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A mace, that is a blunt weapon consisting of a handle and a head created of vertically placed flangs (feathers), was commonly used in the Polish army of the 17th and 18th centuries, as an insignia indicating the rank of rittmeister or colonel. According to tradition, the presented mace was owned by Stefan Czarniecki, the Castellan of Kiev, later the Field Crown Hetman.

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A partially gilded mace made of iron with the surface covered with an openwork of plan ornamentation. It has a pear-shaped head consisting of six feathers of S-like form topped with an almond-shape buckled and gilded tip. The handle, circular in its cross section in the lower part and hexagonal in the middle, ends with a gilded knob and is separated from the head by a gilded ring. The handle is hollow inside and it contains a dagger with a steel blade, triangular shaped in cross section.
A mace, that is a blunt weapon consisting of a handle and a head created of vertically placed flangs (feathers), was commonly used in the Polish army of the 17th and 18th centuries, as an insignia indicating the rank of rittmeister or colonel. In Poland, maces that were used were made in the country or came from Persia or Turkey and were perhaps bought or won during military campaigns. A mace was also used to indicate the position of guild master, and it is still used in this way today.
According to tradition, the presented mace was owned by Stefan Czarniecki, the Castellan of Kiev, later the Field Crown Hetman (died 1665). It was regained from the Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg in 1924 (inventory no. E.512) under the Treaty of Riga (1921). It was evacuated to Canada in 1939 and it was given back in 1959.

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

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