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.