Collections

Medieval Craft

The collection of Medieval Craft contains the oldest monuments in the museum. Most of them became a part of the collections at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century - in the first years of the museum's existence at the Archive of Older Records.
It is a sparse but very interesting and various collections, showing the material culture and the everyday life of former Krakow's citizens. The collection contains ceramic and metal articles, which were found during the redecorations and excavation in Krakow and Little Poland as the monuments of art craft from the fraternities’ donations. There are also older objects in the collection like the early medieval weapons or elements of armoury but we mostly there are monuments of utilizable art from native craft or barter in the late gothic times.
In the group of metal articles very interesting are military relics like cast iron spear and javelin thrower - heads, blades of axes, elements of spurs, cleavers, swords or the top of warrior’s shield.
Also very interesting are articles of the blacksmiths' and locksmiths' art, blacksmith's architectonic details, gothic padlocks, keys to cases and door locks with very simple feather structure very similar to ones produced in other European countries in the 14th and the 15th centuries.
In the ceramic articles group in addition to everyday living tools - clay vessels like pots, bowls, cups and goblets there are also floorer tiles.
In this group the most interesting is the set of late Gothic’s kiln tiles from the princely castle in Oswiecim. These were probably made in 1457 -1476 in one of the pottery workshops in Bielsko or Cieszyn and are the most beautiful from among all saved late gothic tiles in Poland. The relief ornament on the front surface of the tiles is made with high art standard. Various iconographic content shows almost every theme typical to late gothic tiles, from religious to secular, and related to court and knight's culture scenes.
The most interesting relic of the late gothic craft is embroidered vestment with the theme of the crucifixion and the Jesse Tree (Tree of Life). Made approximately in 1480 - 1485 in one of the Krakow's workrooms, this is an example of typical in late medieval polish embroidery art with the Italian fabric. It was funded by cereals merchants guild to their altar in the transept of no longer existing St. Szczepan's Church in Krakow. It was given to the museum in 1906.
The group of these articles of art craft is supplemented with the examples of glodsmithing art and some architectural details with framed pieces of St. Mary's Church's stained glass windows.