The Kraków Salt Works Museum has been continuously extending its collection of salt shakers from different eras and continents; currently, it has several hundred items. On our website, we present six of them, distinguished by their intricate decorations, as well as the place and time of their creation...
Coffee is not always a beverage prepared from cocoa beans. Cereal grains (chicory) and even less obvious ingredients like acorns are also used to make coffee. In Obyczaje w Polsce od Średniowiecza do czasów współczesnych, Lidia Korczak writes about coffee prepared from broad beans, wheat or roasted peas...
In Poland, in the 19th century, the habit of drinking coffee with almond milk was adopted. The very thought of coffee served in this way stimulates the imagination (taste, smell). Although nowadays hardly anyone prepares coffee in this way...
The basic method for moulding the salt bed in the Wieliczka mine was to tear it out with the use of iron wedges; the cuboid blocks were then treated and transformed into barrel shapes or a cylinder for trading purposes. Those blocks were the main product of salt mines in the region of Kraków for six centuries — from the second half of the 13...
Two curved and crossed cobalt swords are the hallmark of the porcelain factory in Meissen and have marked its products for over three hundred years. The Meissen Royal Factory first started the production of European porcelain. Ehrenfried Walther von Tschirnhaus, in collaboration with Johann Friedrich Böttger, discovered the closely guarded secret of its production in 1708. Under Böttger’s supervision, pursuant to the Royal Decree, in 1710, Kursächsische Manufaktur started to function in the castle of Albrechtsburg in Meissen.
This Art Nouveau dish, in the form of a bowl with a wavy irregular collar, is a very delicate and fragile object. It was handmade from glass blown on an iron rod, the so-called punty. At the bottom of the salt shaker, there is a grounded star sign visible after the cut off of the punty. Next to it, there are L. C. T. signs indicating the artist.
In everything that surrounded Ainu, in all living things, as well in all objects created by them, the god-spirits lived. The Ainu called them kamuy. These spirits were responsible for all events and phenomena that occurred; this is why it was necessary to honour them and while commencing any work, it was necessary to perform prayers that involved offering them sacrifices. Good spirits were invited to their ceremonies and homes, and, after worshipping them, it was mandatory to send them back to their abodes. According to the Ainu, every object is not only the home of the kamuy spirits but also has a soul — ramat — and whoever or whatever does not possess ramat does not possess anything.
Although today chocolate is associated mainly with pleasure, a pleasure that can be denied to oneself while watching one’s weight or Lent fasting, it used to be recommended by priests during fast days. In the 18th century, together with coffee, chocolate was quite present in pharmacies, used in medicinal mixtures and was approved as a cure for rheumatism and even as a treatment for sore throats.
This plate could have been used on the Sabbath or, more likely, during the Purim holiday celebrated in the month of Adar, which symbol is fish, used as an decoration motif in this exhibit.
What do a cobalt vase and a Japanese emperor have in common? This vase is a gift from the Japanese court donated to the Manggha Museum during the visit of the Japanese emperor, Akihito, and his wife, Michiko, on 11 July 2002. This porcelain vase with a wooden base is ornamented with the imperial chrysanthemum – an emblem representing the imperial title in Japan.
Ikebana is the art of arranging flowers which involves the creation of linear harmony and asymmetrical composition while keeping unity among the shapes, rhythms and colours of the material used. Elements used in compositions include branches, leaves, grass, and flowers, as well as vessels, and each of these elements has its own symbolic meaning.
The process of producing vessels of white porcelain is regarded as being exceptionally difficult, since, as it is baked in a furnace, small particles can easily permeate inside, and they can dye the porcelain forms, thus disrupting the whole process. One of the most outstanding contemporary hakuji artist is Manji Inoue (born 1929), the Japanese creator who was awarded, in 1995, with the honourable title of “The Living National Treasure” (Ningen Kokuhō).
This silver salt shaker, in the shape of a boy pushing a sled, is actually a miniature sculpture. It evokes admiration for the precision of the 19th century artist from Frankfurt, who, in the microscopic scale of a few centimeters, was able to develop numerous, intricate details and decorations.
The spoon rack was one of the elements of the traditional furnishing of a Podhale cottage. It usually hung between the entrance door from the hall and the dish shelf in the black room, which was called thus because of the colour of the smoked walls. This room catered to the everyday life of a highlanders’ family; it served as a bedroom, kitchen, workshop and storage for all kinds of farm equipment and tools. A spoon rack, or several spoon racks in wealthier households, was also hung in the white room, which served as a place for meetings and family celebrations...
One of the most valuable objects in the Museum in Tarnów, due to its artistic status, is a goblet with a lid, and with a depiction of 12 months. It is associated with Saxony, with the Royal Glassworks in Dresden. It has a structure typical of celebratory chalices, and it is additionally enriched with a conical decorative lid.
This is one of the tallest glass goblets preserved in Polish collections, fully covered with a cut design, the so-called carp scales, a decoration that is unique in its kind, typical only of products made in the Crystal Glassworks in Lubaczów.
In the case of the Tarnów collection, the cultural background of the epoch has its counterparts in the Sarmatian culture, characterised by the owner’s need for the ostentatious presentation of his affluence and wealth. The primacy of nobility and magnates, who were in possession of huge estates and enjoyed wide privileges in the 18th century, influenced the development and industrialisation of the country.
The turn of the 19th and 20th centuries was a period of increased travel around the world for various purposes: exploration, research, and pure tourism. Various objects were brought back from these journeys, among which were both works of art of a specific culture, nation, or social group, as well as various utilitarian objects and souvenirs.
The decoration engraved on the bowl depicts the mythological scene presenting Orpheus sitting under a tree and playing the lyre, surrounded by animals. On the other side the inscription, “Orpheus playing assumedly with a tree and animals”, with spelling mistakes, which allows for attributing this exhibit to Saxon engravers from the Hein family working at that time in the Radziwiłł glassworks in Naliboki.
Presented coffee grinder mill has a manual drive – crank (bent bracket finished wooden handle). Tank for grinding is semicircular at the bottom connected to the square housing in which there is a wooden box. Grinder is screwed to the wall with two screws. Back was painted green...