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Włocławek cup

The Włocławek cup is the most precious and one of the oldest exhibits of decorative art from the collections at the National Museum in Kraków. It was made in the 1st half of the 10th century, presumably in a workshop located on the territory of Lorraine or Alemannia.

Chasuble of a late Renaissance set of vestments

The chasuble evolved from a Roman outer garment, which was a kind of sleeveless coat with only one small hole for the head. The chasuble was worn during all priestly acts. Beginning in the 13th century, the chasuble began to be shortened on the sides, so that it would not constrict hand movement, until the 17th century, when only two sheets of fabric remained: front and back. At the same time, the chasuble came to be decorated with increasingly rich embroidery.

Baroque chasuble

Chasubles are the outer garments put on by priests in the Roman Catholic rite to conduct a holy mass. Their colouring is of significance and depends primarily on the period of the liturgical year. Nowadays, the rules of using the colours of liturgical vestments are precisely defined in the so-called General Introduction to the Roman Missal.

Cassock and zucchetto of Pope John Paul II

A white cassock with small buttons (just like red shoes) is an everyday Pope’s outfit. White symbolises the purity of body and soul. The history of the papal outfit of that colour dates back to the time of Pope Pius V — a Dominican who, during his pontificate (1566–1577), introduced decisions of the Council of Trent connected, among others, with the renewal of the hierarchy in the Church.

Two small vases ornamented with cranes in flight, placed against a dark blue background

The crane is one of the most important symbols of longevity in many Asian countries. When it is depicted in combination with other symbols, it takes on an additional, slightly different meaning, which is often deeper than the original one. This majestic bird with its beautiful body and feathers has become one of the most important symbols of the culture of Japan, as the Japanese are a people who observe the surrounding nature carefully and draw a lot of inspiration from nature.

Pipe

A clay pipe shod in a nickel silver sheet with a wooden stem. Decorated with an engraved and stamped geometrical ornament and metal rings (zbyrkadła) attached. The pipe cover is finished with an eight-point, cone-shaped, metal pinnacle (cubka) crowned with the figure of a cock (kohutek) cut out of a metal sheet. The stem is connected with a pipe neck with a double chain.

Chasuble of the Lubomirski Foundation

A white chasuble with an embroidered purple column. The type of embroidery dates this back to around 1600. It was made, among the others, with a gold and silver thread and stitches partially on an underlay of silk fabric with a lancé of gold wire. At the bottom of the vestment, the Lubomirski-Szreniawa coat of arms was gently but legibly incorporated into the chasuble column. The jacquard side fabric with a damask effect is from the 19th century.

Chalice

It is the oldest of the dated donations of Casimir the Great for Polish churches. The Roman form of the basic chalice components and some of its motifs (e.g. small rounded arch arcades) coexists here organically with raised Gothic ornamentation, setting this impressive vessel apart from other goldsmith works of the 14th century.

White cucha jacket

White cucha jacket, in local dialect: cucha bioła — a kind of traditional outer clothing worn by men in Podhale. The cucha jacket on display constituted an element of the Sunday best outfit. It was sewn and most likely decorated in 1966 by Czesław Styrczula-Maśniak, a well-known folk tailor from Dzianisz. A year later it was purchased for the collections of the Dr. Tytus Chałubiński Tatra Museum in Zakopane.

Chasuble of Wadowice

A chasuble in a dark red colour with the addition of elements in turquoise and blue with a motif of a six-leaf rose in a net arrangement and pomegranates in the middle. There are two columns (initially a cross-shaped orphrey) sewed on brocade, laced with colourful silk as well as silver and gold threads with flat and satin stitches.

Porcelain salt cellar with a figure of black woman with a basket

This is a figurine-shaped porcelain salt shaker with a container for salt. A very decorative figure of black woman with a basket was created in the oldest European porcelain workshop in Meissen, near Dresden. It was made according to the model developed by Johann Friedrich Eberlein in 1741.

Orava trousers

The presented object is a pair of white baize trousers, Orava (originating from the area of Zubrzyca-Orava) made of white factory-made baize resembling home-spun cloth. One of the characteristic features which also occurs in other outfits of the Carpathian highlanders is two cuts at the waist, called zwory, trimmed with a black cloth trim, the so-called oblamek, with one red stripe of English cloth called wscyp z angliji [lit. an insert from England].

Corset

Corset – an element of the traditional women’s outfit in Podhale, made of home-spun brown fabric with a characteristic triangular indent, the so-called szczytek, cut out in the middle of the top front and back parts. The corset comes from the Dzianisz village in the Podhale region, situated north of Zakopane. It was here that in the years 1887–1893 a highlander named Styrczula sold it to the married couple of collectors, Maria and Bronisław Dembowski. In this way, the presented item entered one of the largest and most interesting 19th-century ethnographic collections from Podhale. In 1922 this collection became the property of the Dr. Tytus Chałubiński Tatra Museum in Zakopane by way of legal bequest.

Highlander’s belt

Highlander’s belt (in local dialect: oposek) Opasek — a highlander’s decorative broad leather money belt tied with several metal buckles. This object comes from the Podhale village of Ząb (named Zubsuche until 1965). It was probably made in the 19th century but its manufacturer, place of completion, and time of last usage, are unknown. In 1961 it was purchased for the ethnographic collections at the Dr Tytus Chałubiński Tatra Museum in Zakopane.

Longcase clock

One of the two twin longcase clocks, decorated with the imitation of green Far Eastern lacquer, comes from the castle in Podhorce, belonging originally to the Rzewuski family and subsequently purchased together with its furnishings by the Sanguszko family. The clock cases distinguish themselves with the pseudo-Chinese decoration painted in gold, enriched with European motifs and “Chinese” figural scenes and landscapes.

Vessel in the shape of the Polish Eagle

At present, the tableware of the Polish royal court is known to us almost exclusively from archive materials. The majority of preserved single items or their designs come from Augsburg – the most important centre of the European goldsmithery in the 17th and 18th centuries. Among these items, the most outstanding is the state set of John Casimir Vasa.

Lajkonik’s costume designed by Stanisław Wyspiański

The costume of Lajkonik, also called the Zwierzyniec Horse, designed by Stanisław Wyspiański in 1904, could be seen in the streets of Kraków until 1963. The costume used today during the annual frolics of Lajkonik is a faithful copy of the displayed exhibit. Although legend associates the origins of Lajkonik celebrations with the Tatar invasions of Kraków in the 13th century, the first ever source reference to it dates back to 1738.

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.

Spoon rack

Spoon rack — a small narrow wooden shelf with holes for spoons, covered in the front with a decoratively carved board, used for storing spoons; hung on the wall of the room. It comes from Józef Lesiecki’s collection created in Zakopane in the years 1912–1914, and was transferred to the collections of the Tatra Museum in 1920.

Velvet corset for Kraków costume

A woman's corset for the Kraków costume from Bronowice, made of velvet, composed of two front parts, and with a flounce sewn on to it on the back, laid in thirteen folds. The front is fastened with hooks and eyes. It has a white lining and is decorated with haberdashery bands of metal gold and silver threads, and decorative buttons, beads, and sequins.