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A hat belonging to the Kraków costume, so-called celender, made from black felt. Its shape resembles a cylinder slightly narrowing towards the top and with a 5 cm wide brim. The hat has a decoration in the form of a black tape of a lining material, which is an imitation of a velvet ribbon, and which has been fastened together at the front with a large brass buckle. On the tape, at the brim of the hat, there is a narrow ribbon embroidered with floral patterns.

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A hat belonging to the Kraków costume, so-called celender, made from black felt. Its shape resembles a cylinder slightly narrowing towards the top and with a 5 cm wide brim. The hat has a decoration in the form of a black tape of a lining material, which is an imitation of a velvet ribbon, and which has been fastened together at the front with a large brass buckle. On the tape, at the brim of the hat, there is a narrow ribbon embroidered with floral patterns.
Celender was one of the oldest and longest-used men’s headwear, until the end of the 19th century. It enjoyed popularity throughout the entire 19th century. The shape of the hat, as well as its colloquial name refer to a cylinder—fashionable headwear, worn in the milieu of wealthy burghers and the aristocracy throughout the 19th century, as well as at the beginning of the 20th century, almost throughout all of Europe as well as overseas, both by men and women. The rural shape of celender underwent slight changes with either a sharper or wider end on top. It was also called a zelazniak because, according to the rural population, it resembled the shape of an iron pot. The hat stood between 12–15 cm high, gridded with black velvet and sometimes embossed with flowers. The velvet ribbon could be sewn or pinned with a narrow and high brass or white metal buckle. When the velvet ribbon was stitched, the seam was covered with a small chaplet, the so-called heart, made of tinsel and lamina. The hat was even more ornate with a lambran run at the bottom and top of the velvet ribbon, that is a string made of twisted bristles on the stick, alternately dyed white, green, red, blue and yellow. Often to the bottom of the hat, a weed of coloured threads was sewn to the side. The bachelors in the village decorated hats with peacock feathers, and the groomsmen at the wedding with artificial flowers. These hats were made by hatters in Myślenice and brought to fairs in Kraków and nearby towns.
The presented hat, most probably the production of a hat workshop, originally had decorations in the form of a magenta weed and peacock feathers. Inside there is a leather belt, the inside of which features a stamp '293 OLD THEATRE.' We do not know how it ended up at the theatre: was it made to special order or did it go through the general public collection, which was often advertised by theatres looking for props for performances? However, it can be assumed in all probability that the hat was used during performances on the stage of the Old Theater, as a part of the costume of the inhabitants of Kraków.
The hat was donated in 1982 to the collection of the Ethnographic Museum in Kraków by Danuta Laskawska (1923-1993). This collector gathered items from village culture, mainly from the region of Bronowice, where she lived for some time, and then gave the Museum a part of her collection, in the form of dozen or so objects, mainly relating to the outfits. Unfortunately, the history of the hat before it came to the museum collection is unknown. We know, however, that Mrs. Danuta Laskawska worked in the late sixties at the Old Theatre Decoration Studio, which stamp appears on the presented hat. Hence, we can assume that the Old Theatre used to exchange old props and so sold or donated this hat to the Laskawska collection.

Elaborated by Ewa Rossal (The Seweryn Udziela Ethnographic Museum in Kraków), © all rights reserved

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'Celender' felt hat for the Kraków costume

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