Fusiery, partacze, przeszkodnicy... Dzieła złotnicze mosiężników krakowskich jako przykład konwergencji dwóch profesji rzemiosła artystycznego w XIX wieku


  • Michał Myśliński Instytut Sztuki PAN, Al. Słowackiego 46, 30-018 Kraków

Słowa kluczowe:

19 w. -- Polska, Kraków (Polska), złotnictwo w. 19, mosiężnictwo w. 19, cechy rzemieślnicze w. 19, złotnicy w. 19, mosiężnicy w. 19



Research on the history of goldsmithery in Cracow in the 19th and 20th c. is usually focused on listing surviving works, identifying their authors and describing the context and time of their creation. There are many gaps in this area, one of them being the unfounded assumption that every piece of goldsmithery was produced by a goldsmith or jeweler belonging to the guild of goldsmiths. This assumption stems from the fact that until the mid-19th c. it was only goldsmiths that enjoyed the privilege of processing noble metals, i.e. silver and gold.Contemporary research on goldsmithery leads to a rather surprising conclusion that as early as in the middle of the 19th c. many items of silver-plated brass, silver or even gold were manufactured by brass-makers, i.e. artisans belonging to a guild that competed with the gold-smiths. This situation was due to several factors, among which two seem particularly important. The fi rst one was the similarity of production techniques used by goldsmiths and brass-makers, which often resulted in brass-makers accepting commissions for works reserved for goldsmiths, which in turn led to confl icts. This is confi rmed by eighteenth- and nineteenth-century records of the guild of brass-makers, who until the fi rst half of the 19th c. often chose monstrances, chalices, patens, reliquaries, vigil lights and other liturgical vessels, i.e. items theoretically re-served for goldsmiths, as their diploma works to complete subsequent stages of professional development (Geselstück — the work that completed the apprenticeship, and Meisterstück — the work that completed the journeyman stage and gave the qualifi cation of a master). The other major reason was the regulations introduced in Cracow, according to which the so-called ‘guild obligation’ and artisans’ privileges, including exclusive rights to produce certain goods, were gradually abolished and replaced with free market rules. This process started in 1843, when the municipal authorities issues an act concerning guilds, which regulated the work of artisans, and it was facilitated by the “Industrial Law” passed in 1859 by Austria, which liquidated the guild system, introduced free competition in business and redefi ned rules of acquiring professional rights. These circumstances were exploited by the numerous and affl uent group of brass-makers, who knew the technology of processing metals, including noble metals. Even though brass-makers had to obey special rules applying to those who worked with noble metals, which required that they register a unique mark of the artisan and the company, as well as subject every item to control by the Cracow Assay Offi ce, their products were competitive enough to drive gold-smiths of business. As a result, Cracow brass-makers in a way “replaced” goldsmiths in produc-ing noble metal items, and due to using artisan marks and company marks they are wrongly classifi ed by some researchers as goldsmiths even though they were members of a different guild. It has to be noted, though, that differentiating artisans does not change the status of the very piece of goldsmithery, which remains one regardless of what workshop produced it.


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Jak cytować

Myśliński, M. (2015). Fusiery, partacze, przeszkodnicy. Dzieła złotnicze mosiężników krakowskich jako przykład konwergencji dwóch profesji rzemiosła artystycznego w XIX wieku. Kwartalnik Historii Kultury Materialnej, 63(3), 471–494. Pobrano z https://journals.iaepan.pl/khkm/article/view/862



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