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Polish museum receives mysterious package containing missing tiles from 17th century

The museum received the 12 tiles from the Palace of Isles via mail through the generosity of an anonymous source.

Polish museum receives mysterious package containing missing tiles from 17th century
Cover Image Source: Facebook | Culture Ministry of Poland

One of the best feelings in the world is to put pieces of something together to create a bigger picture. For art enthusiasts, this is one of the most delightful practices. Similarly, Warsaw’s Royal Łazienki Museum had the privilege of putting together the historical pieces of 17th-century tiles received in a package to add to the rich culture and history. Poland’s culture ministry shared a post on Facebook, revealing that the same had come in an anonymous package to the museum and is an incredible discovery to exhibit. “Mystery package, missing tiles and happy ending. This story is a ready-made scenario for a movie,” the caption read.

Representative Image Source: Pexels| Matheus Viana
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Matheus Viana

The package consisted of ceramic tiles from the 17th century, which had an intriguing and rich history to tickle every art and historical enthusiast. The 12 tiles are from the bathing pavilion expanded by King Stanisław August, per the Art Newspaper. It is popularly known as the Palace on the Isle or Baths Palace. The tiles were believed to have been dispersed or destroyed due to war, but the discovery of the 12 pieces is a delightful peek into the artistry and period. Agata Zawora, spokesperson for the museum, shared with Science in Poland, “During the war or immediately after it, the collection was dispersed. The missing tiles were reconstructed only after the war. The recovered elements of the original design of the Baths are extremely valuable monuments for us.”

Representative Image Source: Pexels| Tima Miroschnichenko
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Tima Miroschnichenko

“The original Dutch ceramic tiles, which in the 17th century, decorated the interior of today’s Palace on the Island, are returning to the Museum Łazienki Królewskie / Royal Lazienki after years,” the caption explained. The package came from Canada via an anonymous transmitter who wished to be explored and “asked for their return just before his death.” Due to this selfless and generous sharing, the tiles will be exhibited. “Thanks to this, from today until September 1, 2024, recovered elements of the original design of the Bath can be admired at the temporary exhibition titled, ‘The Art of Thinking Well. The legacy of Stanisław Herakliusz Lubomirski,’” the post revealed.

Representative Image Source: Pexels| Tima Miroschnichenko
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Tima Miroschnichenko

The package was sent shortly before the exhibition and is deemed a crucial component. “The tiles are very important to us because those are the original tiles that decorated the walls in one of the rooms in the Palace on the Isle,” a spokesperson said. While sharing more about the history of the tiles, the spokesperson added, “The palace was partially burned during the end of the Second World War but was never destroyed.” The post also consisted of images of the tiles that were put together to the best of their ability to create a visual understanding of the creation back then.

However, multiple tiles were broken and other pieces appeared to be missing, leaving out clarity. Nevertheless, the few pieces that have been restored provided a vibrant understanding of the art and held quite a bit of intricate detailing to share. The tiles are blue and white, bearing the resemblance of trees and shepherds, per the Smithsonian Magazine. “These are extremely valuable exhibits - especially since objects from the earliest period in the history of the Royal Łazienki rarely appear on the antique market,” the spokesperson added.



 

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