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Painted dowry chest

Dowry chests used to be an inseparable element of the furnishings of almost every house. They were often passed down from generation to generation, repainted, renovated, and in time considerably differed in the colour and ornamentation of their original appearance.

Bike

Tadeusz Seweryn (1894–1975) — Director of the Ethnographic Museum in Kraków — describes this bike in the scientific catalogue sheet as follows: ”A bike made of wood by a cattleman, Franciszek Gucwa. The full wheels (spokeless) are connected with wooden ploughs. The front one has handlebars, heavily fitted with iron at the place where it is connected to the axis of the bike.

Laboratory press

Prasa apteczna tłokowa służyła do wytłaczania (expressio) surowców roślinnych, wymagających dużej siły nacisku. Otrzymywano w ten sposób soki z owoców, liści i korzeni lub oleje z nasion. Prasa tłokowa składała się z drewnianej podstawy, do której przytwierdzony był...

Turret clock

The oldest clock in the collection of the Historical Museum of the City of Kraków is a tabletop turret clock. The name of this type of originates comes from their form, which resembles the shapes of a miniature church tower. The rectangular, brass housing of the clock mechanism was engraved, gilded and placed on a pedestal.

“Putnia” box

The presented box is the so-called putnia box. It was designed for carrying padlocks by salesmen called putniorze. They walked from village to village with putnia boxes...

Secretive Wawel padlock

A secret padlock with a square diameter shackle, two movable pillars, and a cover over the keyhole. The padlock has three keys and protection against thieves in the form of a latch with a serrated blade hidden inside the padlock. After pressing the handle, the blade is released.

Orava painted chest

The presented object is a high, dark green chest, resting on four profiled legs with a drawer at the bottom. The front wall is decorated with a painted pattern of vertical rectangles with concavely incised corners, separated from the background by a honey colour and a narrow burgundy red frame.

Pharmaceutical scale with Asclepius

The base of the scales is a wooden box with three drawers, covered with a marble top. The arms of the scales are made of coloured metal and hung on a zinc-aluminium statue of the god of medicine, Asclepius.

Pharmaceutical tablet maker machine

Today, it seems obvious that we take tablets in their current form. Pharmaceutical companies scramble to launch the most convenient form of a particular drug on the market. Pharmacy was an experimental field in the times we are transported to by the pharmacy exhibition in the house with a turret in the town of Biecz. Pharmacists were not limited to prescriptions and selling ready-made medicines. They also created them. In rooms often referred to as alchemists’ workshops, mysterious mixtures were created, which did not always serve the health of their subsequent users...

Hutsul cane “kełef”

A solid wooden cane topped by a brass handle; an exhibit in the Seweryn Udziela Ethnographic Museum in Kraków, inventory number 15457/MEK. It has often been displayed during many on-site and off-site exhibitions, and published in descriptions and photographs; on a day-to-day basis, it is stored meticulously wrapped in acid-free paper in a cardboard box on a shelf in a depository of the Museum's collections. It is quite valuable as it is one of only four similar items, the so-called kełefs, in the Museum's collection.

Oil mining lamp

The earliest source of confirmation regarding use of oil lamps in the Wieliczka Mine dates back to the beginning of the 16th century, but there are no exact data on the shape and material from which they were made. Probably, two types of oil lamps were used: clay – to be held in the hand or adapted to be placed on a flat surface; and metal – with a hook for carrying and hanging, connected with a container for tallow. The shapes of both types are similar – pear-shaped and vertical.

Hungarian-style horse mill

The Hungarian-style horse mill was the best machine for the vertical transportation of salt. It was able to lift loads that weighed over 2 tonnes from a depth greater than 300 m. It was an improved version of the Saxon-style horse mill implemented by Austrians after the First Partition of Poland. Since 1861 it was replaced by steam engines and after 1913 by electrical machines.

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.

Horse-drawn train

The first, and quite numerous, projects of railway transport in the Wieliczka salt mine were designed around the mid-19th century; however, they were never implemented because of the enormous costs of drift reconstruction. Only in 1857 did the board devise the first precise plan for this challenging enterprise and the first works commenced. In 1861 the first metal rails were installed and after that almost all transport in the mine was conducted by wagons with metal boxes or horses pulling platforms.

A double-barrel flintlock handgun – a prop from the School of Fine Arts

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Spear of the Lombards

The presented spear could have been forged either in the fifth or fifteenth century. In spite of the metallurgical examination carried out by specialists from the Jagiellonian University, it was not possible to determine the production date of the spearhead.

Mining weight

A weight for the town mining scales, once standing on the market square in Olkusz. The ore and melted metal were weighed on it to calculate the tax due to the crown treasury.

Executioner's sword

In the collection of the Regional Museum in Olkusz, there is a well-preserved medieval sword. It is called an executioner's sword, because local legend claims that it was used for an execution carried out in the square in Olkusz. Scientific research does not, however, confirm such a hypothesis with regard to the presented exhibit.

Chest of the furierrs’ guild in Kęty

Kęty was a well-known handicraft centre. Furriers were also well-known among the many representatives of handicrafts cultivated here. They set up their own guild, which hat makers and tailors later joined. The museum's patron, Aleksander Kłosiński, also came from a furrier family and knew guild customs well. The furrier’s chest was probably made in the first half of the nineteenth century.

Chest of the millers and bakers guild in Kęty

The guild chest was also called the treasury, counter or mother. This one, belonging to the guild of millers and bakers in Kęty, is made of sycamore wood and comes from the beginning of the nineteenth century. In contrast to the other guild chests from Kęty, it is simple in form; neither is there any hidden box nor decorative painting inside. What distinguishes it, are the beautiful fittings that make it appear very impressive.