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- Date of production 19th century
- Place of creation Austria
- Dimensions length: total: 101 cm, pommel: 85 cm, width: pommel: 2.4 cm
- ID no. MŻKW IV/154
- Object copyright Kraków Salt Works Museum in Wieliczka
- Digital images copyright public domain
- Digitalisation RDW MIC, Małopolska’s Virtual Museums project
Carrying weapons was a privilege of miners as free people. Salt Works introduced uniforms for their employees in 1773. A sabre was an important element of the outfit and later also the mining uniform. Parade weapons are a special type of weapon that have almost lost their utilitarian functions in favour of representational ones.more
Carrying weapons was a privilege of miners as free people. Salt Works introduced uniforms for their employees in 1773. A sabre was an important element of the outfit and later also the mining uniform. Parade weapons are a special type of weapon that have almost lost their utilitarian functions in favour of representational ones. The collection of the Kraków Salt Works Museum in Wieliczka has a rich collection of mining weapons, including 14 sabres.
The presented sabre has a richly ornamented blade. On one side, there are crossed hammers tied with a ribbon, and, on the other – the inscription “Glück Auf” – which means “God bless” in German. To this day, miners in the mine greet each other with these words.
Crossed mining hammers are a commonly used symbol – a mining emblem. Initially, this function was also performed by the signal horn. An example of a horn-symbol is the horn of the Brotherhood of Wieliczka Miners from 1534, located in the Kraków Salt Works Museum in Wieliczka. Mining hammers include: an iron hammer, or perlik, with no end of the handle sticking out from the top, and an iron wedge on the handle, called “iron”. Perlik and iron are associated with the mining period, in which the rock mining took place by means of fire and pouring water over the hot rock. All the tedious work in stone had to be done by a miner using a perlik, a small hammer with a smooth, slightly curved surface, and the iron was an iron blade with a hole in the middle for setting the handle. The miner held a sharp iron in his left hand and beat down with his right hand with a perlik. One of the oldest known depictions of mining hammers is the emblem placed in a mining church, built in 1111 in Zeiring, the old silver mining centre in Austria. The mining emblem can also be found in many church buildings of medieval mining centres, such as the Franciscan Monastery in Schwaz (Austria) and a mining altar in the Church of Saint Anna in Annaberg (Germany). The Freiberg Mining Museum has a stylized silver emblem, designed by Andreas Kohler in 1534.
Seemingly similar mining tools are also found in the coat of arms of Wieliczka, but, in this case, a large wooden hammer – posułt – and two pickaxes have been placed there.