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A factory for the production of artistic metal castings was established in Warsaw, in the Kingdom of Poland, by Karol Fryderyk Minter. Minter was of Prussian descent and was educated in Berlin and Copenhagen. The factory became famous for its ornamental works (which were predominantly patriotic in design) which were produced during the years 1845–1879. One series produced comprised a set of twenty-one memorials of Polish rulers, including sixteen miniaturized copies of royal and princely tombs, with nine of these being Wawel royal tombs.

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A miniaturized copy of the marble sarcophagus of Casimir IV the Jagiellonian (died 1492) was funded by Queen Elisabeth of Habsburg and produced by Wit Stwosz with the support of Jorg Huber in the years 1492–1494.
The sarcophagus takes the form of a tomb with a figure of the king dressed in his coronation robes on its lid. At the feet of the king are two lions standing on their hind legs and holding escutcheons bearing the coats of arms of both Poland and the Habsburgs. Between them, there is an escutcheon carrying the coat of arms of the Jagiellonian dynasty. On the longer sides of the tomb are pairs of mourners with the coats of arms of Lithuania, the Dobrzyń Land and the Kujawy Land. On the shorter sides – the coats of arms of Poland.
A factory for the production of artistic metal castings was established in Warsaw, in the Kingdom of Poland, by Karol Fryderyk Minter. Minter was of Prussian descent and was educated in Berlin and Copenhagen. The factory became famous for its ornamental works (which were predominantly patriotic in design) which were produced during the years 1845–1879. They are now regarded as national treasures. One series produced comprised a set of twenty-one memorials of Polish rulers, including sixteen miniaturized copies of royal and princely tombs, with nine of these being Wawel royal tombs: the tombs of Władysław the Short, Casimir the Great, Władysław Jagiello, Casimir the Jagiellonian, John Albert, Sigismund the Old, Sigismund Augustus, Stephen Bathory and Anna Jagiellon.
The series of Wawel Cathedral royal tomb miniatures, cast in the shape of small chests, was initiated by a leading Polish historian, Kazimierz Stronczyński, who lived in the 19th century. Stronczyński was a heraldist and publisher of historic sources, and he also catalogued historic monuments. He supplied the funding for the casting of the miniatures. He also made sketches of the miniatures, as well as their wax models, which then became the basis for plaster models used for the bronze and zinc castings made by the Warsaw sculptor, Wojciech Święcki. The miniature of Casimir the Jagiellonian’s sarcophagus is one of six of Minter's miniatures of the Wawel Cathedral royal tombs which can be found in the collection of Wawel Royal Castle.

Elaborated by Anna Petrus (Wawel Royal Castle), editorial team of Małopolska’s Virtual Museums, © all rights reserved

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Miniature of the sarcophagus of Casimir IV the Jagiellonian from the Holy Cross Chapel of Wawel Cathedral

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