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Lajkonik’s costume designed by Stanisław Wyspiański

The costume of Lajkonik, also called the Zwierzyniec Horse, designed by Stanisław Wyspiański in 1904, could be seen in the streets of Kraków until 1963. The costume used today during the annual frolics of Lajkonik is a faithful copy of the displayed exhibit. Although legend associates the origins of Lajkonik celebrations with the Tatar invasions of Kraków in the 13th century, the first ever source reference to it dates back to 1738.

Puppets from the “Zielony Balonik” (“Green Balloon”) nativity play — Jacek Malczewski

A funny puppet representing Jacek Malczewski in a caricatural character of Jacek Symbolewski was purchased for the collection of the Historical Museum of the City of Kraków in 1962. It makes a valuable reminder related with the Young Poland cabaret called Zielony Balonik [Green Balloon] operating in the period from 1905 to 1912 on Floriańska Street in Kraków in the Cukiernia Lwowska [Lviv Confectionery] opened by Jan Apolinary Michalik and hence called Jama Michalika [Michalik’s Den].

Toy “Lajkonik’s march” by Jan Oprocha (father)

A toy cart, or actually a platform on wheels with holes to thread a pulling cord through and 31 figurines arranged on it, rocking while the toy is pulled. The whole toy, including the platform and the figurines, is made of polychrome wood. The rectangular platform with its bevelled corners and wheels are painted green. The edges are coated with white, yellow and pink paint, and the spokes are marked with yellow, blue and red.

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.

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.

Kraków nativity scene by Marian Dłużniewski

Kraków nativity scene, small, illuminated, not mechanical, multi-towered. The Holy Family is in the middle, set against the altar. On the right is a figure of a Kraków resident with a nativity scene, on the left is a figure of a highlander with a star. Above, in the recess (a kind of a side-altar), a figure of Christ (like from a contemporary painting), on the right a figure of a nun (St. Faustina).

Sculpture “Young Centaur (Smiling Centaur)”

The Centaur sculpture is a copy of one of two marble sculptures found in Rome in 1736, during excavation works in Hadrian's Villa, but substantially reduced in size. At present, the Furietti Centaurs, named after their discoverer, Giuseppe Alessandro Furietti, can be found in the Capitoline Museums in Rome.

Board game case, Brettspiel

A unfolding case used for playing backgammon, chess and so-called Polish draughts is an example of the activity of workshops operating in Eger in the 17th and at the beginning of the 18th centuries. Their works enjoyed popularity in Europe at that time, due to their interesting designs and unique method of colourful relief intarsia applied for ornamentation.

Ring — film projector produced in Germany

The Ring is an amateur cinematographic projector for 35 mm wide tape, made in 1900–1919 in Germany (Bavaria). The construction of the cinematograph constructed by the Lumière brothers in 1895 and the rapid development of film art ...

Wooden bike

This small bike made by a peasant boy for his younger brother has no pedals or brakes – it is suitable only for downhill riding... We should pay attention to its construction – an indication of creativity and imagination. A two-wheeled bike with a frame of two wooden slats and handlebars made from a debarked stick.

Paddle of Karol Wojtyła

The presented object is a wooden paddle, joined in the middle (screwed-on, detachable), which served Karol Wojtyła during canoeing trips with young people. The ends of the paddle are covered with metal; it is coloured brown and made of natural wood.

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.

Easter egg from Kaunas

This Easter egg might illustrate the roads by which the objects (including Easter eggs) arrived there in the first years of existence of the Ethnographic Museum of Seweryn Udziela in Kraków . Sometimes, entire collections gathered over the years, and sometimes only individual items were donated here—the result of social sacrifice, fascination and exploration of folklore, and sometimes accidental encounters.

Horse-drawn train

The first, and quite numerous, projects of railway transport in the Wieliczka salt mine were designed around the mid-19th century; however, they were never implemented because of the enormous costs of drift reconstruction. Only in 1857 did the board devise the first precise plan for this challenging enterprise and the first works commenced. In 1861 the first metal rails were installed and after that almost all transport in the mine was conducted by wagons with metal boxes or horses pulling platforms.

Glass ashtray with a postcard representing the Spa House in Krynica

The exhibit in question is a glass ashtray with a rectangular base with hollows for cigarettes on longer sides. The base features a stuck colour photograph in the size of a postcard representing the Spa House in Krynica. The lower middle section of the image features an inscription: “Curhaus — Krynica”.

Sculpture “Bacchante” by Teodor Rygier

A young woman, clearly amused, seems to be walking towards the viewer with a dance-like step. Her shapely figure has been captured in a lively pose, and the body is covered only with a fabric carelessly wrapped around the hips. The girl is raising a goblet with a vigorous gesture of her right hand. The Dionysian character of sculpture, marked in the title, is emphasized by a vine twig gripped in the left hand.

Tube gramophone

The mechanism of the gramophone is placed in a box made of oak wood in a natural colour. The casing is modestly decorated with simple mills, the front wall bears a metal brass secession plate depicting the muse, Erato.

“The Lajkonik is offered a treat in front of the Town Hall”

Lajkonik is photographed slightly from the bottom, framing the torso, turned to the right. He is holding a cup in his hand; he is receiving something to drink. The City Hall is visible in the background. The photograph was taken in the 1960s or 70s. It belongs to a series of five photos by the same author...

Hurdy gurdy

A string and keyboard musical instrument. A rectangular box with keys and the complete playing mechanism is placed on the upper board. The shape of the instrument is similar to a violin. The upper board is made of coniferous wood, the bottom of beech wood.

“Henryk Jordan’s Park”

The photograph shows an alley in Henryk Jordan’s Park with two distant busts of famous personalities. The white marble-sculpted busts are a noteworthy detail, the Barthesian punctum, or the intriguing elements of the picture. The bushes make up an evenly trimmed hedge. It is a stereoscopic photograph, a single print with two separate shots.