The French Antoinette V-8 made between 1908 and 1909 is the oldest aircraft engine from the collection at the Polish Aviation Museum in Kraków. It was designed by Léon Levasseur, who previously engineered engines for motor boats...
Presented specimens are fossils with separately preserved three teeth of Ichthyosaurus, dating back to the Upper Jurassic period, namely from —163 to —145 million years ago.
Marcin Kromer’s old print, being one of the oldest book relics, is entitled De origine et rebus gestis polonorum (On the origin and deeds of Poles). The printed book by Kromer (in Latin) shows the 16th-century researcher’s state of knowledge about history and it is also an interesting source in the field of research contemporary to him on the oldest history of Poland.
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...
Pelikan fountain pen with a piston filling used by Priest Karol Wojtyła. The casing is made of plastic, inlaid with synthetic nacre in the form of alternate stripes. It is constructed from black ebonite with the nib partly gilded with the name of the company on it.
A koncerz sword is a type of cold weapon with a characteristic long and thin blade, used for stabbing. In Poland, it was one of elements of weaponry used by the Hussaria cavalry. The presented exhibit is an excellent example of a luxurious armament, characterized not only by its diversity of materials and decorations, but also a combination of a cold weapon with firearm.
The history of ski jumping in Poland dates back to the early 20th century. The first world records were beaten by Sondre Norheim from Norway (30.5 m in 1860). These days, jumps have lengths of more than 240 metres (Adam Małysz has jumped 225 m; in the 2012/2013 season, Piotr Żyła and Kamil Stoch reached lengths of 232.5 m).
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.
On 8 May 1933, on a single-seat aircraft of the Polish construction RWD-5bis (signs SP-AJU), rebuilt from a tourist plane, Capt. Pilot Stanisław Skarżyński was the first Pole to fly across the Atlantic Ocean: from the west coast of Africa (Saint Louis in Senegal) to Maceió...
Rise spoon A flat spoon made from a single piece of wood, with a paddle-like bowl with a triangular ending, and with the handle also having a triangular end. It is decorated with a characteristic geometric ornamentation in the form of a plaited rope, hinges and various cuts.
This is a Flemish heavy rampant crossbow with the pull of a so-called English elevator. The crossbow represents a type of western European heavy infantry crossbow, used for sieges or the defence of the cities. It is a late variant in which structural improvements were applied — a movable viewfinder was introduced and the trigger lever was modified. According to the sixteenth-century chronicles, the effectiveness of this type of crossbow was tremendous. A good crossbowman could strike an unarmoured opponent at a distance of 650 steps, with a speed of one shot per minute.
The charter of the shoemakers’ guild is laced with a parchment stripe at the bottom. It is a legal document regulating the structure and tasks of this guild in the town of Gorlice. It was drawn up in Latin. The existence of the charter of the shoemakers’ guild in the 2nd half of the 15th century (the year of 1450) showed the high position of the town with a perfectly developing craftsmanship, and — what followed — the functioning of guilds.
This bird has a very characteristic black and white plumage, black beak and legs. Its dark feathers have a metallic sheen, green-navy one on wings, as well as scarlet on the head and back, distinguishing it from the corvids. The presented specimen is unique, because of a very rare gene mutation that caused a lack of pigmentation in this individual and, as a result, its white plumage in places where magpies normally have black or light-brown feathers.
Donatives (from Latin donum — gift) are a special category of numismatic item, with the characteristics of both coins (multiples of a ducat) and medals (a high artistic standard). They were a gift given to monarchs or prominent dignitaries, in order to gain their favour, at the same time proving the power and magnificence of the issuers. In the Commonwealth, they were minted at the request of rich cities, such as Gdańsk and Toruń.
Pieter Brueghel the Younger (1564-1638) is known mainly as a copyist of his father's paintings, Pieter Brueghel the Elder (1525/30-1569), who was one of the greatest Dutch painters of the 2nd half of the 16th century. In his works, he created a coherent picture of nature and the world of people. The Kraków painting, the Preaching of Saint John the Baptist, was painted by Pieter Brueghel the Younger, based on his father's original from 1566, which is now in the Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest.
This artistic, whole-body sculpture depicts a Roman gladiator with an upraised arm. A sign is inscribed on the pedestal: Ave Caesar! Morituri, salutant [Long live Caesar! Those who are going to die greet you]. The gladiator is — judging by his props — most likely a retiarius [net-fighter]. He fought with a trident or harpoon made of tuna bones, a dagger, and a net that he threw at his opponent's head. The Polish audience paid particular attention to the Slavic physiognomy of the warrior, seeing a hidden national message in the work of Welonski. Our national consciousness enabled us to see an allegory of the situation of Poles under partition in this classical, thoroughly academic, work. This allegory was found in the fate of a Roman gladiator, whose life depended on his owner.
The presented object is a trunk of a cycad — a fossil plant. Bennettitales (Cycadeoidopsida) is a class of extinct gymnosperms which could be found all over the world in the Mesozoic era.
It is a small, movable typewriter, one of the most classic typewriters of the 1st half of the 20th century. Its production, on the basis of the patent purchased from the Paillard company of Switzerland, was commenced by Fabryka Karabinów (FK) [Warsaw Rifle Factory] in 1938.
James Hammond obtained a patent for the construction of the machine in 1881, and its serial production began in 1884. The presented model 12 was created in the early 20th century in two versions; one was characterized by an arched two-row keyboard, typical of the early Hammonds; and the second, with a three-row keyboard, was typical for three-register machines. The final version, seen in the presented object, was introduced at the end of the nineteenth century along with the growing competition of lever-typing machines, with a typical arrangement of keys in straight rows.
The “Picht” machine is a Braille typewriter adapted for the blind, invented by Oskar Picht in 1899. Its production began three years later. The first single copies of typewriters for the blind had beene created earlier (since the 18th century), but they allowed correspondence only with the sighted. The development of the journal for the blind by Louis Braille in 1825, disseminated in the 2nd half of the 19th century, created new opportunities that were used by the inventor—and later the director ꟷ of the centre for the blind in Bydgoszcz, Oskar Picht.