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Document number: 4905
Date: 12 Dec 1843
Recipient: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Author: SHERLOCK William
Collection: British Library, London, Manuscripts - Fox Talbot Collection
Collection number historic: LA43-88
Last updated: 13th June 2010

6 Camden Terrace
Kentish Town
Decr 12. 1843


Your letter <1> of the 9th ins I regret to find does not give me much encouragement as to my being successful in the art of taking portraits by the Calotype process in a provincial Town I am quite aware that the style in which I take a portrait is not of that finished description which would be likely to bring me many sitters but I should not think of exhibiting such as those I sent you as perfect specimens of the art. My Camera is very bad, and it would be useless unless I can come to terms with you, to put myself to any expense to purchase better; as I do not wish to practise the art as an amusement I flattered myself that the last pictures I sent you, were much superior to those I first troubled you with, and I cannot help feeling confidant [sic], that if my success, depends upon my taking portraits in the most finished manner (and Mr Collens <2> are to be taken as the standard) that I shall certainly be successful and raise rather than depress the reputation of the Calotype in Bristol and its neighbourhood The sum you name is a large one to put down considering the outlay necessary in starting and waiting probably some time before the art took, and I should feel obliged by knowing whether a portion of it could not remain for a time say twelvemonths or whether you would charge the same sum for Liverpool or I had some idea of starting in Dublin You would also oblige me by stating whether I am precluded from taking views and selling them as I should certainly wish to do I am quite willing to agree not to sell a portrait under 5/ or a copy under 2/6 and presume you do not mean that the negative picture is ever parted with by the operator As there are many secrets in the art I could not object to be made master of them but should the main one be that I require a good Camera I should regret paying ten guineas for that information and therefore hardly know how to act with regard to placing myself under tuition The solutions used in making the paper sensitive are so different to your own as regards proportion and I have found it answer so well that I should regret abandoning the mode I am familiar with but there are failures that I would willingly pay 10 to know how to prevent I hope I may hear from you as early as possible as I am anxious to come to a final arrangement upon the subject and

I remain Sir Your Mo: obt St
Wm Sherlock

H. F. Talbot Esq.


1. Letter not located.

2. Henry Collen (18001879), miniature painter, calotypist & spiritualist, London.

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