Feb 28, 2012 - Sale 2270

Sale 2270 - Lot 8

Estimate: $ 20,000 - $ 30,000
Select group of 13 plates from "The Pencil of Nature." Salted paper prints from calotype negatives, sizes ranging from approximately 5x5 3/4 to 8 3/4x7 1/4 inches (12.7x14.6 to 22.2x18.4 cm.), and the reverse, 8 on the original mounts (with the thin border and plate numbers); 5 unmounted. 1844-1846

Additional Details

From the Collection of James B. Parks.

The mounted plates include Plate II "View of the Boulevards at Paris" Plate VI "The Open Door" Plate IX "Fac-simile of an Old Printed Page" Plate XI "Copy of a Lithographic Print" Plate XVII "Bust of Patroclus" Plate XVIII "Gate of Christchurch" Plate XIX "The Tower of Lacock Abbey" Plate XX "Lace."

The unmounted plates include Plate IV "Articles of Glass" Plate V "Bust of Patroclus" Plate VII "Leaf of a Plant" Plate XIII "Queen's College, Oxford, Entrance Gateway" Plate XV "Lacock Abbey in Wiltshire."

with--"Melrose Abbey," ruins ("LA 37") "The Tomb of Sir Walter Scott, in Dryburgh Abbey," ("LA 31"). Together, 2 prints from Talbot's "Sun Pictures from Nature." Salted paper prints from calotype negatives, sizes approximately 5 3/4x8 1/4 and 6 3/4x7 inches (14.6x21 and 17.1x17.8 cm.), all with the notations "LA," in ink, on verso. 1844

William Henry Fox Talbot published The Pencil of Nature beginning in 1844 as a means of announcing his invention of the negative/positive process using a paper negative. The culmination of a decade's worth of work, the publication's six fascicles featured 24 plates as well as accompanying text detailing the history of Talbot's invention and its possible uses. Offered here as a series of 13 plates both mounted and unmounted, these images—busts of classical figures, rows of glass bowls and vases, 'The Open Door,' a lone delicate leaf, and the grounds of his own Lacock Abbey, among others—reveal Talbot to be a revolutionary scientist as well as an exquisite artist.