An artillery shell, engraved and stylized into a vase, is characteristic of so-called trench art. Such objects — not necessarily of utilitarian function — were made by soldiers with artistic talents for themselves or to order. Often, objects of this type were created in free time in the trenches, during breaks in fighting, or only after military service had ended.
The Megillat Esther binding is a case for storing a parchment scroll of the Book of Esther. The Biblical Book of Esther tells the story of how Esther, the wife of the Persian King Ahasuerus, thwarted the plans of Minister Haman aiming to annihilate the Jews who inhabited the Persian Empire. To commemorate these events, on the 14th and 15th day of the month of Adar the Jews celebrate the joyful holiday of Purim.
Kiddush translates from Hebrew as “sanctification.” The ceremony is celebrated at the beginning of the Sabbath and other holidays, by saying a special blessing over a cup of red sweet wine (or red grape juice).
This silver salt shaker, in the shape of an elongated bowl, which is decorated at the edge with an openwork strip of plants, is the work of a high-class goldsmith. It was made in France in pre-revolutionary times, in Paris in the years 1786–1787, by the goldsmith, Jean-Baptiste-François Chéret. The precise determination of the authorship, time, and place of the creation of this work is possible thanks to the marking, which, in the past, was to testify the occurrence of precious metal, and nowadays is the source of information about the history of the object; its interpretation, however, often requires detective work.
The chalice was made in a Roman workshop around 1360. It is set on a ten-leaved foot base with a pedestal, decorated with a geometric decoration strip. The chalice foot is covered with a smooth coat, with an applied medallion containing an engraved coat of arms surrounded by laurel leaves in the field and on the opposite side of the coat with an enamelled cameo showing a Crucifixion Group. The upper base is finished with a ring with a strip of geometric decoration analogous to the base.
Most probably, the glass shows the bust of Adolf Starzeński, commemorating his participation in the Polish national uprising against Russia at the turn of 1830 and 1831...
Statyw, tzw. tenaculum, na którym zawieszano niewielkie wagi ręczne, pochodzi ze szpitalnej, klasztornej apteki oo. bonifratrów w Pilchowicach. Apteka została otwarta w 1819 roku, a statyw, jak wynika z napisów na nim umieszczonych, został ufundowany dla apteki w roku 1820...
The silver heart-shaped bottle was intended for storing fragrances. On one side of the vessel, a decorative entwined monogram has been engraved (initials “RC” or “CR”?), topped by a crown. The motif is placed in a frame consisting of a decorative border featuring a simple ornament composed of triangles and matching the shape of the heart.
The model of the “Kraków” locomotive is one of the most interesting exhibits in the collection of the Bractwo Kurkowe [Brotherhood of the Rooster]. It is a model of a steam locomotive with the 1B axis system (one rolling axis in the front and two drive connected axes—average-size wheels). Such a steam locomotive was provided by the Borsig factory in Berlin in 1847 for the Kraków–Upper Silesian Railway and was designed for cargo transport.
Rectangular, closed with a trifoliate arch, with the figures of Moses (on the left) and Aaron (on the right), and the Decalogue tables (in the middle), with the initial words of the commandments engraved in Hebrew. The figures of Moses and Aaron are flanked by spiral columns. On their plinths are Hebrew inscriptions marking the date: on the right plinth, תקס ("560"), on the left: לפק (“according to the abbreviated calculation”) [=1800]. In the three-leaf top, three openwork crowns with colourful glasses are attached.
This bowl sits on a high base with a hemispherical goblet that opens up at the rim. Featuring white-metallised and decorated with a broad inscribed strip filled with geometrical and inscriptional black polish and set against a background of a delicate plant. There is an inscription written in italicised Arabic script with Nastaliq calligraphy and with a niche separating the beginning from the end. Inside it, there is an Arabic inscription praising Allah, always placed at the end of the sacred text.
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.
Guild maces symbolised the power of guild seniors. They looked like the military maces of the officers back then. The mace consisted of a shaft and a head composed of radially arranged insets called feathers. The exhibit presented here belonged to the Kraków guild of bricklayers, masons and carpenters. It was made of brass, the handle was covered with decorative, gilded metal plates; the feathers with openwork floral decorations were silvered.
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.
Today, most researchers believe that Leonardo da Vinci — whose drawings were developed technically and used practically in Germany at the beginning of the 16th century — was the first proponent of the idea of a wheel-lock, which led to the construction of the first wheel-lock, which, in turn, made it possible to popularize short guns, otherwise known as pistols.
This piece of furniture is an example of the small cabinets that were popular in the 2nd half of the 17th and the 1st half of the 18th century. Its typical elements include a small wooden body with a folding door, small drawers, a hiding place, and a metal open-work decoration on the sides made of engraved iron sheet with a set of stylised plant motifs, figures of people, angels, and animals.
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.
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.
The oldest clock in the collection of the Historical Museum of the City of Kraków is a tabletop turret clock. The name of this type of originates comes from their form, which resembles the shapes of a miniature church tower. The rectangular, brass housing of the clock mechanism was engraved, gilded and placed on a pedestal.
At the beginning of 1657, the lands of southern Poland were invaded by George II Rakoczi’s army of 40 thousand soldiers. The army was supposed to give support to the Swedish headquarters in Kraków. The vicinity of Kraków was doomed by the presence of the new invaders.