Lot No. 293 (89th Auction)
Adolf Kittel, Hamburg-Altona, No. 65, Height 1320 mm, circa 1910

An important astronomical precision regulator, bought by the Observatory Hamburg in the year 1912 - We know of only 19 clocks by Adolf Kittel; they include six seconds pendulum clocks and one of them is this piece
Case: walnut, veneered, front divided into three glazed parts, amplitude scale, brass inventory shield: "Hamburger Sternwarte, Bergedorf, Marke: Uhr 7". Dial: silvered, signed, inlaid Arabic 24 hour indicator at "6", outer inlaid Arabic minutes with five minute divisions, inlaid Arabic seconds at "12", keywind, blued hands. Movm.: solid trapezoid-shaped brass movement, zaponed, solid movement pillars, weight driven, Graham escapement with sapphire pallets, mercury compensation pendulum with steel pendulum rod, screwed cylindrical pendulum bob filled with mercury, adjusting nut, contact device.

This clock was obtained for RM 600 by the Astronomical Observatory of Hamburg in January 1912 ("The instrument stock of the Astronomical Observatory was augmented by the following acquisitions: [...] an astronomical precision pendulum clock Kittel Nr. 65, an electric second dial and a polarized relay by A. Kittel [...]").
Annual report of the Astronomical Observatory of Hamburg in Bergedorf, 1912, Page 2. The last-mentioned object is probably the clock Nr. 52 at the astronomic-physical cabinet in Cassel.

Kindly supported by Mr. PD Dr. Guenther Oestmann

Adolf Kittel
Adolf Kittel was born 1845 in Aurich and later went to Altona. In 1877 several of his clocks had already been awarded prizes in Hamburg and Altona; they also regularly took part in the naval observatorys chronometer tests. Kittels specialities were for example chronometers without fusee, a new chronometer escapement and an auxiliary mechanism to balance temperature variations; for pendulum clocks Kittel designed his own free escapement and a barometer compensation for air pressure changes, which was fitted to the pendulum. Kittel also delivered a number of astronomical pendulum clocks to German and foreign observatories. At the industrial exhibition 1889 in Hamburg he exhibited an astronomical pendulum clock which was later owned by the Hamburg observatory (Kittel no. 25). Kittel closed his workshop in Altona in 1911 and sold his remaining chronometers with help from Schorr. However, during the war and the recession afterwards his savings were soon eaten up and in 1919 he moved to Aurich to live with his family. Kittels economic situation as well as his health kept deteriorating and he died on October 4, 1921.
Estimate  35,000 - 40,000 €
This is a lot of a former auction!

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