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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.

Silver fowler of The Fowler Brotherhood

The silver fowler of the Kraków Fowler Brotherhood is one of the most valuable objects in the Historical Museum of the City of Kraków. This is an example of the work of an outstanding goldsmith of Renaissance Kraków. Unfortunately, we do not know either the artist's name or the goldsmith's workshop responsible for the creation of the bird's sculpture. Very few of the marksmen's societies can boast of an original, well-preserved, cockrel of this type.

Sculpture “Salome” by Walery Gadomski

Salome, the daughter of Herodias and stepdaughter of King Herod Antipas, danced so beautifully that the ruler let her ask for anything she wanted. Her wish, suggested by cruel Herodias, was John the Baptist’s head. Biblical Salome is one of frequent motifs in the iconography of European art. The archetype of a dangerous seductress fascinated artists of all epochs.

Reliquary with St. Stanislaus’s hand

A reliquary in the form of a hand (forearm) placed on a polygonal base in a vertical position. The middle part of the reliquary is red (the sleeve of a robe) with visible relics put in a small rectangular panel obscured by a glass pane.

Manuscript “The privilege of Stanisław Koniecpolski for Jews from Tarnów” with a seal

Jewish settlements in Poland began during the period of the Piast dynasty and increased in the 14th-16th centuries. At first, Jews settled in larger towns, in search of better living conditions. The first Jews arrived in Tarnów in the mid-15th century. The proof of this is the mention of Kafel, a Jew, which can be found in the court files of Lviv from 1445.

“Pillories of characters” (“Let the Artists Die”, 1985)

The “pillories” are extremely characteristic objects from the Niech sczezną artyści [Let the Artists Die] play at the Cricot 2 Theatre. The play had its premiere in Alte Giesserei in Nürnberg on 2 June 1985. The “pillories” appear in act III of the play and become the key objects with which the later stage plot, right to the epilogue in act V, is associated.

Painting “Portrait of King Augustus III in a Polish costume”

The representative room of the Bishop Erazm Ciołek Palace, known as the Room of Virtues, houses the gallery of old Polish portrait paintings that were common in the old Poland. For the nobility, their own images and depictions of their relatives and ancestors formed a vital factor for building family and social ties and documenting genealogy and affiliations.

Painting “Portrait of General Henryk Dembiński”

The painting shows Henryk Dembiński (1791–1864), a veteran of the Napoleonic Wars, an outstanding commander and strategist in the November Uprising, and one of the leaders of the Hungarian Revolution of 1848–1849, sitting thoughtfully, in a staff tent. Under a veiled curtain, a battle scene is visible in the distance. The painting symbolically refers to the work of the master Rodakowski, Léon Cogniet (1794–1880), who — after the failure of the November Uprising — painted the picture Prague 1831, showing a fresh battlefield and an officer standing in front of it, whose attitude and facial expression were marked by determination and a desire for revenge.

Sculpture “Adam Mickiewicz's bust” by Pierre Jean David d’Angers

Adam Mickiewicz (1798–1855), was the greatest poet of Polish Romanticism, a national poet, publicist, and political activist. David d'Angers, was a French sculptor, the author of monuments and tombstones, medallions, and portrait busts. In 1829, during his stay in Weimar — where he was working on the bust of Johann Wolfgang Goethe — he met Adam Mickiewicz, with whom he later became friends.

Sculpture “First whispers of love” (“Whispers of love”, “Secrets of love”) by Wiktor Brodzki

The scene shows the goddess Aphrodite leaning her head towards a winged Cupid to listen to what he wants to say to her. The goddess’s enigmatic smile suggests the frivolous character of the conversation. The artistic virtuosity: flawlessly smooth moulding and details rendered carefully are the typical features of Wiktor Brodzki’s sculptures.

Statuette “Napoleon on a Horse” by Piotr Michałowski

Michałowski created a model (probably made of plaster) for this figurine between 1832 and 1835 in Paris while being part of the circle of the Nicolas-Toussaint Charlet's studio, at that time — as the painter's daughter will later put it — “a real hotbed of Bonapartism.” Drawing on the iconography of heroic leaders, he represented Napoleon on a galloping horse, his hand outstretched to point the direction of an attack; that is in almost the same way as in his other representations of the emperor of that time: the oil painting, Napoleon on Horseback Giving Orders (the National Museum in Wrocław) and a similar watercolour painting (National Museum in Kraków).

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.

Manuscript of the “Letter granting freedom to the town of Tarnów by Emperor Francis”

Francis II, the Holy Roman Emperor, King of Germany, Hungary, Czech, Dalmatia, Croatia, Slavonia, Galicia, Lodomeria and Jerusalem, Archduke of Austria, Duke of Burgundy and Lorraine, Grand Duke of Tuscany, etc., confers a privilege granting freedom to Tarnów and its inhabitants. It approves the property of Tarnów burghers and the possessions of the town.

Mace of the head of Zwierzyniec Borough

The presented mace was the symbol of the head of the Zwierzyniec Borough. The borough was founded in 1810, which we know thanks to the date stamped on its head. Around it, there is also the inscription: Państwo Zwierzyniec + Wieś Zwierzyniec [Zwierzyniec Country + Zwierzyniec Village].

Mace of the head of Łobzów Borough

The staff of the head was given to the Historical Museum of the City of Kraków by the Kraków authorities in 1951. This is a wooden cane, finished with a carved ending in the shape of a man's head. The head is that of a man with a short beard and a turban on his head, decorated with a flower. The presented mace was the insignia of the head of Łobzów Borough.

Actress Jadwiga Mrozowska’s costume of Lady Macbeth

The costume for the role of Lady Macbeth was given to the Historical Museum of the City of Kraków as the inheritance after the actress and singer Jadwiga Mrozowska, who had connections with the Kraków stage in the years 1902–1905. From 1905 the artist settled down in Italy, where she performed as an opera singer.

“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.

Head of a ruler

The head is a fragment of the ruler's statue, it is covered with nemes [scarf] with a wide head-band over the forehead, decorated with the insignia of the Pharaonic power uraeus [cobra]. It is a face with faded features; the eyes are shown without detail; it has a wide nose with distended nostrils.

“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.

Golden mace of Hetman Stanisław Jabłonowski

The head is made of gold with six feathers fully covered with an engraved and chiselled floral ornament with niello petals, leaves and palmettes. At the end of the head there is a screwed-in pear-shaped pinnacle with embedded rubies and diamonds. When screwed out, it enables the feathers to protrude.