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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.

Wooden sculpture “Pensive Christ”

Small-sized wooden sculpture of the 19th century from the area of the Polish Podtarze region, depicting Pensive Christ. It cost one crown and in 1914 it was purchased in Nowy Targ by Ksawery Prauss, a collector from Zakopane. In 1920, he donated his collection to the Tatra Museum and thus the sculpture, along with 93 other ethnographic objects from Podhale, became part of the museum collection.

Pelmet

The elongated rectangle of maroon velvet consisting of three rectangles sewn together: the largest embroidered one in the centre and two smaller ones attached on its sides, not embroidered. The decoration in a silver and gold-like hue fills in the surface of the central rectangle: a crown flanked by griffins-lions and vases with flowers. Above them, right at the upper edge, runs a one-line Hebrew inscription composed of four divided words: כתר תורה “Crown of the Torah”

Alms pouch

A small pouch made of a long piece of fabric sewn in half, reinforced on the sides with a silk tape, with a binding in the top part and a hole for a string used to tighten and loosen the pouch. At the bottom, there are decorative elements (tassels) consisting of gold circles made of thread and long single tassels. The whole pouch is embroidered with split stitch, long and short stitch and fishbone stitch. On one side, there are four human figures among thin trees with palmate leaves resembling oak leaves. On the other side, the same young woman is being led up a hill by the old man. Although interpretation of the scenes on the alms pouch is not certain, it is most likely they depict episodes from the story of Tristan and Iseult. The tale of unhappy love of brave Tristan to beautiful Iseult, the wife of king Mark of Cornwall, was written down for the first time in the 12th century and has been reappearing since then in many countries and language versions. Scenes embroidered on the pouch, enrooted in the Arthurian tradition, depict the clash of a sophisticated world of courtly ways (young and beautiful lovers) with wild forces of nature (the old men). There are only several alms pouches with similar decorations preserved until now.

Altar of queen Jadwiga’s miraculous crucifix

An altar made of black marble from Dębnik, situated in the south-eastern corner of the ambulatory in the Wawel cathedral. A huge five-axis structure with an expressive, recessed layout, supported by a high, two-storey base. External axes are slightly tilted towards the ambulatory, while the base on internal axes projects towards the ambulatory. In the bottom part, centrally, there is a separated altar stone in the shape of a horizontal rectangle with a niche, in which a bronze reliquary with the remains of queen Jadwiga is placed. Sides of the bases feature panels in the shape of vertical rectangles. Sides of the base feature frames in the shape of vertical rectangles filled with panel made of pink marble from Paczółtowice. Central part in the shape of vertical rectangle with a rectangular niche, topped with a semicircle, with rich-profiled framing. It is flanked by two columns on each side which support massive entablature that dominates the whole structure and strengthens the visual tilt side axes towards the ambulatory. Such a solution adds to the altar's character of a deep aedicula which forms a spectacular setting for the magnificent monument and relic – the miraculous crucifix. A realistic, detailed from all sides, yet unnatural in size figure of crucified Jesus is extremely dynamic and expressive. This result was achieved thanks to asymmetrical composition. The Saviour is hanging facing the right side, with knees pulled up in this direction and head lowered towards the right shoulder.

Ivory casket decorated with scenes from chanson de geste

The casket is cubical in shape and consist of six rectangular ivory plates bound together with metal nails and fittings. The top plate is fitted with hinges and serves as the lid. The front side is fitted with a rectangular lock decorated with an image of a tower and two persons: a woman with a large key in her hand and a man on his knees with his hands joined together. On the lid, there is a metal handle engraved in a diagonal checked pattern filled with simplified flowers. On the side plates, there are twelve figural scenes from medieval chance de geste, while on the lid, there are three court scenes. Narration in all of these images follows from the left to the right. The front side features the following images: Conversation of Alexander the Great with Aristotle, Phyllis and Aristotle, Thisbe and lion, Death of Pyramus and Thisbe, while the back side features: Lancelot fighting a lion, Lancelot crossing the Sword Bridge, Gauvain on the Dangerous Bed and Damsels freed by Gauvain. The left side features: Tristan and Iseult’s Meeting in the Garden, the Hunt of the Unicorn, while the right side features: Enyas’ fight with a savage and Old Porter Welcomes Galahad. The lead features a Knight Tournament in the centre, flanked by two scenes which together depict the motif of Siege of the Castle of Love. The Kraków casket is one of seven so called complex caskets, which can be found in world’s most important collections of medieval art.

