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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.

Sculpture “First whispers of love” (“Whispers of love”, “Secrets of love”) by Wiktor Brodzki

The scene shows the goddess Aphrodite leaning her head towards a winged Cupid to listen to what he wants to say to her. The goddess’s enigmatic smile suggests the frivolous character of the conversation. The artistic virtuosity: flawlessly smooth moulding and details rendered carefully are the typical features of Wiktor Brodzki’s sculptures.

Aset-iri-khet-es sarcophagus

The sarcophagus made of sycamore wood was found during the excavations conducted in 1907 in el-Gamhud by the first Polish Egyptologist, Tadeusz Smoleński. It is a “belly coffin” type of sarcophagus; an anthropoid one, with a flat bottom and a convex lid. The head of the coffin is covered with a blue wig. The breasts are decorated with a semi-circular necklace finished with falcon heads, topped with solar disks.

Sculpture “Mercury about to kill Argos” by Bertel Thorvaldsen

The sculpture was purchased by Artur Potocki in 1829 from Thorvaldsen’s atelier in Rome. In 1830, it was located in the palace in Krzeszowice, and since 1945 it has been in the National Museum in Kraków. Along with Antonio Canova of Italy, Bertel Thorvaldsen of Denmark was the most outstanding Neoclassical sculptors. The subject of this work was drawn from the Metamorphoses by Ovid (book I ).

Sculpture “Young Centaur (Smiling Centaur)”

The Centaur sculpture is a copy of one of two marble sculptures found in Rome in 1736, during excavation works in Hadrian's Villa, but substantially reduced in size. At present, the Furietti Centaurs, named after their discoverer, Giuseppe Alessandro Furietti, can be found in the Capitoline Museums in Rome.

Sculpture “Old Centaur”

The Centaur sculpture is a copy of one of two marble sculptures found in Rome in 1736, during excavation works in Hadrian's Villa, but substantially reduced in size. At present, the Furietti Centaurs, named after their discoverer, Giuseppe Alessandro Furietti, can be found in the Capitoline Museums in Rome.

Mantelpiece clock with a figure of Apollo

An example of a clock in the shape of a figure, a popular style of mantelpiece clock in the 2nd half of the 18th century. It depicts Apollo with a lyre and a laurel wreath on his head, sitting on the top of an obelisk containing the mechanism of an anchor escapement and a mainspring.

“Hera of Samos” – a plaster cast of an antique sculpture

The present plaster cast is a copy of an ancient Greek statue stored in the Louvre. The sculpture was discovered in 1875 on the sacred road leading to the heraion (temple of the goddess Hera) on the island of Samos. In 1881, the statue was appropriated and taken to the Louvre, where it is still currently stored (Inventory No. Ma 686). The plaster cast from the collections of the Museum of the Academy of Fine Arts was made in the Louvre, as evidenced by a metal plate with the inscription “Musée du Louvre” on the back of the plaster figure.

Mithraic relief

The object presented here comes from Carnuntum, the Roman army camp and city situated on the Danube between Vienna and Bratislava. The bas-relief depicts a scene of a bull being killed by Mithra. The deity, dressed in a Roman tunica and wearing a Phrygian cap, is kneeling and supporting the animal with his left knee.

Pharmaceutical scale with Asclepius

The base of the scales is a wooden box with three drawers, covered with a marble top. The arms of the scales are made of coloured metal and hung on a zinc-aluminium statue of the god of medicine, Asclepius.

Carriage clock

Travel clocks, also called carriage clocks, were produced in many European watchmaker workshops from the 2nd half of the 17th century. Around the year 1700, Friedberg became the most important centre of their production, and they were mainly intended for export to Paris and London.

