some time ago was porcelain. I am about to fuse it on glass with Borax. – one third borax mixed intimately with the porcelain powder.
H F Talbot Esqr.
1. 122 Regent Street, London: base of Nicolaas Hennemans’ Talbotype or Sun Picture Rooms, later the firm of Henneman & Malone, photographers to the Queen.
2. Although WHFT modestly used the term calotype for his new process, some of his friends preferred to honour the inventor's name, in parallel with the Daguerreotype.
3. William Parsons, 3rd Earl of Rosse (1800–1867), astronomer & MP.
4. Henry Fitzmaurice, Lord Shelburne, 4th Marquess of Lansdowne (1816–1866), MP.
5. Sir David Brewster (1781–1868), Scottish scientist & journalist.
6. The brothers Frederick Langenheim (1809-1897) and William Langenheim (1807-1874), German photographers active in Philadelphia, purchased the calotype patent rights for the U.S. from WHFT.