A Hussar bascinet was a type of helmet commonly used by the troops of the Polish Hussars, similar to the pappenheimers used in Western Europe. There were a few variants of this helmet: with a tip on the top, a high crest, or fan-like wings on the skull.
The collection of military items from the Far East in the National Museum in Kraków includes over one thousand exhibits, from which the most numerous are Japanese works. Armours and helmets belong to extremely valuable specimens and although they mostly come from the Edo period (1603–1868), we can admire the Japanese masters’ superb craftsmanship in them.
A helmet created from overlapping circular scales ornamented with rosettes, riveted down to a leather base. On the top, there is a multi-leaf medallion topped with a high tip. The hatband consisting of a few belts of metal sheet is ornamented with a turban made of raspberry-coloured silk and trimmed with golden braid.
It is an example of a closed helmet that protects the entire head of a soldier. It represents the decadent phase of development of this type of armament, the early days of which date back to the 16th century, when movable face covers started to be fixed to helmets.
A hat belonging to the Kraków costume, so-called celender, made from black felt. Its shape resembles a cylinder slightly narrowing towards the top and with a 5 cm wide brim. The hat has a decoration in the form of a black tape of a lining material, which is an imitation of a velvet ribbon, and which has been fastened together at the front with a large brass buckle. On the tape, at the brim of the hat, there is a narrow ribbon embroidered with floral patterns.
A white headscarf tied into a bonnet. A white thin cloth; white, flat and punch embroidery. Two sides cut in teeth surrounded with one border of holes; two other sides cut in teeth with a triple border of holes. Between the teeth, bulky, there are spindle-shaped forms of holes. Between these forms is a six-petal flower with three berries and above them – a belt with motifs of “Turkish hearts.”
The closed profile of the helmet and the shiny, smooth surface of steel, contrasts with the heads of spirally twisted rivets, that — despite their severe functionality — provide it with an extraordinary elegance. Until the middle of the 20th century, this helmet was considered a 19th-century copy. Covered with a thick layer of black paint (designed to protect against corrosion) it closely guarded its secrets. After being subjected to maintenance procedures, not only did this reveal its raw beauty, but also shed light on its mysterious past. It represents a late Gothic form of the helmet, evolved from the medieval cervelliere, widespread at the end of the 15th and early 16th century. It appeared in numerous variations and variants, serving both knights and soldiers from other classes.
The presented object is a hat, which belonged to Karol Wojtyła. It is a very popular fedora hat, which is characterised by a concave fold along the head and a fairly wide brim. It is decorated with haberdashery in the form of a ribbon that wraps around the head with a bow on the side. The object was made of petersham ribbon in the Krakow tailor’s workshop of H. Frydel.
Subtle knots exposing the beautiful embroidered starched material... Thanks to this the scarf becomes a real decoration for the head... However, would everyone be able to tie such a scarf nowadays? The thing that was very easy for our great-grandmothers could be very problematic these days...
Today’s male costume of the Szczawnica highlanders consists of a black felt hat decorated above the ruff, a linen shirt with a small stand-up collar without the neckband, a blue cloth waistcoat with embroidered decorations on the back and front tails, a short cucha jacket made of brown cloth, which was worn on the shoulder, a sleeveless sheepskin coat, white cloth trousers embroidered along the cuts at the bottom of the legs, at the upper cut as well as along stitches, and kierpce (hard-soled leather moccasins).
A White headscarf tied into a bonnet for the Kraków costume, decorated with flat and punch embroidery. Two sides of the scarf are cut in an openwork teeth style with small holes, the other two sides are more richly decorated. Above the openwork teeth there is a frieze composed of hemstitched and punched cone motifs. Moreover, in the spaces between the cones, there are six-petal punched flowers and embroidered small branches with leaves.
In the past wedded women were not supposed to show themselves with an uncovered head. They usually wore small percale scarves or flowery scarves made of tybet fabric (Polish fabric made of Tibetan sheep wool); while on holidays and during various ceremonies, they made a wedding headscarf from a tulle scarf. Such a wedding scarf was worn by a bride during the unveiling and capping ceremony, which was an important moment at every wedding.
The tulle shawl, richly decorated with white, hand-made embroidery, is a characteristic element of women's costumes from Podgórze Gorlickie (the Gorlice Foothills).
Kęty and its surrounding areas had been inhabited by the Lendians for centuries. Female costume is one of the few examples of Lendian culture which have survived to the present day, n examples of which are presented at the museum in Kęty. Single examples of such costumes could still be seen on the streets of Kęty in the 1970s.
A headdress piece stiffened with wires, made of strips forming a diagonal chequered pattern. It is embroidered with imitation pearls and laced with metal threads, forming a convex plant ornament. The crown is placed at the back. The whole piece was covered with fabric, and straps were sewn into it at the head for fastening. The object was used as a prop in the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków.
The head scarf was the most important and most valuable covering of married women; it was an indispensable element of women’s folk costume in Kraków. It was put on women for the first time during the traditional wedding ceremony called Oczepiny, to indicate the change in her marital status. Scarves were worn by married women throughout their entire future life.
A coif (czepec) was an obligatory headgear for married Lemko women. It has the form of a shallow cap consisting of a horseshoe-shaped bottom folded in the bottom part and a surrounding rim with rounded edges.
The bonnet has been in the collection since 1960, yet is not known how came to be included there. Four photographs from the exhibit are preserved in the Museum’s archives, purchased in the late 1960s or early 1970s. On the reverse side there is a note stating that the bonnet's owner was Ludwika Popardowska from Brzezna, a village near Nowy Sącz, and it was her mother’s memorabilia.
An officer’s cap with an aviation eagle (in gold thread) of the last 308 Kraków Fighter Squadron commander – pilot Colonel Karol Pniak DFC. Although it is not unique in itself – any examples of this type of headgear have been preserved – its historical value is undeniable.
In 1903, the Publishing Committee of the Anthropological Committee of the Academy of Learning, along with Włodzimierz Tetmajer and Seweryn Udziela, undertook the challenge of describing the richness of folk costumes, beginning with Kraków ones. The usual male headgear...