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Mug with a cover

European goldsmithing between the 16th and the 18th century reached an unprecedented artistic and technical level, which was largely due to German masters operating mostly in the chief goldsmithing centre — Augsburg. Thanks to their mass production and high artistic class, goldsmith products from Augsburg soon dominated the markets of Central and Eastern Europe.

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.

Tower table clock

The diverse form and rich ornamentation of the clock place it among the best works of the Augsburg watchmakers of the turn of the 16th and 17th centuries.

Soup vase with a monogram of Prince Eustachy Erazm Sanguszko

Sets of tableware were initially assembled of objects made in a different style, time, and places. Only in the 17th and 18th centuries uniformly decorated tableware, known today as services, began to appear. Until the beginning of the 19th century, there were no strict rules determining what dishes should be included in such a set; therefore, they were put together according to current fashions or the personal preference of the person ordering them...

Set of twelve spoons with busts of the Apostles and the Szeliga and Przeginia coats of arms

The preserved Polish inventories dating back to the 16th and 17th centuries inform of a rather high number of silver and gold spoons being the property of the royal court, the Polish aristocracy, the nobility and the bourgeoisie.

Feretory depicting St. Anne and Christ crowned

The monument dates back to the1st half of the 18th century and comes from a wooden church in Szczawnica, which was built in 1550 and demolished in 1894. The procession float which can be found in the collection of the Pieniny Museum is placed on a base in the shape of an elongated rectangle, wound around with a plait.

“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.

Bottle in the shape of a castle

Made of colourless glass, the perfume bottle has the surprising shape of a castle. The stopper, made of gilded glass, constitutes its roof. The style of the castle’s architectural form is the so-called French costume – a neo-Renaissance style with elements of Baroque, characteristic of the 2nd half of the 19th century.

Enamelled vase

A large vase with a hemispherical goblet coated with cloisonné enamel. According to its donor, the vase comes from the Summer Palace of Beijing from the era of the Chinese emperors of the Qing dynasty. It was destroyed in 1860, and then again in 1900.

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 court scene

The fan is made of a hand-painted fabric. In the fan’s folds, richly decorated fields with various floral patterns featuring a palette of blues and pinks, coloured using paint gouache, arranged vertically, are clearly visible. Through the floral compositions, there diamond-shaped ornaments, sewn in using golden thread, with the addition of sequins and beads at the corners. Along the fan, runs a strip of alternating brown and azure-blue panels, with white and pink flowers running respectively, in various compositions.

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.

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.

Small vase “kantharos”

In the Korzec collection in Tarnów, which numbers 450 inventory items, a small vase of the kantharos type deserves special attention. Vases of this type served as decorations and were produced on the occasion of anniversaries or other events. The excellent quality of the product and the elegance of its form and decorations prove the high level of manufacturing quality in the 1st two decades of the 19th century. In Polish museum collections, a similar small vase can be found in the collection of the National Museum in Warsaw.

Ivory casket decorated with scenes from chanson de geste

The casket is cubical in shape and consist of six rectangular ivory plates bound together with metal nails and fittings. The top plate is fitted with hinges and serves as the lid. The front side is fitted with a rectangular lock decorated with an image of a tower and two persons: a woman with a large key in her hand and a man on his knees with his hands joined together. On the lid, there is a metal handle engraved in a diagonal checked pattern filled with simplified flowers. On the side plates, there are twelve figural scenes from medieval chance de geste, while on the lid, there are three court scenes. Narration in all of these images follows from the left to the right. The front side features the following images: Conversation of Alexander the Great with Aristotle, Phyllis and Aristotle, Thisbe and lion, Death of Pyramus and Thisbe, while the back side features: Lancelot fighting a lion, Lancelot crossing the Sword Bridge, Gauvain on the Dangerous Bed and Damsels freed by Gauvain. The left side features: Tristan and Iseult’s Meeting in the Garden, the Hunt of the Unicorn, while the right side features: Enyas’ fight with a savage and Old Porter Welcomes Galahad. The lead features a Knight Tournament in the centre, flanked by two scenes which together depict the motif of Siege of the Castle of Love. The Kraków casket is one of seven so called complex caskets, which can be found in world’s most important collections of medieval art.

Triptych “Family of Mary” from parochial church in Racławice Olkuskie

In the middle part of the triptych, the so-called “family of Maria” has been introduced, a multi-person image, based on the legend of the triple marriage of St. Anna (the Baby Jesus is standing on her knees) and the Blessed Virgin Mary are sitting on the bench in the centre of the painting. Behind the bench and St. Anna...

Apothecary jar for the dissected human skull

Słój apteczny jest wykonany ze szkła mlecznego, z dekoracją w stylu rokoko (II poł. XVIII w.). Szyldzik okala złoty pierścień ozdobiony czerwonobrunatnym, spiętym w środku wianuszkiem. W środku napis wykonany dwubarwną majuskułą: „CRAN: HUMN: PPT”, czyli „czaszka ludzka...

Signboard with movable types (the Foltin family)

The signboard promoted services and products offered by Leon Foltin, who was a car mechanic and an enthusiast of motorisation in the pre-war period in Wadowice. He descended from the famous family of printers who, for almost 100 years, formed the publishing and bookselling market in Wadowice. Three members of the Foltin family with the Franciszek name — grandfather, father and grandson — cherished the printing and publishing tradition in the town.

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.