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Zakopane style cupboard

Wojciech Brzega was a designer of furniture which can be found in the collection of the Pieniny Museum, and which was made in the Zakopane style at the request of Jan Wiktor, a writer. The most impressive exhibit is an oak sideboard. It is one of the elements of a full set of furniture in the Zakopane style which can be found in the Pieniny Museum.

Wrought padlock, Samson Eight Lever

The American padlock Samson Eight Lever. How did it end up in the Świątniki Museum? It bears traces of levering up the sheet metal. Somebody probably wanted to check how its mechanism worked. Initially, padlock makers from Świątniki watched how others did it. On the basis of the knowledge gained in this way, they created their own mechanisms, being a compilation of those peeped at others.

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.

Wheellock pistol

The exhibit is a representative example of a luxurious, richly decorated firearm. An early type of pistol called the puffer, characterised by the presence of a massive ball at the end of the butt.

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.

Wedding chest

The chest was part of the dowry of a bride. The girl held in it her dowry – festive shirts, petticoats, skirts, aprons, scarves, true coral beads, homemade linen, and sometimes embroidered tablecloths. When it was “moved” to her husband's house, the lid of the chest was opened so that the neighbours could see the gathered dowry.

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.

Typewriter “Picht”

The “Picht” machine is a Braille typewriter adapted for the blind, invented by Oskar Picht in 1899. Its production began three years later. The first single copies of typewriters for the blind had beene created earlier (since the 18th century), but they allowed correspondence only with the sighted. The development of the journal for the blind by Louis Braille in 1825, disseminated in the 2nd half of the 19th century, created new opportunities that were used by the inventor—and later the director ꟷ of the centre for the blind in Bydgoszcz, Oskar Picht.

Toy “Wooden locomotive”

This wooden steam train was made by Tadeusz Matusiak in the German prison camp, Luckenwalde (Stalag III-A), in 1944. Tadeusz Matusiak, who was born in Kęty in 1907, was a house painter by profession; from an early age, he painted pictures and carved in wood with great passion. He was a very talented artist.

Tournament armour

The tournament armour is compiled of several suits of West-European armours created in the mid-16th century. Its basic parts are the cuirass, collarbone guard, and pads and thigh guards made by the best armourers from southern Germany. The breastplate with the fishbone and goose — that is a protrusion in the stomach area — has vertical stripes with an etched motif of a floral twig entwined over a panoply and musical instruments.

Top of a chapel built after the Swedish Deluge

This consists of metal element from the top of a chapel, built in 1664. Ten years earlier, Gorlice had been burned down and its inhabitants largely murdered by a Transylvanian army, who laid waste to the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth from the south during the Swedish Deluge.

The tombstone of king Władysław I the Short

The circumstances in which Władysław I Łokietek’s gravestone was founded remain unknown. The artistic form of the tomb was mentioned for the first time as late as in Annals of the Famous Kingdom of Poland by Jan Długosz : his body is buried in the cathedral church by the main altar, to the left, in a tomb of white marble adorned with sculptures and a canopy, in front of St. Władysław’s altar, which he, in his lifetime, ordered to be built and furnished. St. Władysław’s altar mentioned here was actually founded by Łokietek’s son – Kazimierz the Great – most likely soon after 1333.

The tombstone of king Kazimierz IV Jagiellończyk

Kazimierz IV’s tomb is one of the most spectacular pieces of late gothic art. On the one hand, it clearly refers to a local tradition started by Władysław I Łokietek’s tombstone; on the other hand, it comprised of a number of unique iconographic solutions that exhibit erudition of local intellectual circles. The king lies on the top slab of the tomb, but his figure is presented in an utterly exceptional way. It is an extremely expressive and veristic image because the ruler was captured in agony. What is more, unlike the earlier royal tombs in Kraków, Kazimierz IV is dressed in a clergyman’s robe, which was used only for a coronation ceremony. The richly draped cope, clasped at the chest with a magnificent brooch, attracts special attention. It is a singular image with no analogical piece found so far. It is most often interpreted within the scope of patristics of the early Christian Church; the king’s physical death was juxtaposed with the birth of the soul to eternal life.

The tombstone of king Kazimierz III the Great

Kazimierz III’s (Casimir the Great’s) tombstone was sculpted in red limestone from the Hungarian town of Esztergom, which has been traditionally called ‘marble’. It may be assumed that the type of material was consciously selected, since the colour red had been associated with power and reserved for rulers since the time of the Roman Empire. The king’s tomb was sculpted on three sides only. On the top slab, there is a gisant supporting his legs on a lion, which most often symbolised valour in medieval times and was frequently used to propagate royal virtues. Comparing the ruler to a lion is one of the most recurring topoi of medieval culture. The king was depicted as an old man with long hair and a beard styled in tight curls. Works on this subject mistakenly claim this depiction to be a realistic study of the king’s face. In fact it is an example of a physiognomic type typical of the Middle Ages, which aimed at presenting the ruler as a wise and strict old man modelled after depictions of great ancient sages, Old Testament prophets, apostles, and other venerable figures from the past. The king was portrayed in a leather tunic and a loose cloak, garments which were characteristic of court fashion in the 3rd quarter of the 14th century. Especially of note is the magnificent belt comprising elements shaped as fortified buildings. It may be assumed that it carries an eschatological message via reference to the Heavenly Jerusalem.

The tombstone of king Jan I Olbracht

The tomb of Jan I Olbracht is a milestone piece not only for Kraków artistic circles but for the entire country. It was sculpted in the years 1502–1505 and consists of two parts executed by two different artists of different backgrounds, education and experience. From the local tradition of commemorating dead rulers derives the tomb sculpted in red stone from the Esztergom quarry, placed in a very deep niche carved into the western wall of a chapel. The tomb is decorated on the front side only (the sides are not exposed), while figural representations were replaced by a rectangular inscribed plaque. This simple and sophisticated solution clearly refers to the art of ancient Rome, in which inscription plaques were the basic element of commemoration of the deceased (Lat. tabulae ansatae). The long inscription was carved in the humanist capitals that had been created based on ancient Roman letterforms and is one of the first instances where such a font was used in Poland.

The hoard with iron axe-like bars (“grzywna”) from 13 Kanonicza Street in Kraków

This treasure was found during rescue investigations in the basements of the backyard annex at 13 Kanonicza Street in Kraków in 1979. The deposit fell under the core of the early medieval bank of Okol. It was hidden in a pit measuring 108 x 210 cm, at a depth of about 100 cm, under walls partially covered with oak and fir wood...

Staff with a hatchet

The staff of beech wood, of hexagonal intersection, slightly flattened, even along its entire length. It is equipped with a brass handle, in the shape of a hatchet with a slightly rounded blade. On the top of the axe there is the so-called cone a brass, oval shaped inscription inscribed in a rectangle, fastened with four nails.

Spice container from Austro-Hungary

A container for fragrant spices (e.g., clove, cinnamon, vanilla, myrtle), the aroma of which is ritually inhaled during the ceremony called Havdalah (in Hebrew: separation) held in Jewish houses at the end of Shabbat.

Spice bottle

A cylindrical, capped bottle closed with a handle. This bottle is richly decorated with an artistic decorative design of plants and various other figures. The vessel was used in a practical way for storing valuable spices from overseas, but was also prized for its beauty. It was richly decorated by a master coppersmith.

Spear of the Lombards

The presented spear could have been forged either in the fifth or fifteenth century. In spite of the metallurgical examination carried out by specialists from the Jagiellonian University, it was not possible to determine the production date of the spearhead.