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The counter of the City Council is a chest which served counsellors for storing the Mayor’s ring (stamp) and writing accessories (today a nib holder, an inkpot and a sand-box have been preserved) and perhaps other valuable documents and precious items belonging to the city.

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The counter of the City Council is a chest which served counsellors for storing the Mayor’s ring (stamp) and writing accessories (today a nib holder, an inkpot and a sand-box have been preserved) and perhaps other valuable documents and precious items belonging to the city. The word lada — counter in Polish — comes from the German verb laden — to pack, to load.
The counter presented on our website combines the features of the Regency style and Rococo. It was made of wood and its external part was covered with silver plates with a repoussé relief decoration (i.e. in which high elements of the relief were shaped by hammering them with special tools from the reverse of the metal). The interior with numerous compartments was lined with red velvet.
The decoration of the chest is characteristic of the Regency style — with motifs of shells and Regency checks, and the ornaments arranged symmetrically.
The convex and profiled cover of the chest was topped with the cast of Minerva holding an asymmetrically designed Rococo shield with the coat of arms of Kraków on it. Minerva is wearing a loose tunic, an armour and a helmet, while holding a sceptre in her right hand. On the reverse of the shield is an inscription in Latin which says that the counter was founded by the City Council on the occasion of the Grand Jubilee of the Year 1751: "SUMPTO / MAGISTRAT' / CRACOV' / ANNO / JUBILÆI MAGNI / 1751". The jubilee was celebrated in Kraków from 7 March to 5 September 1751 and was announced by Pope Benedict XIV for those pilgrims who, for different reasons, would not be able to arrive in Rome. The pilgrims visiting the Cathedral and the churches of St. Mary’s, Franciscans, and Saints Peter and Paul could receive numerous indulgences after saying relevant prayers. The counter commemorates this jubilee celebrated in Kraków with particular solemnity.

Elaborated by Katarzyna Moskal (Historical Museum of the City of Kraków), © all rights reserved

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Counter for writing accessories of a city scribe

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