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A Baroque wooden cradle was a gift of King Augustus II for Joachim Daniel von Jauch (1688—1754), royal plenipotentiary for construction matters, on the occasion of the baptism of his son. The King was the godfather of the first-born son of the von Jauch family, Henryk, who died in early childhood.

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A Baroque wooden cradle was a gift of King Augustus II for Joachim Daniel von Jauch (1688—1754), royal plenipotentiary for construction matters, on the occasion of the baptism of his son. The King was the godfather of the first-born son of the von Jauch family, Henryk, who died in early childhood.
Historical records indicate that the cradle was also supposedly used in infancy by Joachim Lelewel (1786—1861), a distinguished Polish historian, politician and emigration activist who was the great-grandson of Joachim Daniel von Jauch. Von Jauch’s daughter, Constance, married Henryk Lölhöffel von Löwensprung, Augustus III’s court physician. In the next generation, the Lölhöffel name was changed to Lelewel. Constance’s son and Joachim’s father, Karol Maurycy, used the Polonised version of the Lelewel name.
The cradle was made around 1730 in Saxony. It was made of deciduous wood with a nut-brown veneer decorated with a great maple and black oak inlay.
The cradle is a small bed used by children in infancy. The earliest forms of cradles consisted of a piece of canvas, a basket, a wooden box, a boat or a chest made of planks. Since the Middle Ages, in extraordinary cases, cradles featured rich furniture casings, such as drawers or rockers. In the 18th century a new model gained popularity with the body suspended on bolts between two shafts or columns that were richly decorated with inlays or carved ornaments, frequently with polychrome.

Elaborated by Alicja Kilijańska (The National Museum in Kraków), © all rights reserved

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