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Typewriter “Picht”

The “Picht” machine is a Braille typewriter adapted for the blind, invented by Oskar Picht in 1899. Its production began three years later. The first single copies of typewriters for the blind had beene created earlier (since the 18th century), but they allowed correspondence only with the sighted. The development of the journal for the blind by Louis Braille in 1825, disseminated in the 2nd half of the 19th century, created new opportunities that were used by the inventor—and later the director ꟷ of the centre for the blind in Bydgoszcz, Oskar Picht.

Torah scroll

The parchment scroll containing text of the Five Books of Moses, i.e. the Books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy was hand-written in Hebrew, rolled onto two sticks; the so-called ace(i) chaim [shafts of life] made of oak wood was furnished at the ends with pairs of wooden plates with a diameter of 17.5 cm, and handles for rolling the scrolls. The handles are profiled, with a head decorated with ivory buttons in the upper part and an ivory sleeve at the bottom.

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.

Pair of perfume bottles with a floral pattern

The pair of twin porcelain perfume bottles is in the form of a bulky decanter with a shape similar to a cube. On the side walls of the vessels, floral compositions are painted with golden paint.

Ivory casket decorated with scenes from chanson de geste

The casket is cubical in shape and consist of six rectangular ivory plates bound together with metal nails and fittings. The top plate is fitted with hinges and serves as the lid. The front side is fitted with a rectangular lock decorated with an image of a tower and two persons: a woman with a large key in her hand and a man on his knees with his hands joined together. On the lid, there is a metal handle engraved in a diagonal checked pattern filled with simplified flowers. On the side plates, there are twelve figural scenes from medieval chance de geste, while on the lid, there are three court scenes. Narration in all of these images follows from the left to the right. The front side features the following images: Conversation of Alexander the Great with Aristotle, Phyllis and Aristotle, Thisbe and lion, Death of Pyramus and Thisbe, while the back side features: Lancelot fighting a lion, Lancelot crossing the Sword Bridge, Gauvain on the Dangerous Bed and Damsels freed by Gauvain. The left side features: Tristan and Iseult’s Meeting in the Garden, the Hunt of the Unicorn, while the right side features: Enyas’ fight with a savage and Old Porter Welcomes Galahad. The lead features a Knight Tournament in the centre, flanked by two scenes which together depict the motif of Siege of the Castle of Love. The Kraków casket is one of seven so called complex caskets, which can be found in world’s most important collections of medieval art.

Cabinet

A decorative and portable piece of furniture in the form of an angular box closed with a pair of small doors and containing eight drawers. Furniture of that type, made of exotic materials, was not commonly used in Poland of the 17th century.