Triptych “Family of Mary” from parochial church in Racławice Olkuskie

In the middle part of the triptych, the so-called “family of Maria” has been introduced, a multi-person image, based on the legend of the triple marriage of St. Anna (the Baby Jesus is standing on her knees) and the Blessed Virgin Mary are sitting on the bench in the centre of the painting. Behind the bench and St. Anna...

Sculpture “Pensive Christ”

The theme of a Pensive Christ is one of the most popular ones in folk art. The figure from the Pieniny Mountains Museum collection comes from the village of Sromowce Niżne, the population of which belongs to an ethnographic group of Pieniny highlanders. It was made in 1937 by Michał Plewa, a folk artist.

Torah shield

Rectangular, closed with a trifoliate arch, with the figures of Moses (on the left) and Aaron (on the right), and the Decalogue tables (in the middle), with the initial words of the commandments engraved in Hebrew. The figures of Moses and Aaron are flanked by spiral columns. On their plinths are Hebrew inscriptions marking the date: on the right plinth, תקס ("560"), on the left: לפק (“according to the abbreviated calculation”) [=1800]. In the three-leaf top, three openwork crowns with colourful glasses are attached.

Tabernacle (Kiwot)

The object comes from an Orthodox church in Jastrzębik, a village located to the south-west of Krynica. It is one of the two Orthodox tabernacles owned by the Museum in Nowy Sącz. These are extremely rare and valuable exhibits due to the time of their creation and rich painting decoration.

Sculpture “St. Nicholas”

Saint Nicholas lived at the turn of the 3rd and 4th centuries and was the bishop of the city of Mira (in the southern part of Asia Minor), which is why he is presented iconographically in garments and with insignia corresponding to his episcopal rank (compare with the figure of Saint Nicholas in the Triptych of Saint Mary Magdalene from Moszczenica Niżna near Stary Sącz).

Hanukkah lamp

The eight-branched candelabrum made in honour of the Hanukkah festival – the victorious Maccabean Revolt. The festival – recorded in the books of Tanakh (Hebrew Bible) – is over 2,000 years old.

Hanukkah synagogal candelabrum

Candelabrum, synagogal, nine-branched. Supported on a flat base, tapering in a bell-like shape to the top. A multi-levelled stem, finely profiled, with four pairs of branches fixed in the sockets cut in its flat elements. The branches are slightly flattened, curved and finished with a trifoliate at the bottom.

Short stole of a late Renaissance set of vestments

The short stole, like the longer stole from the same set of vestments, was made of red silk satin with a floral pattern brocaded with a gold thread. The end is trimmed with a gold 1.2 cm wide border (galloon) with a geometric pattern. It was decorated with crosses made of gold border at the ends and in the central part. In addition, in the 20th century, a collar made of a piece of lace was sewn in the middle.

Long stole of a late Renaissance set of vestments

The stole is part of the liturgical vestment worn during the liturgy of many Christian Churches. This long strip of fabric is placed around the priest’s neck, and its ends fall freely on the chest (in the case of a deacon it is put on diagonally: from the left shoulder to the right side). A stole has been used since the beginning of the Middle Ages as an element included in the set of vestments. It symbolizes the priesthood as God’s yoke.

Chalice and Paten

The chalice was a gift for John Paul II from the President of Senegal, Abdou Dioufan, presented to the Holy Father during his pilgrimage to Senegal from 19 February to 23 February 1992.

Kiddush goblet

Kiddush translates from Hebrew as “sanctification.” The ceremony is celebrated at the beginning of the Sabbath and other holidays, by saying a special blessing over a cup of red sweet wine (or red grape juice).

Throne for a church monstrance

A Baroque architectural throne for a church monstrance. A Baroque framing decorated with an auricular style ornament as well as a radiant halo consisting of rays alternately straight or curved. At the sides are two allegorical figures, at the finial of the framing are two figures of angels.

Sculpture “Our Lady with Baby Jesus”, Kurpie region

This sculpture made of a single block of wood depicts the Virgin Mary with Child. The sculpture is unique as regards depictions of Madonna with Child in the folk art of the Kurpiowszczyzna region.

Sculpture “Jesus Christ Sitting on the Palm Sunday Donkey”

The sculpture, coming from the parish church of St. Sigismund in Szydłowiec, constitutes an extraordinary dramatic exhibit used during processions of going to church on Palm Sunday as to a symbol of Jerusalem. Christ, in a firmly upright position, is raising his right hand in a gesture of blessing.