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.
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 presented spear could have been forged either in the fifth or fifteenth century. In spite of the metallurgical examination carried out by specialists from the Jagiellonian University, it was not possible to determine the production date of the spearhead.
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.
Although, in the opinion of specialists, the term “hangman” does not reflect the actual purpose of the weapon, according to legend, it was used to punish two gargoyles who, while wanting to rob the church of the Blessed Virgin (part of the Augustian abbey partly destroyed in the 19th century), violated the stability of the building.
The blade, regarded as the work of the Armenians of Lviv, may be connected with the reign of John III Sobieski. Its antique-like sheath must have been made much later, as the Rococo ornament indicates. This weapon of highly decorative character is difficult to categorize unambiguously.
Badge (colloquially known as “korpusówka”) of the Podhale Rifles regiment was introduced in the second half of 1930s . It presents a swastika with shortened bent arms against the background of a stylised fir branch. Embossed from alpaca metal sheet. The swastika is an ancient Indo-European symbol of sun, fire...
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.
The percussion-cap pistol, double-barrelled, with a wooden handle, was made by the Lepage company in Paris. Its fittings are decorated with floral motifs. The exhibit is also signed, which allows one to determine its place of production. Near the chambers, between the barrels...
The tournament armour is compiled of several suits of West-European armours created in the mid-16th century. Its basic parts are the cuirass, collarbone guard, and pads and thigh guards made by the best armourers from southern Germany. The breastplate with the fishbone and goose — that is a protrusion in the stomach area — has vertical stripes with an etched motif of a floral twig entwined over a panoply and musical instruments.
Carrying weapons was a privilege of miners as free people. Salt Works introduced uniforms for their employees in 1773. A sabre was an important element of the outfit and later also the mining uniform. Parade weapons are a special type of weapon that have almost lost their utilitarian functions in favour of representational ones.
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 legendary wings that stimulated the imagination of film-makers, painters and many others were characteristic decorations of the hussar armour.
The horse tack shown is a part of the almost typical horse-riding equipment used in the Republic of Poland by rich noblemen and magnates in the 17th and 18th centuries. The tack consists of a saddle, a girth, stirrups and a bridle with szkofia and a breastplate. The shabrack with a pair of tassets also originates from Adam Sapieha's collection, though the previous owner is unknown.
A mace, that is a blunt weapon consisting of a handle and a head created of vertically placed flangs (feathers), was commonly used in the Polish army of the 17th and 18th centuries, as an insignia indicating the rank of rittmeister or colonel. According to tradition, the presented mace was owned by Stefan Czarniecki, the Castellan of Kiev, later the Field Crown Hetman.
The powder horn comes from the collection of Władysław Łoziński in Lviv. It was donated to the Wawel Royal Castle by an antiquary Szymon Szwarc in 1930.
The gorget, deriving from a knight's armour bevor, was used in Poland in the 18th century, mostly by members of the Bar Confederation (1768–1772). Decorated with effigies of Madonna and saints, as well as religious scenes, the gorget served as a “spiritual buckler.”
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.
The Hussar half-armour was completed in the beginning of the 17th century, and it survived, in an almost unchanged form, up to the middle of the next century. It harmoniously combines both Western European and Eastern traditions. The presented half-armour consists of a breastplate, a backplate with wings, a bevor, a pair of brassards, and a bascinet. All elements are decorated with brass trim and small stamped circles.
The armour is made of iron sheet; at the edges and faulds it is lined with brass borders covered with repoussé and stamped pearls. Under the rivets there are laid brass rosettes decorated in the same way as the borders. A helmet has a semi-circular skull, a peak with a nasal bar, a fauld neck guard and cheek pieces with a heart-shaped cut. A five-fauld breastplate with a fishbone in the middle tied with two leather straps.