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Henry Fox Talbot «The Pencil of Nature» | The Pencil of Nature, Tafel III
Henry Fox Talbot, «The Pencil of Nature», 1844 – 1946
The Pencil of Nature, Tafel III | Photography | © Henry Fox Talbot
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William Henry Fox Talbot, Pencil of Nature [1844 – 1846], Reprint, New York 1969

 Henry Fox Talbot
«The Pencil of Nature»

The photograph of a porcelain collection comes from the famous, first book on the history of photography, «The Pencil of Nature» (1844 – 1846), in which Henry Fox Talbot, inventor of the negative-positive process, reflects various applications of the new medium and presents them using photographic examples. Regarding this particular example, he states: «[...] And should a thief afterwards purloin the treasures – if the mute testimony of the picture were to be produced against him in court – it would certainly be evidence of a novel kind […]» (William Henry Fox Talbot, The Pencil of Nature, Reprint New York 1969). Talbot also emphasizes that photography is capable of depicting every object and their details with the same degree of precision. It can therefore function as a way of securing an archive’s inventory.