“Aphrodite of Milos” – a plaster cast of an antique sculpture

Normal 0 21 false false false PL X-NONE X-NONE /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:Standardowy; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman","serif"; border:none;} The original Greek statue was found in 1820 on the Cycladic island of Milos (ancient Greek: Μῆλος, pronounced: Mêlos modern Greek: Μήλος, pronounced: Mýlos) and purchased by Marquis de Rivière, who, back then, was the ambassador of France in Istanbul. He gave the sculpture to Louis XVIII, who, in the following year, handed it over to the Louvre, where it remains to this day. The Aphrodite of Milos became part of the French national collection of antiques, which was to compete with the collections of the British Museum, slightly earlier enriched with the Elgin Marbles: sculptures and reliefs imported from the Acropolis in Athens by Thomas Bruce, 7th Earl of Elgin.

Painting “Jupiter, Mercury and Virtue (Aurora?)” by Dosso Dossi

The artist took the theme from the dialogue of the gods, placed in Virtus, a work of Leon Battista Alberti. Virtue wants to complain about Fortune and the plight of the humans, but Jupiter does not listen to her, as he does not want to enter into a dispute with Fortune. The painting, which is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful and interesting paintings, also in terms of iconography, was painted for Alfonso d'Este, Duke of Ferrara.

Corn mummy with a wax mask of Osiris

The object was purchased from Mohareb Zaaki by soldiers of the Polish Independent Carpathian Rifle Brigade during WW II. The mummy has a gilded wax mask. The sarcophagus with the head of Horus and a striated wig on the breast bear the necklace composed of a chapel with Ibis inside.

Aset-iri-khet-es mummy cartonnage

The gilded cartonnage was found during the excavations conducted in 1907 in el-Gamhud by the first Polish Egyptologist, Tadeusz Smoleński. The openwork cartonnage is made up of several layers of linen stuck together. On the front and on the reverse, chalk undercoat was placed as the base for polychrome.

Pharmaceutical scale

On a wooden box with three drawers covered with a top made of white marble stands a zinc-aluminium alloy statuette. It depicts the goddess Hygeia with a snake wrapped around her hand, dressed in an antique gown.

Corn-mummy with silver mask of Osiris

“Pseudo-mummy”, formed of Nile silt mixed with resin and germinating seeds, molded and then wrapped in linen bandages. Silver mask with traces of gilding in the place of the face. Eyes marked with drawn out corners, eyebrows painted brown, small nose and prominent ears. The crown of Upper Egypt on its head and a hole for the beard in the chin. Silver masks, unlike the waxen ones, are extremely rare in this kind of objects.

Mummy of a cat

Mummy was carefully wrapped in resinated bandage, the crossing bands created a geometrical pattern. The upper part was formed to resemble the head of a cat with all details being marked on it. X-ray made of the mummy have revealed no mummified remains under the bandages; inside are bones of an animal. In order to provide stiffness the cat's skeleton was stiffed by a stick. Animals were mummified in Egypt for different reasons. A haunch from an ox or some other animal, dipped in salt and wrapped in bandages, was put in a wooden coffin of appropriate shape to serve as food for the deceased in the Netherworld. Mummified pets – monkeys, dogs, even gazelles and ducks – were placed inside the funerary chamber, sometimes inside the coffin with their dead owner.

Aset-iri-khet-es mummy

With over two thousand years mummy comes from the excavations carried out in 1907 in el-Gamhud by the first Polish Egyptologist, Tadeusz Smoleński. The goddess Isis – Aset-iri-khet-es – lies in a sarcophagus with an impressive lid. Through research conducted in 1996 it found that it was a young woman who died approx. two thousand 300 years ago as a result of blood loss caused by arterial puncture fractured leg. Specialists able to determine, among others, the genetic code of the deceased and her blood type. It is the largest in terms of the size of the object from the collection of Egyptology in Poland and is best examined by specialists.

Figurine of sitting ibis (small)

This well-made figurine represents a sitting ibis with big head on arched neck, long beak and claws. The details of the beak and legs, as well as of the feathers, are engraved. An ornamental collar (?) masks the junction of...