Artistic craft gallery

The first part of the exhibition consists of artefacts (mostly dating from the 19th century) representing various types of artistic crafts. Biedermeier chairs and armchairs with a fan-shaped back are classic examples of furniture from the first half of the 19th century. An antique portico clock in a wooden case constituted an important element of the bourgeois interior. In the cabinet, on the corner sideboard, chest of drawers and tables ceramics are on display. Amongst other things, there is 19th century English faience pottery and porcelain tableware dating from the second half of the 19th century and made by Viennese, German and Czech manufacturers.

A collection in a cabinet showcases antique glass tableware and commemorative glassware, made of colourless crystal glass, tinted glass, flashed and enamelled glass (large-volume glasses, goblets, wine glasses, carafes, platters, amongst others). During the Biedermeier period (1815–1848) Czech glass became very popular. Intensive colours and transparent, coloured enamel ornamentation were distinctive features. Some examples of this kind of artistic craft are a ruby coloured sugar bowl dating from 1840 (made of gold and copper oxide coloured glass) and a stand for containers for condiments decorated with a four-leaf clover (a motif characteristic of bourgeois culture) painted with white enamel. Objects from the 18th century, such as a candlestick and still life oil paintings on canvas, a desk and copper sheet (Western European painting), complement the exhibition.

Another room features a collection of artistic glass providing a fairly broad overview of diverse glass forms and techniques applied since the 18th century up to the 1930s. The exhibits, which are presented in four display cabinets, have been divided based on their former functions. The cheering goblet with a lid, dating from around 1740, is the oldest and at the most valuable piece not only of the glassware collection, but of the whole artistic craft gallery. Made of potash water glass and baroque in form, the goblet is decorated with a relief bust of Maria Josepha of Austria (so-called opalescent paste). The antique is of exquisite quality, which the Naliboki
and Urzecze glass factories took pride in.

Women’s jewellery also make a contribution to the gallery’s collection as well as silver toiletries with interesting examples of metal (silver, brass, steel) and glass combinations; they include hat pins, perfume flacons and earrings. The gallery is complemented by silver evening purses from the period dating from around the 19th century up to the 1920s from Vienna, Germany, Poland and Russia.

Amongst the displayed items are objects intended for domestic use, mostly from the 19th century, such as glass tableware, toiletries (perfume flacons, etui, cosmetic containers, and mirrors) as well as objects used to light up rooms: silver candlesticks and candle holders. A Viennese spice dish for salt dating from around the mid 19th century deserves special attention; it is a piece of sophisticated form with a silver pedestal and two cuplike bowls made of coloured glass, and decorated with a cut and paint layer.

Glassware dating from the beginning of the 20th century is also displayed, with flacons, vases, a platter, a drinking set which stands out in terms of the variety of glass techniques applied and an original Art Nouveau ornament. Czech liqueur sets (carafes and liqueur glasses) characterised by their geometric shape, modern form and unusual colour (salmon pink and emerald) originate from the interwar period. An example of Polish applied arts kept in Art Deco style is a compote service and cake serving set (coloured pressed glass) from the leading “Niemen” glass factory. The gallery features glass antiques from Poland, the Czech Republic, the Silesia region, Austria-Hungary, Russia and England.


Tłumaczenie: Biuro Tłumaczeń i Szkoła Językowa Skrivanek

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