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Torah scroll

The parchment scroll containing text of the Five Books of Moses, i.e. the Books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy was hand-written in Hebrew, rolled onto two sticks; the so-called ace(i) chaim [shafts of life] made of oak wood was furnished at the ends with pairs of wooden plates with a diameter of 17.5 cm, and handles for rolling the scrolls. The handles are profiled, with a head decorated with ivory buttons in the upper part and an ivory sleeve at the bottom.

Table clock with shape of Hungarian hussar

The characteristic feature of the presented clock is the unusual carved wooden and polychrome casing in the shape of a Hungarian hussar. The clockwork mechanism with a round clock face, made in Bochnia...

Wooden toy — “A cart pulled by horses”

A cart pulled by wheeled horses or rocking horses used to be one of the most favourite toys for children. Nowadays, it is coming back to store shelves in a fashionable and ecological design. This wooden cart is part of a larger collection of toys from the museum in Myślenice and the object used to present the history of folk toy manufacturing in general. Folk toys are more than merely usable items as all of them have their own history and all members of a family were engaged in the production process. They were made mainly by peasants in the winter time, when they were able to carve toys because of less agricultural work.

Vase with a dance circle motif

A vase with a flat bottom and a belly gradually widening upwards. Around the vessel a decorative ornament presenting a circle of dancing figures holding each other’s hands, also serving as a vase handle. The pottery and tile ware factory, J. Niedźwiecki and Co. in Dębniki, was also famous for the production of artistic faience in the years 1900–1910.

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.

Bas relief “Fallen Angels” by Stanisław Wyspiański

In 1895, Stanisław Wyspiański made a polychrome project for the presbytery of a Franciscan church. The composition consists of three elements: the titular fallen angels, at which the group of archers aims, and the figure of Archangel Michael, who guards the gates of paradise. A perfect accompaniment to this work is the polychrome located on the opposite side of the presbytery: Madonna and the Child and Caritas. The artist, in a visible way, juxtaposed two attitudes to life and showed their possible consequences.

Svetovid – Zbruch Idol

The statue presented here was found in 1848 in the Zbruch River near the village of Liczkowce (today: Lychkivtsi) (Ternopil Oblast, Ukraine). The sculpture is a four-sided pillar topped with four faces under a tall hat. Below there are three figural representations in the three-tier arrangement, with the division marked with plastic slats. Three sides of the lowest tier depict a kneeling figure with raised arms. In one case, it is a man (the moustache is marked)...

Throne for a church monstrance

A Baroque architectural throne for a church monstrance. A Baroque framing decorated with an auricular style ornament as well as a radiant halo consisting of rays alternately straight or curved. At the sides are two allegorical figures, at the finial of the framing are two figures of angels.

El-Kantara male torso

The alabaster sculpture, 15 cm high, was purchased by soldiers of the Polish Independent Carpathian Rifle Brigade during WW II. The statue represents a young naked man with a sealed head, legs and arms. At the back there is a flat column, which is triangularly finished at the top.

Wooden snuffbox

A container in the shape of a human hand clenched into a fist, intended for storing snuff. It is made of oak, with a rectangular hollowed-out interior, covered with a thin lid. The plate of the lid is mounted on the wrist part with a leather hinge. It is finished with a ledge, which was used to raise the lid with a fingernail. The snuffbox is finished with dark brown French polish.

“Wardrobe — Interior of Imagination” (“Country House”, 1961), reconstructed in 1981

Tadeusz Kantor’s sculpture expressing the idea from the Cricot 2 play of W małym dworku (Country House), based on S.I. Witkiewicz’s play under the same title. The premiere took place in Kraków in the Krzysztofory Gallery on 14 January 1961. This was the Informel Theatre stage of the artist’s works.

Candlestick with a kneeling angel

This is a polychrome wooden sculpture depicting a kneeling angel with a candlestick in his left hand. The figure is dressed in a long dark green tunic and a brown coat. The sculpture was found in the destroyed chapel of St. Kunegunda on Boczaniec, on the 1st level of the Wieliczka Salt Mine.

Sculpture “St. Anna” from 16th century

The Renaissance sculpture depicts a woman standing. Her right hand, which has not survived to this day, pressed a book to her chest; with the left one she holds a coattail.

Vessel for crushing crops (“stępa”) — with a place to sit on

Stępa vessels, also called groats mortars, were commonly used in many houses as early as in the interwar period. Grains of crops were shelled and crushed by them in order to obtain the groats, including among others millet groans, or peeled barley. Groats mortars were also used to crack, that is grind, grains, more rarely to break grains into meal, and even to press oil from flaxseed.

Stele of the son of Chairemon and Isidora from Kom Abou Billou

The stele was purchased in Cairo at Eli Albert and Joseph Abermayor by soldiers of the Polish Independent Carpathian Rifle Brigade during WW II. The scene depicts a deceased man lying on a klinai and a female orant standing opposite. The man lying in the bed is dressed in a short-sleeved chiton and a himation rolled at the waist, wrapped around his left hand. In his right, outstretched hand he is holding a kantharos. The woman standing in front of him is depicted en face, she is dressed in the same way as the man and is raising her hands in a gesture of prayer. Under the scene an inscription is placed. The name of the deceased has been preserved only partially; perhaps it was Sosas. The name of his father was Chairemon; the name of Isidora is also there, popular in Egypt in the Roman period. The figures are bound together by family ties.

Sculpture “St. Nicholas”

Saint Nicholas lived at the turn of the 3rd and 4th centuries and was the bishop of the city of Mira (in the southern part of Asia Minor), which is why he is presented iconographically in garments and with insignia corresponding to his episcopal rank (compare with the figure of Saint Nicholas in the Triptych of Saint Mary Magdalene from Moszczenica Niżna near Stary Sącz).

Hutsul saddle “tornycia”

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“Stipo (studiolo, scrigno) a bambocci” writing cabinet with a table

The wall cabinet is made of nut wood, with an architectural structure referring to the façade of a Renaissance palazzo with artistic decoration of human figures and heads fully sculpted. A series of drawers and lockers in symmetrical arrangement are placed around the centrally located architectural construction door. It is placed on a secondary adjusted table, made in the 2nd half of the 19th century — especially for this particular cabinet.

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 “Salome” by Walery Gadomski

Salome, the daughter of Herodias and stepdaughter of King Herod Antipas, danced so beautifully that the ruler let her ask for anything she wanted. Her wish, suggested by cruel Herodias, was John the Baptist’s head. Biblical Salome is one of frequent motifs in the iconography of European art. The archetype of a dangerous seductress fascinated artists of all epochs.