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“Kaflak” table clock

Spring clocks, which were invented in the 15th century, have improved with time. Gradually they were constructed smaller and smaller, and at the beginning of the 16th century they were of such a size that they could be placed on the table. One of popular types of such clocks was a horizontal timer with a mechanism placed in a polygonal, flat casing with a horizontal disc on the top.

Welcoming cup of Sword Bearers' Guild

A welcoming goblet is a cup, often made of tin, which was used to raise solemn toasts by guild members. The opportunity could be, for example, to welcome a craftsman coming from another city to the guild (hence the name of “welcoming goblet” from the German wilkommen — to greet) or a free journeyman (official admission to the masters). The joint celebration of religious ceremonies also ended with a common feast of guild members at the guild's inn.

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.

Welcoming goblet

Welcome cup was a decorative container for drinking beer in guild inns during important celebrations. Its Polish name wilkom comes from the German greeting willkommen [welcome]. Each newly arrived guest had to empty the cup filled with an alcoholic beverage in honour of the guild. The production of such cups developed in Germany in the 2nd half of the 16th century, and later spread throughout Europe.

Confirmation of the statute of the Grand Guild in Koszyce issued by Stefan Batory

The document is the confirmation of the statute of the Grand Guild of Koszyce by the king, issued a year earlier by the city council, which is also presented on our website.

Statute of the Great Guild in Koszyce given by the City Council

The City Council, the mayor and his deputy played a significant role in the development and functioning of the city. The City Council had the right to issue statutes of guilds.

Manuscript “Charter of shoemakers’ guild”

The charter of the shoemakers’ guild is laced with a parchment stripe at the bottom. It is a legal document regulating the structure and tasks of this guild in the town of Gorlice. It was drawn up in Latin. The existence of the charter of the shoemakers’ guild in the 2nd half of the 15th century (the year of 1450) showed the high position of the town with a perfectly developing craftsmanship, and — what followed — the functioning of guilds.

Furriers' guild chest in Myślenice

The presented exhibit belonged to the Guild of Furriers, which has a centuries-old tradition in Myślenice, dating back to the Middle Ages. The guild chest was a richly decorated chest, whose decoration displayed elements usually associated with a given craft and which was used for storing valuable utensils, such as ceremonial cups, documents, and seals.

Chest of the shoemakers’ guild in Kęty

The guild chest, often also called “the mother”, was the most important object for the guild brothers. It was connected with the functions it performed. First of all, it was a treasury, in which statutes, books, and other important documents were filed, and money and guild jewels were often hidden in its cleverly hidden secret box. Shoemakers in Kęty were exceptionally dynamic; they sought to conquer the neighbouring markets with their excellent products and succeeded in so doing.

Chest of the millers and bakers guild in Kęty

The guild chest was also called the treasury, counter or mother. This one, belonging to the guild of millers and bakers in Kęty, is made of sycamore wood and comes from the beginning of the nineteenth century. In contrast to the other guild chests from Kęty, it is simple in form; neither is there any hidden box nor decorative painting inside. What distinguishes it, are the beautiful fittings that make it appear very impressive.

Chest of the tailors’ guild and related guilds in Kęty

The tailors’ guild chest is the oldest guild chest in the collection of the Aleksander Kłosiński Museum in Kęty. Tailors from Kęty set up one of the oldest guilds in town. Also, the oldest surviving charter issued by King Sigismund Augustus in 1558, mentioning the guild chest belonging to them. Unfortunately, the chest from that period has not survived, but a chest somewhat younger, made in 1792, belongs to the museum collection.

Cooper’s guid chest

The chest is made of oak, with inlaid work made of ash. The inlaid work presents two angels, and between them there is a wooden bathtub (on the lid) and two mallets, callipers, and an axe (on the front wall). There are metal handles on the sides of the chest, and, in the middle, there is a compartment for guild privileges.

Chest of the furierrs’ guild in Kęty

Kęty was a well-known handicraft centre. Furriers were also well-known among the many representatives of handicrafts cultivated here. They set up their own guild, which hat makers and tailors later joined. The museum's patron, Aleksander Kłosiński, also came from a furrier family and knew guild customs well. The furrier’s chest was probably made in the first half of the nineteenth century.

Seal of Koszyce

The seal of Koszyce imprinted in green wax, hanging on a parchment belt attached to a document probably issued for coopers in Koszyce. In the stamp field, there is a figure of Saint Stanislaus — another symbol of the town, along with two little baskets.

Stamp of the drapers’ guild

On 30 March 1615, Mikołaj Spytek Ligęza, the heir to Bobrek and Chrzanów, approved the articles of the guild of Chrzanów drapers, establishing, e.g., the rights and duties of the guild members. This charter is stored in the museum collection (just like the charter issued by Andrzej Samuel Dembiński in 1642). The document says, among others, that capmakers, shearers, dyers, hosiers and fullers could also belong to the guild of Chrzanów drapers, as they all used wool in their products, just like drapers did.

“Obesłanie” – metal plate bearing the emblem of the grand guild of Tarnów

One common object which was very useful in the life of a guild was the obesłanie – a sign used to authenticate transferred messages. The Obesłanie was used by a messenger when he had to pass a message from the guild elders to other members of the guild. They were informed of all important issues concerning the guild: meetings, funerals, celebrations and the like, and obesłanie had a similar function to a contemporary membership card.

“Obesłanie” – wooden plate bearing the emblem of the guild of the carpenters in Koszyce

Obesłanie of the guild of carpenters in Koszyce depicts an eagle on one side, and the Eye of Providence as well as carpentry tools on the other: a protractor, compass, plane and the inscription: “.Year. 1546 .”

“Obesłanie” – wooden plate bearing the emblem of the guild

Obesłanie (plate bearing an emblem of a guild) was a characteristic element existing in the organisation of individual guilds. It was a sign used to authenticate the message being conveyed. If a messenger summoning, for example, guild members to a meeting, had an obesłanie with him, it was used to confirm that the message was from the guild master. Without this sign, the information was considered unreliable.

Monstrance of the Branicki foundation

The late-Gothic monstrance – silver and gilded – goes in harmony with the style of the church in Niepołomice, whose Gothic character was enriched with Renaissance Branicki’s chapel. The Renaissance motifs – floral and geometric ornaments, figures of saints, putti or coat of arms – look good on the medieval architectural design, decorated with delicate pinnacles and finials. The Branicki family was concerned about the church accessories of the parish church in Niepołomice, that is why church utensils, canonicals and liturgical vessels funded by them.

Counter of the guild of red tanners, leather dressers and glove makers

A wooden cuboid counter with a flat cover belonged to the guild of craftsmen specialising in processing animal skin and the production of leather items. Red tanners owed their name to the oak bar used in tanning, which gave the skin a red tone. Leather dressers delicately tanned skins for gloves and clothes with an alum solution.