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“Suiseki” – “Kamogawaishi” type stone on a wooden mahogany base

Are stones precious? How precious can one stone possibly be? As it turns out, one stone can be very precious indeed, particularly if you consider Japanese Suiseki art stones. To quote Matsuura Arishige, whose Kamogawaishi stone on a mahogany base is part of the collection of the Manggha Centre of Japanese Art and Technology: The word suiseki refers to a single stone that has as its shape or surface pattern the ability to signify something far greater than the stone in and of itself. It is a tradition that has evolved to its modern form over many centuries.”

Baptismal font

A baptismal font of a goblet shaped with a dodecagon base, with a pyramidal bowl and a foot. The narrowing in the middle bears a band (a so-called node) which is covered by a net ornament with three coats of arms (one of which is now missing). The bowl of the baptismal font is covered by a bas-relief decoration, the fields of which are separated by tracery.

Sculpture “Pensive Christ” by Wojciech Jędrusiak

It is a very massive stone sculpture made by a folk artist from Turza (a village) nearby Biecz. The figure is set on a square base. It depicts the figure of Christ sitting on a block of stone, shown en face, with his head resting on his right hand and his left hand resting on his knees.

Vessel for crushing crops (“stępa”) — with a place to sit on

Stępa vessels, also called groats mortars, were commonly used in many houses as early as in the interwar period. Grains of crops were shelled and crushed by them in order to obtain the groats, including among others millet groans, or peeled barley. Groats mortars were also used to crack, that is grind, grains, more rarely to break grains into meal, and even to press oil from flaxseed.

Greek inscription from Cirenaica

In ancient Greece, if you were harmed by someone whom you were unable to bring into court (e.g. a citizen of another city), you could seek compensation, with the consent of your polis, by seizing the property of the apprehended perpetrator or even the property of any other (innocent!) citizen of the same city from where the criminal came. This procedure was referred to as syle. Special places where individuals threatened with syle were offered sanctuary were known as asylia, which is the origin of today’s term “asylum”.

House mark of Stanisław Amenda

This is a trademark of one of the richest Olkusz gwarek, that is, entrepreneurs who organized the mining and production of lead and silver.

Orange-maroon biedermeier-style perfume bottle with gilding

The perfume bottle is made of a maroon-coloured stone. The vessel has a form similar to a barrel with bevelled sides and a polygonal flange.