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Order of Virtuti Militari

The medal was made at the request of Stanisław August Poniatowski (1732–1798, date of reign 1764–1795) to honour distinguished officers in the victorious Battle of Zieleńce. In the first statute, the order was named the Order of the Military Cross, and it still remains the highest Polish distinction awarded for military service.

Star of the Order of Saint Stanislaus

The order was established by Stanisław August Poniatowski on 7 May 1765. Until the end of the sovereign Republic of Poland, it was not divided into classes, and it was awarded in a uniform shape.

Wheellock pistol

The exhibit is a representative example of a luxurious, richly decorated firearm. An early type of pistol called the puffer, characterised by the presence of a massive ball at the end of the butt.

Powder horn

The powder horn comes from the collection of Władysław Łoziński in Lviv. It was donated to the Wawel Royal Castle by an antiquary Szymon Szwarc in 1930.

Scale helmet

A helmet created from overlapping circular scales ornamented with rosettes, riveted down to a leather base. On the top, there is a multi-leaf medallion topped with a high tip. The hatband consisting of a few belts of metal sheet is ornamented with a turban made of raspberry-coloured silk and trimmed with golden braid.

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.

“Koncerz” sword with a sheath

A koncerz sword is a type of cold weapon with a characteristic long and thin blade, used for stabbing. In Poland, it was one of elements of weaponry used by the Hussaria cavalry. The presented exhibit is an excellent example of a luxurious armament, characterized not only by its diversity of materials and decorations, but also a combination of a cold weapon with firearm.

Hussar half-armour

The Hussar half-armour was completed in the beginning of the 17th century, and it survived, in an almost unchanged form, up to the middle of the next century. It harmoniously combines both Western European and Eastern traditions. The presented half-armour consists of a breastplate, a backplate with wings, a bevor, a pair of brassards, and a bascinet. All elements are decorated with brass trim and small stamped circles.

Baton

The baton of the Wawel collection is an example of a luxurious ceremonial weapon. It is difficult to establish unambiguously its artistic provenance. In terms of composition and type of ornamentation, it could be classified as a Turkish work. However, its characteristic combination of gold and light blue enamel causes many researchers to believe it to be a Persian work.

Hussar bascinet

A Hussar bascinet was a type of helmet commonly used by the troops of the Polish Hussars, similar to the pappenheimers used in Western Europe. There were a few variants of this helmet: with a tip on the top, a high crest, or fan-like wings on the skull.

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.

Closed helmet

It is an example of a closed helmet that protects the entire head of a soldier. It represents the decadent phase of development of this type of armament, the early days of which date back to the 16th century, when movable face covers started to be fixed to helmets.

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.

Uniform of the Division General Tadeusz Bór-Komorowski, Commander-in-Chief

This uniform is a gift from the General's son — Adam Komorowski. The man who wore this uniform is a perfect illustration of Poland's fate in the1st half of the 20th century. Tadeusz Komorowski a.k.a. Bór was born in 1895. During World War I, he served in the Austro-Hungarian army and then, from 1918, in the Polish army...

RAF flying suit

The flying suit was made of brown wadded satin, closed on the front with a metal zip. Legs from the waist to the lower edges and on the sides are closed with metal zips. Additionally, the suit has an internal pocket...

Drum-like airdrop capsule, the so-called “little cell”

It is one of the elements of the British airdrop capsules, which consisted of a number of segments like this. It has a simple cylinder-like structure fitted with covers. When removed from the container, the cell could be transported by its handles. Museums and private collections include few...

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...

Cap Eagle of the Polish Armed Forces in the West, pattern 40

An eagle produced for soldiers of the Polish Armed Forces in the West in 1942 or later. Its shape refers to the pre-war military eagles, especially the so-called forage cap from the 1930s. It featured a full crown, like the state eagle of 1919. Just like the pre-war...

Aviation cap Eagle of war veterans

The aviation eagle refers to the eagles intended for airmen (based on the military eagle, with stylised Hussar wings). Extruded from alpaca metal sheet with a hook made separately. It differs from eagles...

Podhale Rifles badge

Badge (colloquially known as “korpusówka”) of the Podhale Rifles regiment was introduced in the second half of 1930s . It presents a swastika with shortened bent arms against the background of a stylised fir branch. Embossed from alpaca metal sheet. The swastika is an ancient Indo-European symbol of sun, fire...