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Esther’s scroll in a cover

Megilla it's a parchment scroll with a Hebrew manuscript of the Book. It was designed for individual reading at home and in a synagogue in the period of the early spring holiday of Purim.

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.

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.

Gothic chalice

At the beginning of 1657, the lands of southern Poland were invaded by George II Rakoczi’s army of 40 thousand soldiers. The army was supposed to give support to the Swedish headquarters in Kraków. The vicinity of Kraków was doomed by the presence of the new invaders.

Horn of Salt Diggers Brotherhood of Wieliczka

The horn of Salt Diggers Brotherhood of Wieliczka is a unique Renaissance work of art commemorating the past wealth of Kraków salt mines. It is the only historical object of such preserved in Poland — the genuine horn of an aurochs (the species that became extinct in Poland in the 17th century, the ancestor of cattle), precisely framed in silver embedded in various golden ornaments.

Chalice and paten

The chalice was made in a Roman workshop around 1360. It is set on a ten-leaved foot base with a pedestal, decorated with a geometric decoration strip. The chalice foot is covered with a smooth coat, with an applied medallion containing an engraved coat of arms surrounded by laurel leaves in the field and on the opposite side of the coat with an enamelled cameo showing a Crucifixion Group. The upper base is finished with a ring with a strip of geometric decoration analogous to the base.

Silver cup designed by Jan Matejko

The collection of the Historical Museum of the City of Kraków features an interesting 19th-century goblet of unknown history. According to tradition, it was associated with the figure of Jan Matejko. The silver goblet has a lid made in a historic style, with its form and decoration resembling Gothic chalices.

Cabinet with pictures of saints

This piece of furniture is an example of the small cabinets that were popular in the 2nd half of the 17th and the 1st half of the 18th century. Its typical elements include a small wooden body with a folding door, small drawers, a hiding place, and a metal open-work decoration on the sides made of engraved iron sheet with a set of stylised plant motifs, figures of people, angels, and animals.

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).

Astronomical monstrance clock

This is the most precious clock in the Wawel collection clocks. It has a unique, impressive form and a complicated mechanism. The clock's case resembles a monstrance, with the clock dial, held by a kneeling mermaid, replacing the nimbus.

Hunting arquebus

Hunting arquebus with a wheel-lock, after Jan Klemens Branicki (1689–1771), the Grand Hetman of the Crown. Old-time hunting, being an elite form of entertainment for the highest levels of society, required an adequate frame, created by, e.g., luxurious firearms. This kind of weapon was usually made from precious materials and artfully decorated in a style typical of the epoch.

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.

Ring of the Kraków’s mayors

The date of creation was engraved inside the golden hoop of the ring: 1532. The octagonal sapphire stone of the ring is decorated with Kraków’s coat of arms made in a concave relief. The ring was the symbol of the mayor’s power, and also served as a city seal. The stone needed to be made from a hard, abrasion-resistant material.

Little sceptre of the Kraków's mayors

The sceptre was a symbol of the mayors of Kraków. The form of a sceptre symbolizes power, and this refers to royal sceptres or those of university rectors. It was made of silver, and some of the elements were gilded. The lower part of the handle has a hexagonal cross section, the upper part is round, separated by convex rings. The bead of the head is topped with a disc and finished with an openwork frieze of lilies.

Megillat Esther binding

The Megillat Esther binding is a case for storing a parchment scroll of the Book of Esther. The Biblical Book of Esther tells the story of how Esther, the wife of the Persian King Ahasuerus, thwarted the plans of Minister Haman aiming to annihilate the Jews who inhabited the Persian Empire. To commemorate these events, on the 14th and 15th day of the month of Adar the Jews celebrate the joyful holiday of Purim.

Persian bowl

This bowl sits on a high base with a hemispherical goblet that opens up at the rim. Featuring white-metallised and decorated with a broad inscribed strip filled with geometrical and inscriptional black polish and set against a background of a delicate plant. There is an inscription written in italicised Arabic script with Nastaliq calligraphy and with a niche separating the beginning from the end. Inside it, there is an Arabic inscription praising Allah, always placed at the end of the sacred text.

Pitcher of the City Council of Tarnów

Among the memorabilia of the old town authorities stored in the collection of the Museum in Tarnów, a special place is occupied by a set of three identical tin jugs. These vessels were created in Gdańsk in 1639, probably in the workshop of the master Assmus Virian.

Model of “Kraków” locomotive

The model of the “Kraków” locomotive is one of the most interesting exhibits in the collection of the Bractwo Kurkowe [Brotherhood of the Rooster]. It is a model of a steam locomotive with the 1B axis system (one rolling axis in the front and two drive connected axes—average-size wheels). Such a steam locomotive was provided by the Borsig factory in Berlin in 1847 for the Kraków–Upper Silesian Railway and was designed for cargo transport.

Salt cellar in the shape of an elongated cup

This silver salt shaker, in the shape of an elongated bowl, which is decorated at the edge with an openwork strip of plants, is the work of a high-class goldsmith. It was made in France in pre-revolutionary times, in Paris in the years 1786–1787, by the goldsmith, Jean-Baptiste-François Chéret. The precise determination of the authorship, time, and place of the creation of this work is possible thanks to the marking, which, in the past, was to testify the occurrence of precious metal, and nowadays is the source of information about the history of the object; its interpretation, however, often requires detective work.

Tenaculum — stand for apothecary scales

Statyw, tzw. tenaculum, na którym zawieszano niewielkie wagi ręczne, pochodzi ze szpitalnej, klasztornej apteki oo. bonifratrów w Pilchowicach. Apteka została otwarta w 1819 roku, a statyw, jak wynika z napisów na nim umieszczonych, został ufundowany dla apteki w roku 1820...