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Darwin Correspondence Project

From William Bernhard Tegetmeier   8 January [1868?]1

The Field. | 346, Strand, | London, W.C.

Jany. 8 186

Dear Sir

I have long been desirous of obtaining your photograph; but have never seen any for sale.— On walking down Chancery Lane to day I saw a “Carte” of yours by Maull 62 Cheapside and 187a Piccadilly2

The vendor told me that he had not put the name as he was not sure about it.— That he had long been wanting to get the Cartes and that he should order some more at once before the sale was stopped

Thinking it very probable that they may have been sold without your consent I write a hurried line to apprise you   do not trouble to write an acknowledgement

Yours truly in haste | W B Tegetmeier

C Darwin Esq

Pray excuse me if I have troubled you without cause


The year is conjectured from the relationship between this letter and the letter from W. B. Tegetmeier, 9 March 1868.
Henry Maull and Co. first occupied premises at 62 Cheapside in 1866 (Post Office London directory 1866 and 1867). Maull had formerly been in partnership with George Henry Polyblank. The photograph referred to may be that taken by Maull and Polyblank circa 1857 (see frontispiece to Correspondence vol. 8). Erasmus Alvey Darwin had suggested that CD give general permission for Polyblank to sell this photograph (Correspondence vol. 10, letter from E. A. Darwin, [April–May? 1862]). The photographic ‘carte’ or ‘carte de visite’, smaller than a conventional portrait, became popular in the 1860s and several were made of CD between then and the end of his life. See Browne 1998, pp. 253–80.


Browne, Janet. 1998. I could have retched all night. Darwin and his body. In Science incarnate. Historical embodiments of natural knowledge, edited by Christopher Lawrence and Steven Shapin. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press.

Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 27 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

Post Office London directory: Post-Office annual directory. … A list of the principal merchants, traders of eminence, &c. in the cities of London and Westminster, the borough of Southwark, and parts adjacent … general and special information relating to the Post Office. Post Office London directory. London: His Majesty’s Postmaster-General [and others]. 1802–1967.


Has seen CD’s "carte" offered for sale.

Letter details

Letter no.
William Bernhard Tegetmeier
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
The Field , London, Strand, 346
Source of text
DAR 178: 69
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 4971,” accessed on 22 September 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 16