Friday, 18 April 2014

Happy Easter 2014

Wesołych Świąt Wielkanocnych

Happy Easter to all. Old postcard from the 1970"s. 
These are dolls made by the Kaliszewski family of Warsaw, Poland.
Costume: Kurpie Zielone (Green Kurpie) from Mazowsze region.

Thursday, 3 April 2014

A Teutonic Knight doll

11 inches tall. Handmade by Andrzej & Jadwiga Kaliszewski

Teutonic Knights History - Poland

   The Teutonic knights were originally created in 1190 during the third Crusade to take care of the German pilgrims in the Holy Land. In the beginning of the XI century the order changed from being a hospice brotherhood to primarily military order. The head of the order became known as the Grand Master (Hochmeister). In 1211 a Hungarian king accepted their service in Transylvania but when Teutonian knights petitioned the pope to be placed directly under papal rule than the rule of the King of Hungary - they were expelled from Hungary (1225).
The Castle of the Teutonic Order in Malbork. This is the largest castle in 
the world by surface area, and the largest brick building in Europe.
 It was built by the Teutonic Knights, a German Roman Catholic 
religious order of crusaders. Today it is a museum.
    In 1226 the Konrad I of Mazovia invited the kings to the west-central Poland to help to defend Polish boarders from Pagan Prussians. Unfortunately, he did not realize that letting Teutonic knights to settle in Poland would bring more problems than sporadic fights with the pagan Prussians. Teutonic knights not only destroyed Prussia's existence by killing almost the whole population and eradicating Prussia state and nation. They also subdued lots of Polish territories and were endangering also the territories and the people of neighboring nations: Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The danger of Teutonic growing power caused Poland and Lithuania to form a union under one king. mainly for a protection of their boarders from Teutonic aggression. Teutonic Knights were called in Poland Krzyzacy since they carried the black crosses on white coats. 
The battle of Grunwald by Jan Matejko, 1879
   In 1410, a Polish-Lithuanian army decisively defeated the order of Teutonic knights and broke its military power at the Battle of Grunwald (Tannenberg). In 1466, in the Peace of Torun, Teutonic knights lost western Prussia to Poland in the process. The famous Prussian Homage painted by Jan Matejko shows Albert to reign the position as the Grand Master and receive a title of the "Duke of Lithuania" from Polish king Zygmunt (Sigismundus) the Old, in 1525 year. 

   This doll made by Mr. & Mrs. Kaliszewski of Warsaw - Poland. When I was there last summer, I visited the Kaliszewskis to pick up some custom ordered dolls, I noticed they had this one, a Teutonic Knight. Technically they were a German order, but being an important part of Polish history in 13th century in a battle and eventual defeat. I had one made for myself. The following is a very short outline of their history with Poland.


Monday, 17 March 2014

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

   Although St. Patrick is more of an Irish saint and holiday, I have a doll of him made by the Polish doll makers in Warsaw - Mr. & Mrs. Kaliszewski. I found him online, on E-bay.
About 11 inches tall. Made in Poland.
   Saint Patrick (Latin; Patricius: Proto-Irish) was a 5th-century Romano-British Christian missionary and bishop in Ireland. Known as the "Apostle of Ireland"' he is the primary patron saint of the island.

   When he was about 16, he was captured from his home in Great Britain, and taken as a slave to Ireland, where he lived for six years before escaping and returning to his family. After becoming a cleric, he returned to northern and western Ireland. In later life, he served as an ordained bishop, but little is know about the places where he worked. By the seventh century, he had already come to be revered as the patron saint of Ireland.
With bishop's hat (cross on it) holding a staff and a shamrock.
   St. Patrick's Day is observed on 17 March, the date of his death. It is celebrated inside and outside Ireland as a religious and cultural holiday. In the dioceses of Ireland, it is both a solemnity and a holy day of obligation; it is also a celebration of Ireland itself.

Friday, 24 January 2014

Sieradzki couple

Married Sieradzki couple
    This is special order from Warsaw, made by Mr. and Mrs Kaliszewski. A married couple in wool fabric (winter) attire. Lady has a long sleeve jacket, woollen skirt, apron and shawl with fringes, white embroidered tulle bonnet. Headscarves were were also worn. These dolls are carefully made to represent this costume.
   Sieradz costume is a part of the Mazowsze (Mazovia) area, centre Poland, very close to Wielkopolska (Great Poland) province. Sieradz folk costume had also certain local varieties.
   These dolls are 10 inches. Great attention to detail of Sieradz folk costume!
Detail of white work embroidery on tulle bonnet
   More inventive women used to sew some parts of the dress or manufactured themselves parts they needed. Nevertheless, most parts of the traditional folk costumes were made by professional tailors. Good service to Sieradz people was also given by such handicraftsmen as weavers, furriers, tanners, shoemakers and saddlers.
From Left: Bridesmaid in summer attire, Bride, Married couple in woollen stripped.
   Aprons, head kerchiefs, skirts and jerkins are still being adorned in the Sieradz district. The male festive costume was sewn mainly from woollen homespun, only sometimes from ready-made fabrics. It consisted of a black or grey four-cornered cap, a linen shirt with gussets, wool stripped trousers, a vest, a jacket of woollen fabric with tiny stripes, most often in deep blue, navy blue.
    The two dolls on the left I have written earlier on the Sieradz costume from 6/6/12.
   Various examples of the Sieradz costume, in wool, cotton and linen. Some ready-made fabrics purchased as well. Bottom photo shows the attire of the bride (sitting), special hat with ribbons.