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Cross of tailors’ guild in Kęty

This guild sign, in the shape of a cross, from the guild of tailors in Kęty, was made in 1912. Such signs were called, among others: obesłania, bieguny, cechy . They served as messages, calling tradesmen belonging to the guild for deliberations. Obviously, the guild brothers were also informed about the funerals and ecclesiastical and secular holidays in which they were obliged to participate.

Decorative travelling box

The decorative travelling box with a lock has the form of a chest and is made of wood, varnished in black. On the outside of the lid, there is a round plaque with a decorative border and no inscriptions.

Toy “Lajkonik’s march” by Jan Oprocha (father)

A toy cart, or actually a platform on wheels with holes to thread a pulling cord through and 31 figurines arranged on it, rocking while the toy is pulled. The whole toy, including the platform and the figurines, is made of polychrome wood. The rectangular platform with its bevelled corners and wheels are painted green. The edges are coated with white, yellow and pink paint, and the spokes are marked with yellow, blue and red.

Wooden sculpture “Pensive Christ”

Small-sized wooden sculpture of the 19th century from the area of the Polish Podtarze region, depicting Pensive Christ. It cost one crown and in 1914 it was purchased in Nowy Targ by Ksawery Prauss, a collector from Zakopane. In 1920, he donated his collection to the Tatra Museum and thus the sculpture, along with 93 other ethnographic objects from Podhale, became part of the museum collection.

Kraków’s bed

Kraków’s bed made from soft wood has signature 1 in the collection of the Seweryn Udziela Ethnographic Museum in Kraków. It was the first object, which started museum’s collection.

Gypsy wagon

In the extensive exhibition devoted to the history and culture of the Romani/Gypsies, the exhibits particularly attracting the attention of visitors are the colourful wagons presented in the courtyard of the Ethnographic Museum. Preserved in the Polish landscape in the 1st half of the 20th century as well as in Polish pop culture thanks to the song by Maryla Rodowicz, they make an interesting memento of the vagabond, truly “Gypsy life”.

Mining trolley

Mine carts, called Hungarian dogs, appeared in the Wieliczka excavations at the end of the 18th century, and they were put into operation by the Austrian partition authorities, to whom the mine belonged at that time. The rather funny name of these transport devices is most likely related to the sounds made by their wheels while moving.

Wooden toy — “A cart pulled by horses”

A cart pulled by wheeled horses or rocking horses used to be one of the most favourite toys for children. Nowadays, it is coming back to store shelves in a fashionable and ecological design. This wooden cart is part of a larger collection of toys from the museum in Myślenice and the object used to present the history of folk toy manufacturing in general. Folk toys are more than merely usable items as all of them have their own history and all members of a family were engaged in the production process. They were made mainly by peasants in the winter time, when they were able to carve toys because of less agricultural work.

Horse mill

Because of the fact that in the salt mines of the Kraków region, i.e. salt mines in Wieliczka and Bochnia, salt lies deep underground, it was excavated through shafts by using the right tools, like devices with a horizontal drive shaft (windlass), handwheels, treadwheels (internal and external), devices with a vertical drive shaft (cross, water-mill), devices with a vertical-horizontal drive shaft (gear mill with a winding reel, gear mill with two winding reels, gear mill with a brake drum) and braking devices.

Two armchairs, the “Ład” Artists Cooperative

In 1918, the Szymanowski family lost the family manor in Tymoszówka, Russia. Karol Szymanowski lived in hotels, boarding houses, and with his family ever since. At the furnished Atma Villa rented in Zakopane, the composer lived between 1930 and 1935. Two armchairs made by the Ład Artists Cooperative are the only pieces of furniture to have ever been bought by Szymanowski to furnish the Atma Villa.

Sleigh for the transportation of salt

During the first centuries of the existence of mines, small spoil was transferred from the face to the shaft in the basins and reeds; salt rocks and barrels were rolled with the help of walacz rods or pulled on the szlafy (the so-called sanice). The szlafy are mentioned only in 18th century sources; however, given the fact that they have been used on the surface long before the mine was created, it can be assumed that they were used in the Wieliczka salt pits in the Middle Ages.

The “snow” type “Ko-omote” mask of the “Nō” theatre

In the classic Japanese theatre, masks are the most important accessories of the leading actor shite. With these masks, an actor is able to impersonate characters of both real and imaginary worlds (e.g. a warrior, a young woman, an old man, as well as a demon, a god or a goddess, etc.). By putting on a mask, the character is transformed and the audience is able to discover their hidden secrets (e.g. the extraterrestrial origin of the character), or fierce feelings tormenting them (sorrow, envy, madness).

Biedermeier style night chair

In the manor house from Droginia (moved to the Museum in Wygiełzów), in which the apartment interiors of a wealthy noble family were recreated, the more intimate side of life was also included. The bedroom, located in the alcove, equipped with 19th century furniture, also included a night-chair which served as a privy.

Triptych “Family of Mary” from parochial church in Racławice Olkuskie

In the middle part of the triptych, the so-called “family of Maria” has been introduced, a multi-person image, based on the legend of the triple marriage of St. Anna (the Baby Jesus is standing on her knees) and the Blessed Virgin Mary are sitting on the bench in the centre of the painting. Behind the bench and St. Anna...

Commemorative box with coins and a banknote from the times of the November Uprising of 1831

At the time of the November Uprising, which broke out in Warsaw in 1830 to oppose Tsarist Russia, the National Government ordered a series of new coins to be made including a 3 copper groschen, a 10 coin groschen, silver two- and five-zloty coins and gold Dutch ducats.

Krokus enlarger

In 1954, with the launch of production of a twin-lens reflex camera Start, the production of photo processing accessories commenced in the Warsaw Photo-Optical Works. One such device was an enlarger named Krokus. This name was given to subsequent models of enlargers produced until the 1990s. Enlargers of this family bore additional digital marking, e.g. Krokus 3, 4 N Color, 44, 69S, and were produced for various negative formats. Enlargers from Warsaw Photo-Optical Works satisfied the needs of amateur photographers in Poland and many other countries, being a perfect export product for years.

Device — coffee roaster

Only a few of those who have visited the museum in Kęty are able to determine what the presented object was designed for. It is similar in shape to tea brewers, which were popular until recently, but its considerable size excludes this function. The device dates back to the 2nd half of the 19th century...

Throne of Zanzibar

The throne, a decorative armchair (attribute of power and dignity) of ebony, consisting of 6 parts joined with pegs. The seat, backrest elements and footrest were made of cord woven from palm leaves. The decorations topping the backrest were made with the technique of inlaying with ivory. The outer edges of the backrest and footrest are decorated with wooden carvings in the form of spheres.

Corn chest — “sąsiek”

One of the rooms in a barn is traditionally called a mow (sąsiek). In this case, the name refers to a wooden chest, usually situated in a hall or in a chamber behind a hall, which was designed for keeping grains for sowing. A chest belonging to the collection of the Museum in Kęty is typical of southern Poland. Inside the chest are two chambers for two types of grain.

Sculpture “Pensive Christ”

The theme of a Pensive Christ is one of the most popular ones in folk art. The figure from the Pieniny Mountains Museum collection comes from the village of Sromowce Niżne, the population of which belongs to an ethnographic group of Pieniny highlanders. It was made in 1937 by Michał Plewa, a folk artist.