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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.

Zofia Kulik, “All the Missiles Are One Missile”

Photomontage using combination print. The composition is made through repeated imprinting of one or more negatives on an appropriately masked paper. Zofia Kulik’s collages are complex visual texts. Each carries a message that has been carefully devised and executed.

Pistol with circular lock

Today, most researchers believe that Leonardo da Vinci — whose drawings were developed technically and used practically in Germany at the beginning of the 16th century — was the first proponent of the idea of a wheel-lock, which led to the construction of the first wheel-lock, which, in turn, made it possible to popularize short guns, otherwise known as pistols.

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.

Welcoming goblet of tailors' guild

The welcoming Goblet is one of Kraków's most valuable guild relics, preserved at the National Museum in Kraków. It was submitted to the museum on 19 September 1905, by the Association of Tailor's Companions, along with a collection of souvenirs belonging to the tailors' guild: a guild counter, a bell, a tray, and a crucifix.

Woman’s fan

The fan, originally designed as a cooling device, was elevated in modern times to a symbol of dignity. Over time, it became a very fashionable element of female attire. On the other hand, fan gestures became a conventional code used by men and women to communicate and flirt at the court.

Fan with a tortoiseshell holder

The fan is made of paper/leather, painted to show depictions of garden scenes in three separate fields. In the central, largest field, a scene containing a depiction of drinking tea in a garden has been painted. Two ladies are talking with an officer in a blue uniform at a set table. In the background, a garden wall and vegetation are visible.

Fan with a romantic scene

The fan is made of paper, with an ivory handle and ribbing. On the paper, there are scenes drawn using a visual technique, painted with gouache. The main scene on the fan shows a couple embracing on a bridge in an English garden. At the couple’s feet, a cupid is pointing to a rose. An expansive landscape including an aerial view, turning into an amply painted gold ornament featuring vegetal tendrils with purple flowers constitutes the scene’s background.

Renaissance apothecary mortar from 1562

In pharmacies, mortars were used to crush a variety of substances and to make certain forms of prescription drugs, such as: emulsions, ointments and powders. The presented mortar comes from 1562. It has a conical shape and is made of bronze. Its decoration is a plant motif – acanthus leaves – with the year 1562 placed among them. An additional ornament...

Jewel Box

This large container with a low barrel-shaped belly, a wide neck and an attached hemispherical lid with an arched handle is decorated with an engraved geometrical and plant ornament. These decorations are based on an adherence to the principles of symmetry and harmony according to Quran teachings. The container was made with great attention paid to its appearance and beauty as it is to be a reflection of a better world and to bring good luck.

Tapestry Bearing the Arms of Poland and Lithuania and the figure of Ceres

The tapestry is part of a group of twelve textiles with the coats of arms of Poland and Lithuania against a background of ornamentation called Netherlandish grotesque. It belongs to a subgroup in which the coats of arms of both parts of the Commonwealth are entrusted to the care of the Roman goddess Ceres – a patron of peace, abundance and prosperity. The slender female figure in robes, modelled on clothing of ancient statues, holds a sickle and cornucopia, and stands in the middle on a marble podium. The sickle in her hand and a wreath of grain ears on her head bring associations with summer – the season of harvest, while the cornucopia symbolises prosperity.

Tapestry with the Monogram of Sigismund Augustus in Medallion

A tapestry of the same size and the same function as the tapestry with the Monogram of Sigismund Augustus in Cartouche. It belongs to a group of three monogram grotesques with the initials SA inscribed within an oval medallion. In the middle of the composition, there is a blue convex medallion with the entwined initials SA under a closed crown, placed against a background of a drapery supported by two angels sitting on crosspieces of a metal frame (a motif typical of Netherlandish grotesque).

Essence Naïs perfume in a case

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Biedermeier-style perfume bottle with pink and black bevels

The Biedermeier-style glass perfume bottle is finished with a bevelled, sharp-tipped stopper. The body of the vessel, in the form of an inverted pyramid with a bevelled top, ends in a base shaped like a flower with lapidary cuts.

Biedermeier-style glass perfume bottle

This glass perfume bottle takes the form of a bulky cuboid decanter with a short neck and a stopper. The body of the vessel is bevelled, with concavities at the corners.

Silver salt cellar with a figure of a boy pushing the sled

This silver salt shaker, in the shape of a boy pushing a sled, is actually a miniature sculpture. It evokes admiration for the precision of the 19th century artist from Frankfurt, who, in the microscopic scale of a few centimeters, was able to develop numerous, intricate details and decorations.

Miniature heart-shaped bottle

The silver heart-shaped bottle was intended for storing fragrances. On one side of the vessel, a decorative entwined monogram has been engraved (initials “RC” or “CR”?), topped by a crown. The motif is placed in a frame consisting of a decorative border featuring a simple ornament composed of triangles and matching the shape of the heart.

Silver bottle with an engraving

The bottle, with a fanciful shape, features a body with the cross-section of a multifoil, with a high neck and a high, wooden stopper on the wall of the bottle, there is a herbal cartouche in the frame of a rich rocaille ornament.

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.

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.