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Commemorative cartridge made of shell

An artillery shell, engraved and stylized into a vase, is characteristic of so-called trench art. Such objects — not necessarily of utilitarian function — were made by soldiers with artistic talents for themselves or to order. Often, objects of this type were created in free time in the trenches, during breaks in fighting, or only after military service had ended.

“Princely” grave from Jakuszowice near Kazimierza Wielka

The find is dated back to the 1st half of the 5th century (before 434). It is one of the most interesting pieces of proof of contact between the peoples inhabiting the area of southern Poland and the Huns in the 1st half of the 5th century. The grave was discovered by accident in 1911 while mining sand. The majority of the excavated objects were smuggled to Kraków over the then Russian-Austrian border.

Mace

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.

A sword from Small Market in Kraków

The iron sword from the Mały Rynek [Small Market] Square in Kraków was discovered during the renovation of the square’s surface in 2007. So far, it is the only sword found in the archaeological research in the area of Kraków.

Axe with a sleeve

A decorated axe with a sleeve and an eyelet, found in the 1970s on a field in Gorzyce near Żabno. The eyelet was of practical value; it was used to attach the axe to a handle, which was bent at a right angle and entered into the sleeve. The handles were made of carefully selected bent pieces of wood.

Hussar half-armour

The armour is made of iron sheet; at the edges and faulds it is lined with brass borders covered with repoussé and stamped pearls. Under the rivets there are laid brass rosettes decorated in the same way as the borders. A helmet has a semi-circular skull, a peak with a nasal bar, a fauld neck guard and cheek pieces with a heart-shaped cut. A five-fauld breastplate with a fishbone in the middle tied with two leather straps.

Tournament armour

The tournament armour is compiled of several suits of West-European armours created in the mid-16th century. Its basic parts are the cuirass, collarbone guard, and pads and thigh guards made by the best armourers from southern Germany. The breastplate with the fishbone and goose — that is a protrusion in the stomach area — has vertical stripes with an etched motif of a floral twig entwined over a panoply and musical instruments.

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.

Salada type helmet

The closed profile of the helmet and the shiny, smooth surface of steel, contrasts with the heads of spirally twisted rivets, that — despite their severe functionality — provide it with an extraordinary elegance. Until the middle of the 20th century, this helmet was considered a 19th-century copy. Covered with a thick layer of black paint (designed to protect against corrosion) it closely guarded its secrets. After being subjected to maintenance procedures, not only did this reveal its raw beauty, but also shed light on its mysterious past. It represents a late Gothic form of the helmet, evolved from the medieval cervelliere, widespread at the end of the 15th and early 16th century. It appeared in numerous variations and variants, serving both knights and soldiers from other classes.

Sabre with a sheath

The blade, regarded as the work of the Armenians of Lviv, may be connected with the reign of John III Sobieski. Its antique-like sheath must have been made much later, as the Rococo ornament indicates. This weapon of highly decorative character is difficult to categorize unambiguously.

Rocket engine “Walter HWK” — 109-507 model

This is a rocket engine, designed for propelling a German guided flying bomb, the Henschel Hs 293. It was constructed in the small experimental plant “H. Walter KG” in Kiel, headed by prof. Hellmuth Walter, who, since 1935, had been dealing with the practical use of hydrogen peroxide...

Gorget

The gorget, deriving from a knight's armour bevor, was used in Poland in the 18th century, mostly by members of the Bar Confederation (1768–1772). Decorated with effigies of Madonna and saints, as well as religious scenes, the gorget served as a spiritual buckler.

Signal trumpet banner

The flame for the signal trumpet was a decorative element used during solemn speeches. A trumpeter was present in the full-time squadron of the cavalry regiment, as well as on the regular posts of infantry riflemen as well as medium machine gun and artillery units. In the field...

Horse tack according to the family tradition after Hetman Stanisław Jabłonowski

The horse tack shown is a part of the almost typical horse-riding equipment used in the Republic of Poland by rich noblemen and magnates in the 17th and 18th centuries. The tack consists of a saddle, a girth, stirrups and a bridle with szkofia and a breastplate. The shabrack with a pair of tassets also originates from Adam Sapieha's collection, though the previous owner is unknown.

“Tank” (“Today Is My Birthday”, 1990)

Presented object was made for the play Today is my birthday Cricot 2 Theater, over which the artist worked from October 1989 to early December 1990. Tadeusz Kantor died after one of the last rehearsals, 8 of December 1990 year. The premiere took place shortly afterwards, in January 1991 at the Théâtre Garonne in Toulouse, then the play was shown in 22 cities around the world until June 1992.

Hunting arquebus

Hunting arquebus with a wheel-lock, after Jan Klemens Branicki (1689–1771), the Grand Hetman of the Crown. Old-time hunting, being an elite form of entertainment for the highest levels of society, required an adequate frame, created by, e.g., luxurious firearms. This kind of weapon was usually made from precious materials and artfully decorated in a style typical of the epoch.

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.

Vis P35(p) pistol

The pistol was a legend cherished during the war and, especially during the post-war period. It was a very good Polish design (based on the structure of the Colt M1911 pistol) delivered by the engineer Piotr Wilniewszczyc and Jan Skrzypiński. Work on the pistol began as early as 1930...

Pistol with circular lock

Today, most researchers believe that Leonardo da Vinci — whose drawings were developed technically and used practically in Germany at the beginning of the 16th century — was the first proponent of the idea of a wheel-lock, which led to the construction of the first wheel-lock, which, in turn, made it possible to popularize short guns, otherwise known as pistols.

Percussion-cap pistol

The percussion-cap pistol, double-barrelled, with a wooden handle, was made by the Lepage company in Paris. Its fittings are decorated with floral motifs. The exhibit is also signed, which allows one to determine its place of production. Near the chambers, between the barrels...