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The European bee-eater

The former name of this bird (Merops apiaster Linnaeus, 1758)—the bee-eater—says a lot about its biology. The bee-eater (Merops apiaster is its full name according to the binominal nomenclature of species) is a bird from the bee-eater family (most species from this family occur in Africa and Asia). It feeds on insects, including bees and wasps caught in flight. bee-eaters establish nests in loess escarpments by drilling special tunnels in them (usually in high escarpments and banks).

“Turoń” (the type of horned creature) from Stary Sącz

Turoń (horned creature), or actually the head of one, i.e. a head of an animal with ears and horns made of several hefty pieces of wood nailed together and mounted on a stick. Originating from Stary Sącz (1908), this Turoń head, just like other similar exhibits from the very beginning of the Ethnographic Museum in Kraków, has been shown at the permanent exhibition in the form it was used in, i.e. as a part of an animal monster, a disguise of a member of a group of carollers.

Glass decorated with scenes from the legend of St. Hubert

Glass of milky and pink colours, on a small base of a jug-like shape, decorated with a painted hunting scene of the legend of Saint Hubertus.

Painting “Frenzy” by Władysław Podkowiński

Along with Józef Pankiewicz, Władysław Podkowiński is considered to be the precursor of impressionism in Polish art painting. His works also gave rise to Symbolism and Expressionism trends in Polish Modernism. About 1892 Podkowiński’s oeuvre began to feature visionary and phantasmagoric depictions of the issues of love, suffering and death inspired by his personal experiences, with references to achievements by Western European symbolists.

The Albino magpie

This bird has a very characteristic black and white plumage, black beak and legs. Its dark feathers have a metallic sheen, green-navy one on wings, as well as scarlet on the head and back, distinguishing it from the corvids. The presented specimen is unique, because of a very rare gene mutation that caused a lack of pigmentation in this individual and, as a result, its white plumage in places where magpies normally have black or light-brown feathers.

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 “Birds” by Jędrzej Wowro

Jędrzej Wowro (Andrzej Wawro) was the most famous folk artist of the interwar period. He was born in 1864 in Gorzeń Dolny near Wadowice. He came from a poor family and was used to working hard from an early age. He carved his first figurines while neglecting his shepherding duties.

“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.

Horn of Salt Diggers Brotherhood of Wieliczka

The horn of Salt Diggers Brotherhood of Wieliczka is a unique Renaissance work of art commemorating the past wealth of Kraków salt mines. It is the only historical object of such preserved in Poland — the genuine horn of an aurochs (the species that became extinct in Poland in the 17th century, the ancestor of cattle), precisely framed in silver embedded in various golden ornaments.

Mithraic relief

The object presented here comes from Carnuntum, the Roman army camp and city situated on the Danube between Vienna and Bratislava. The bas-relief depicts a scene of a bull being killed by Mithra. The deity, dressed in a Roman tunica and wearing a Phrygian cap, is kneeling and supporting the animal with his left knee.

Spice container from Austro-Hungary

A container for fragrant spices (e.g., clove, cinnamon, vanilla, myrtle), the aroma of which is ritually inhaled during the ceremony called Havdalah (in Hebrew: separation) held in Jewish houses at the end of Shabbat.

Bone plaque in the shape of a bull’s head from Bilche Zolote

This object was found in Bilcze Złote (now the Tarnopol region, Ukraine), in the Werteb cave in 1898, by Włodzimierz Demetrykiewicz. The badge is a part of the rich collection of Leon XX and Teresa Sapieh, which was handed over by agreement in 1904 to the Museum of Skills Academy in Kraków.

Zoomorphic vessel (Chimú culture)

The vessel comes from the collection of Władysław Kluger from 1876. It has two circular bellies and two beaks: one in the shape of a bird’s head, the other one tall and straight, both conjoined with a curved handle. On the belly, there are panels with straps of...

Zoomorphic vessel (Chancay Culture)

The vessel comes from the 1876 Peruvian collection of Władysław Kluger. The hollow, zoomorphic figurine most likely represents a llama. It was made of a ceramic material, then coated with a light-coloured slip and white paint, which is most noticeable on the muzzle of the animal.

Zoomorphic vessel

The vessel comes from the collection of Władysław Kluger, it is from 1876. It has the shape of the lama head with wide outflow.

Frog-shaped vessel

The vessel comes from the collection of Władysław Kluger, it is from 1876. Anatomical details of the frog and decorations made ​​in the form of zigzags are painted with red paint around the vessel.

Fishskin jacket

A jacket sewn of tanned sea fishskin as protective wear for an Aleut child. Jackets and waterproof capes made of fishskin or intestines of sea mammals were worn over clothes made of seal or reindeer leather. The jackets provided protection against wind and water, being a necessary element during seal hunting trips.

The European roller

The European roller (Coracias garrulus Linné, 1758 r.) is one of the rarest and most beautifully coloured birds in Poland. It is an insectivorous bird, specialized in hunting large insects — e.g. beetles. In our country, it lives in dry and warm habitats in a varied landscape, with fallow lands, meadows and a small area of arable land, among which single, old trees grow.

Short-toed Eagle

Short-toed Eagle — Circaetus gallicus (Gmelin, 1788) is a bird of prey in the family of Accipitridae. It feeds on different species of reptiles, especially snakes. Occasionally hunts for amphibians and small mammals. In Poland, bird is very rare — can be found...

Fish-shaped besamin box

Besamin boxes [heb. bassamim, psumin-byksy] served as containers for spices and were used during the end of the Sabbath and were usually tower-shaped, whereas the besamin box from Sącz was in the shape of a fish, whose head, connected with a trunk with a hinge could be opened and tilted.