Handing over the Jena observatory

Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von, German poet (1749-1832). Letter signed ("JWVGoethe").

Weimar, 1819.

2 pages, 4to, integral address panel, paper seal, crayon numbering to second page ("91.").


To Ernst Weller, concerning the Jena Observatory, instructing him to place in the charge of Professor Posselt, as discussed, the Jena observatory, as well as the instruments, books, furniture and items contained in the garden house, and to consult the court engineer Körner concerning the instruments, requesting him to give one of the two copies of the agreed inventory to Dr. Posselt, whilst the other is to be returned to himself, asking him to confirm Carl Lebrecht Hammer in his duties and to provide Dr. Posselt with a copy of the conditions of the former's employment, and concluding with the request that he prepare an exact report on these matters and submit it to the undersigned. Signed in Goethe's capacity as director of the "Großherzogl. S. Ober-Aufsicht über alle unmittelbare Anstalten für Wissenschaft und Kunst".

From 1816 onwards Goethe was a minister of state and head of the supervisory office for culture and education in the Grand Duchy of Weimar. One of his various remits was the observatory at Jena, founded in 1812 and built on the site of Schiller's so-called garden house (mentioned here). Johann Friedrich Posselt (1794-1823) was only the observatory's second director. Goethe's correspondent, the librarian and classiscist C. E. F. Weller (1789-1854), was then at the start of his career, having been appointed the previous April as an auxiliary official dealing with the supervision of the University of Jena.

Light spotting, small tears, and small damages to edges.

Stock Code: BN#44951 Tag: