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Tea container

Along with the growing popularisation of overseas beverages such as coffee, tea and chocolate, European manufactories also designed vessels used to hold them. At the beginning, they were modelled on familiar Chinese or Japanese forms, but then, gradually, the models took on new shapes unknown to the East.

Teapot with lid

This early form of the teapot, the design of which is ascribed to Johann Jakob Irminger, was amended by a painted decoration outside the factory more than twenty years after the vessel had been finished. The linear, graphical method of painting was ascribed to Christian Daniel Buschow, who operated in Bayreuth.

Vase with a dance circle motif

A vase with a flat bottom and a belly gradually widening upwards. Around the vessel a decorative ornament presenting a circle of dancing figures holding each other’s hands, also serving as a vase handle. The pottery and tile ware factory, J. Niedźwiecki and Co. in Dębniki, was also famous for the production of artistic faience in the years 1900–1910.

“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.

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.

Pot

The first man settled in Witów, lying in a distance of 4 km from Koszyce, as early as several thousand years ago. The first archaeological finds from this area are dated back to that time — ca. 5 thousand years ago. The local hill on the river was a perfect place to settle. It had its natural defensive features, which were eagerly used by our ancestors who founded subsequent settlements in the Witów area. They left their traces there: vessels, tools, ornaments.

Tile with the Nałęcz coat of arms of Bishop Piotr Gembicki

In 1845, in A Souvenir from Kraków, Józef Mączyński mentioned the existence of two “ancient furnaces” inside the episcopal palace in Kraków. Furnaces built of tiles, decorated with the coat of arms of the bishops — Marcin Szyszkowski (Ostoja) and Piotr Gembicki (Nałęcz) — were already in poor condition in the middle of the 18th century, which had been noted in the inspection of the palace. However, thanks to the large, colourful tiles, those furnaces were certainly very decorative. Unfortunately, in 1850, the furnaces shared the fate of the episcopal palace, which burned down during the great fire of Kraków, and only single tiles and their fragments have survived to this day.

Orava pitcher

The presented object is a spherical pitcher with a short, narrow neck to which a convex handle is attached. Its lower edge reaches only down to the upper part of the body, without disturbing the graceful spherical shape. In this type of narrow-necked pitchers usually beverages like mead and wine were served. Upper Orava – in the part located on the Polish side – did not have its own pottery workshop, but it was easily supplied with these products at nearby fairs until World War I, mainly in Trzciana (Tyrstyna).

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.

“Hakuji” vessel by Manji Inoue

The process of producing vessels of white porcelain is regarded as being exceptionally difficult, since, as it is baked in a furnace, small particles can easily permeate inside, and they can dye the porcelain forms, thus disrupting the whole process. One of the most outstanding contemporary hakuji artist is Manji Inoue (born 1929), the Japanese creator who was awarded, in 1995, with the honourable title of The Living National Treasure(Ningen Kokuhō).

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.

Candlestick of the so-called “Swan Set”

The so-called Swan Set, the most famous of porcelain sets, was made in the Royal Manufactory in Meissen during the years 1737–1742, on the commission of Heinrich, Count von Brühl, later the First Minister of Augustus III.

Greek ostrakon – receipt of payment of the Jewish tax

In AD 72, after suppressing the Jewish uprising in Palestine, the Romans levied a Jewish tax (ioudaikon telesma) on all Jews living in the Roman Empire. It exceeded 8 drachmas and was a considerable burden on the mostly poor residents of the Jewish district in Apollinopolis Magna. This document is a receipt for only part of the yearly burden.

Chinese porcelain salt shaker

The presented salt shaker is an example of early white-blue pottery, which is decorated with cobalt blue. It is a rare form of Far Eastern porcelain imported to Europe. The object has come a long way to the collection of the Wieliczka Museum, because it was made in China during the Kangxi period (1662–1722).

Ai Weiwei, “Oil spills”

This is a ceramic work – a technique that is inseparable from Chinese culture. The porcelain objects were fired in Jingdezhen, a city famous for its ceramics. The six elements in the MOCAK Collection, which simulate crude oil stains, are part of a 25-part installation. The work is a commentary on contemporary economic conditioning. Oil – a resource that impacts on international politics – symbolically stains the world.

Snuff tin

The fashion of taking snuff, common in Europe of the 17th and 18th centuries, sparked the creation of a separate category of containers. Maiolica pharmaceutical vases were used for selling snuff, various other tins for storing it, and different forms of snuffboxes, including those made of porcelain, were used for taking it.

Statuette of a Singing Monkey of the “Monkey Orchestra” series

Monkeys were the subject matter of an iconographic genre called Singerie and so were a popular depiction in the 18th century. The genre was based on the art of Jean Berain which was published in 1711. Scenes of dancing, playing and hunting monkeys wearing fashionable clothes decorated the interiors of royal palaces in Marly, Anet or Chantilly. Realistic looking monkeys were often modelled by Kändler.

Statuette of a Monkey Playing the Horn of the “Monkey Orchestra” series

Monkeys were the subject matter of an iconographic genre called Singerie and so were a popular depiction in the 18th century. The genre was based on the art of Jean Berain which was published in 1711. Scenes of dancing, playing and hunting monkeys wearing fashionable clothes decorated the interiors of royal palaces in Marly, Anet or Chantilly. Realistic looking monkeys were often modelled by Kändler.

Tiled stove, so-called amorial with coats of arms

The stove was manufactured in the maiolica factory in Nieborów, which was established in 1881 by Prince Michał Radziwiłł. It comes from the destroyed mansion in Krzyszkowice near Myślenice and it was renovated in 1977.

Tiled stove from manor house in Droginia

The tiled stove was moved to the Museum of the Vistula Ethnographic Park in Wygiełzów and the Lipowiec Castle as an element of the former furnishings of the manor house in Droginia. During the reconstruction it was located in the room constituting the museum exhibition where it performs a decorative function in the master’s room, although it used to be a source of heat in the Droginia manor where the Bzowski family lived for generations.