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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.

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.

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.

Hoard from Nowa Huta — Pleszów

It was discovered in August 1961 in the settlement of Pleszów. A part of the deposit was put in a clay pot with a volume of about 2 litres. The remaining part was scattered across a fairly large space. The treasure contains silver objects: coins and their fragments — 608 items, 129 fragments of ornaments, 341 cast pieces of silver and 8 pieces of lead. The treasure was hidden after 1037 and it weighs 2 532 g.

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...

Orava clock

This is a domestic wall clock with a pendulum, having an escapement with a drive and a signalling mechanism chiming the hours. It is also equipped with a weight drive. The whole mechanism is placed in a wooden casing with a bell and a hammer at the top.

Axe with a sleeve

A decorated axe with a sleeve and an eyelet, found in the 1970s on a field in Gorzyce near Żabno. The eyelet was of practical value; it was used to attach the axe to a handle, which was bent at a right angle and entered into the sleeve. The handles were made of carefully selected bent pieces of wood.

Fibula of Łużyce

The clasp was discovered by Lidia Dobrzańska, primary school student, residing in Dabrowa Tarnowska summer of 1955 years. The girl, a dip in the Dunajec in Żabno noticed a nearby clump river a shiny object. It was a clasp brown and bronze springs — spiral rings fingerclip.

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.

Cash register with a counting machine

A heavy, massive cash register for counting decorated with garlands and floral motives is an extremely valuable exhibit, considering its origin. The National Cash Register company from Dayton (in Ohio State) specialised in the production of counting machines, and gained a monopoly in this field within the territory of the United States in the late 19th and early 20th century.

Pharmaceutical tablet maker machine

Today, it seems obvious that we take tablets in their current form. Pharmaceutical companies scramble to launch the most convenient form of a particular drug on the market. Pharmacy was an experimental field in the times we are transported to by the pharmacy exhibition in the house with a turret in the town of Biecz. Pharmacists were not limited to prescriptions and selling ready-made medicines. They also created them. In rooms often referred to as alchemists’ workshops, mysterious mixtures were created, which did not always serve the health of their subsequent users...

“A Bust of Lenin” by Xawery Dunikowski

Xawery Dunikowski (1875–1964) is one of the greatest Polish sculptors of the 20th century. The present bust of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin comes from the post-war period in the artist’s work. After the WWII, the ideas of social realism carried Dunikowski away. However, ideological activities did not translate into the form of his works: he remained faithful to the expressive, simplified form he developed in the interwar period.

“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.

Sculpture “Mickiewicz after an Improvisation” by Wacław Szymanowski

Swooning, exhausted by “the Improvisation”, the national poet is supported by two female figures. Mickiewicz's figure seems to emerge from an irregular mass, resembling a wave in the sea — a theme strongly favoured by Szymanowski. This somewhat theatrical manner of displaying the character of the poet is meant to emphasize the effort accompanying the creation of outstanding poetry. In Wacław Szymanowski’s interpretation, in tune with the romantic image of the poet, Mickiewicz has created poetry under the influence of the supernatural.

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.

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.

Welcoming goblet

Welcome cup was a decorative container for drinking beer in guild inns during important celebrations. Its Polish name wilkom comes from the German greeting willkommen [welcome]. Each newly arrived guest had to empty the cup filled with an alcoholic beverage in honour of the guild. The production of such cups developed in Germany in the 2nd half of the 16th century, and later spread throughout Europe.

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.

Baton

The baton of the Wawel collection is an example of a luxurious ceremonial weapon. It is difficult to establish unambiguously its artistic provenance. In terms of composition and type of ornamentation, it could be classified as a Turkish work. However, its characteristic combination of gold and light blue enamel causes many researchers to believe it to be a Persian work.