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Włocławek cup

The Włocławek cup is the most precious and one of the oldest exhibits of decorative art from the collections at the National Museum in Kraków. It was made in the 1st half of the 10th century, presumably in a workshop located on the territory of Lorraine or Alemannia.

Alabaster amphora

The presented amphora was used to store perfumes. On the rectangular base there is a round foot surrounded by a wreath. The toe is smooth. The body, widening upwards, is narrowed in the upper part and the neck is profiled with a curved lip.

“Hydria” apothecary vase

A hydria type apothecary vase. Majolica. Savona (Italy). The 2nd half of the 17th century. Handles in the shape of (fantastic) animal heads on massive bent necks. In the front, at the bottom, there is a relief of a gargoyle. In its mouth there is an opening to pour out the content of the vase, plugged with a standard cork. There are smaller gargoyles without openings on the sides of the vessel, under the handles.

Mug with a cover

European goldsmithing between the 16th and the 18th century reached an unprecedented artistic and technical level, which was largely due to German masters operating mostly in the chief goldsmithing centre — Augsburg. Thanks to their mass production and high artistic class, goldsmith products from Augsburg soon dominated the markets of Central and Eastern Europe.

Chalice

It is the oldest of the dated donations of Casimir the Great for Polish churches. The Roman form of the basic chalice components and some of its motifs (e.g. small rounded arch arcades) coexists here organically with raised Gothic ornamentation, setting this impressive vessel apart from other goldsmith works of the 14th century.

Pre Columbian bowl

This three-coloured bowl on an annular foot, decorated with so-called negative painting, using wax as a reserve material, belongs to the pre-Columbian Carchi-Nariño highland culture from the border of today's Ecuador and Colombia, dating back to around 700 or 800 AD and 1500 AD.

“Terra sigillata” vessel

The terra sigillata vessel in the form of a bowl on a foot comes from the cremation tomb accidentally discovered in Lisów (Opatów district). The vessel was imported from a province of the Roman Empire. The form of the vessel is typical of the pottery workshop in Rheinzabern (south-western Germany), the largest centre producing vessels of this type in the northern provinces of the Roman Empire (Germania Superior), operating in 190–220. The vessel was made of clay, sealed in the matrix with a negative decoration, and subsequently baked in a furnace in the pottery workshop of Primitivus I.

Soup vase with a monogram of Prince Eustachy Erazm Sanguszko

Sets of tableware were initially assembled of objects made in a different style, time, and places. Only in the 17th and 18th centuries uniformly decorated tableware, known today as services, began to appear. Until the beginning of the 19th century, there were no strict rules determining what dishes should be included in such a set; therefore, they were put together according to current fashions or the personal preference of the person ordering them...

Daniel Spoerri, “The Seville Series No. 16”

Immortalisation of a supper through mounting crockery, cutlery and preserved leftovers of the food. The resultant composition is supposed to be exhibited vertically. To present a table at such an angle introduces a gravitational disturbance.

Wooden apothecary boxes from 18th century

Drewniane puszki apteczne pochodzą z drugiej połowy XVIII wieku. Naczynia wykonane z drewna lipowego zostały pokryte warstwą polichromii w kolorze czerwonym. Na brzuścu w owalnym, rokokowym, ozdobionym złotym ornamentem kartuszu umieszczono nazwy surowców, do których przechowywania były...

Porcelain salt cellar with a figure of black woman with a basket

This is a figurine-shaped porcelain salt shaker with a container for salt. A very decorative figure of black woman with a basket was created in the oldest European porcelain workshop in Meissen, near Dresden. It was made according to the model developed by Johann Friedrich Eberlein in 1741.

Gothic chalice

At the beginning of 1657, the lands of southern Poland were invaded by George II Rakoczi’s army of 40 thousand soldiers. The army was supposed to give support to the Swedish headquarters in Kraków. The vicinity of Kraków was doomed by the presence of the new invaders.

Apothecary majolica vessel — “albarello”

Majolikowe naczynie apteczne typu albarello, eliptycznie wklęsłe, powstało w Faenzie (Włochy) w połowie XVI wieku. Dekoracja figuralno-roślinna w kolorach niebieskim, zielonym, żółtym i pomarańczowym; postać ludzka to zielarka z chustą na zioła na plecach. Napis na banderoli: Aloe patico...

Chalice

Church confraternities, which boasted about having a separate chapel or a side altar, completed the religious life of parishioners. The first confraternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, established in Niepołomice by Cardinal Zbigniew Oleśnicki, worked efficiently for one and a half centuries, but in 1596 a church inspector found it, as he described, in a state of “devotional and interment” activity.

Jewel Box

This large container with a low barrel-shaped belly, a wide neck and an attached hemispherical lid with an arched handle is decorated with an engraved geometrical and plant ornament. These decorations are based on an adherence to the principles of symmetry and harmony according to Quran teachings. The container was made with great attention paid to its appearance and beauty as it is to be a reflection of a better world and to bring good luck.

Vessel in the shape of the Polish Eagle

At present, the tableware of the Polish royal court is known to us almost exclusively from archive materials. The majority of preserved single items or their designs come from Augsburg – the most important centre of the European goldsmithery in the 17th and 18th centuries. Among these items, the most outstanding is the state set of John Casimir Vasa.

“Roztruchan” decorative cup

Aside from its practical functions, the silver tableware collected and stored in Old Polish houses also had representative functions. There was also a separate group of dishes of a primarily decorative character, whose original, sophisticated form, perfection of composition, and materials used for their production were to dazzle and delight the guests.

Small vase “kantharos”

In the Korzec collection in Tarnów, which numbers 450 inventory items, a small vase of the kantharos type deserves special attention. Vases of this type served as decorations and were produced on the occasion of anniversaries or other events. The excellent quality of the product and the elegance of its form and decorations prove the high level of manufacturing quality in the 1st two decades of the 19th century. In Polish museum collections, a similar small vase can be found in the collection of the National Museum in Warsaw.

Clay vessel from Bilche Zolote

The vessel is part of the rich collection of monuments from Bilcze Złote, from the Werteba Cave. The objects come from excavations, conducted with breaks from 1876 to 1907, by Adam Honory Kirkor, Gotfryd Ossowski, and Włodzimierz Dematrykiewicz. The collections of Prince Leon and Teresa Sapieh were handed over by agreement in 1904 to the Museum of Skills Academy in Kraków.

Jarosław Kozłowski, “Counting-Out Rhyme”

Fifteen bowls of dried-up paint each have a matching cloth on which someone has wiped their dirty hands. Each such soiling/cleaning set is ascribed to a site of genocide. Washing hands is a symbolic act of removing oneself from these events and thereby from any responsibility. However, the material testimony remains.