One of the folk tales says that the ambers are fossilized tears of Heliad, the sisters of Phaeton, who was the son of the Sun God. Harald Popkiewicz, inspired by mythical history and sunny stone, created a unique object that can be admired in our Museum.
Spring came to the Amber Museum, thanks to the solar chariot by Harald Popkiewicz.
"Chariot" was created in 2006. For 12 years he was a part of exhibition in the Amber Museum in Gdańsk. Now you can admire it in the Amber Museum in Cracow.
In times when it was not possible to explain scientifically the origin of amber, the bothering question were sought in religion and folk tales.
Greek mythology tries to explain the issue of the origin of amber in the myth of Phaeton, the mortal son of Helios and the sea nymph Klimene. Phaeton grew up in the kingdom of mortal Merops, her mother's husband. He doubted that the divine blood was flowing in his veins. To prove to himself that he is son of Helios, he asked him for one wish: he wanted to ride a solar chariot. Helios could not withdraw his word - he agreed to Phaeton's dangerous ride.
The son of the sun lacked the skill of driving the pegasus pulling chariot. In spite of his father's warnings he left the route marked on the blue vault - the horses were horrified by the Sagittarius's taut arc and were too close to the surface of the Earth, which threatened the fire of heaven and earth. Helios could not help his son, he did not want to expose himself to the wrath of other gods. To avoid the catastrophe, Zeus threw down Phaeton by a thunderbolt which is why the young mortal man fell into the Eridan River. His sisters, Heliada, lamented their brother on the bank of the mythical river until the gods took pity on them, turning them into poplars and their tears turn into amber drops.
The silver chariot is an elaborate fitting for the magnificent milk amber lump symbolizing the Sun. Inspirations for the creation of the car were given to the artist by his sons, who are archaeologists. Articles about ritual carts from the Bronze Age, discovered in northern Europe, inspiring the artist. The ox pulling a mythical cart was made of a piece of black oak found on the beach in Mikoszewo, then was impregnated with beeswax. The silhouette of an ox resembles rock paintings from thousands of years ago. Maybe this ox is a reference to the sacred cows living on Tryteria, the island of Helios mentioned in Homer's "Odyssey"?
Harald Popkiewicz is one of the most recognizable Polish jeweller. The natural shapes of succinite have been inspiring the artist to create interesting sculptures in silver and amber since 1973. Since the beginning of the 20th century, Eryk and Olaf Popkiewicz have shared the passion of their father. You can learn more about the family fascination from the article: http://ambermuseum.eu/muzeum-bursztynu/co-mozna-zobaczyc/item/140-popkiewicz-rodzinna-fascynacja-bursztynem
Written byAnna Napora-Krutys
Przez cały rok we wszystkie dni tygodnia - serdecznie zapraszamy!
Inclusions in Baltic amber have always been treated in a special way. Currently, they are sought after, admired, valued. They are also the subject of scientific research. They should be treated with due respect, because they conceal a "life" from many millions of years ago.
Let's start with explaining what are the inclusions in Baltic amber? So, the inclusion in amber is called everything that got to it naturally, when 40 million years ago the resin was abundantly flowing from the trees. They are mainly plants and animals that lived in the amber forest, but not only. They can also be air bubbles, drops of water, dust, sand or pyrite crystals.
Ambers containing inclusions are extremely valuable and provide an invaluable source of information for paleontologists and paleobotanists. When conducting research on inclusions, you can reconstruct the composition of amber forests, identify insects and small animals. The age of inclusion is dated to the age of amber in which they have been preserved. Also noteworthy is the fact that completely different inclusions have been preserved in Baltic amber, others in Dominican or Lebanese amber, and still others in the Colombian copal. First of all, these differences result from the fact that plants or animals existing in the time of the creation of eg Lebanese amber died out until the birth of Baltic amber.
The animal inclusions dominate in the Baltic amber nuggets. First of all, insects are found whose size does not exceed one centimeter. Very rare insects are found. Based on many years of palaeontology research, we can certainly say that birds, reptiles and mammals lived in the burstsy forest. The proof of this are various inclusions, among others Mammal hair, lizards, snail shells or bird feathers. In amber lumps you can also find characteristic dents, which resemble the footprints of animals with their appearance.
Plant inclusions are quite rare and account for only about three percent of all organic inclusions found. Based on the found fragments of bark, wood, flowers and spores, leaves and needles, it was established that about 215 plant species lived in the amber forest. It is impossible to list all of them here, but for example they were sequoias, date palms, oaks, chestnuts, olive and cinnamon trees, maples, wild wine, ferns, grasses, tea bushes, mosses, lichens, fungi and many species of pinewood trees.
Amber inclusions enjoy great popularity, which is why amber with "life trails" achieve much higher prices. Hence? The most common phenomenon is the creation of "artificial" inclusions, from time immemorial, various animals with lizards, including crabs have been embedded in amber. It is a forgery, and the unconscious customer will buy everything. Most often these are inclusions embedded in plastic, but unfortunately there are also perfect counterfeits, more and more difficult to detect. For example, they can be properly crafted contemporary organisms immersed in pressed amber. How not to be deceived? How to protect yourself against this? If you want to buy inclusions, you should have minimal knowledge about amber and the inclusions themselves, and purchase in checked and recommended stores, requesting a certificate of authenticity.
If you want to get to know the subject of inclusion at least, and see for yourself fragments of the world from millions of years ago, we invite you to visit the Amber Museum in Krakow and the exhibition "Amber - its beauty and history". You're welcome!
Written byAnna Sado
Today, we all remember the murdered president of Gdańsk, Paweł Adamowicz, stressing how much he did for his beloved city for over 20 years of the presidency. With this amount of accomplishments, the fact that it was during the time of His presidency that Gdańsk became the World Capital of Amber disappears.
"Gdańsk is the most wonderful city in the world" - this is one of his last sentences spoken on the stage of the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity in Gdańsk. It is difficult not to admit to him, observing how fantastically the city has developed over the last two decades. One of the pillars on which it was consciously built was - and we believe that it will still be - Baltic amber. Amber, with whom Gdańsk and Poland have been associated for a long time, and which thanks to numerous promotional activities made Gdańsk an unquestionable World Capital of Amber.
Such a name - Gdańsk - the World Capital of Amber - has a project aiming to promote Baltic amber and to popularize knowledge about it. The project implemented by the President's Office for City Promotion includes many different events, of which the most important are the AMBER LOOK Trends & Styles Fashion and Amber Gala during the Amberif International Trade Fair of Amber, Jewelery and Gemstones (in cooperation with the Gdańsk International Fair), where they are presented the latest collections of fashion and jewelery designers; International Amber Workshops (in cooperation with the National Amber Chamber of Commerce), during which artists from different countries will learn about amber and the secrets of its processing - as a result, often including it into their favorite stones; "Trend Book" publication, which since 2011 systematizes information necessary to forecast stylistic trends and use them in the design of amber jewelery (the initiative of the city, the Academy of Fine Arts and the National Chamber of Amber); numerous exhibitions - including the last one, "Baltic Amber. Tradition and innovation ", which is a specific documentation of all significant achievements in the field of modern amber industry. Since the project "Gdańsk - the World Capital of Amber" to the city development strategy, the amber ideas that were born in Gdańsk, but often covered the whole country (such as signing a letter of intent between the parczew poviat and the municipality of Gdańsk and the amber industry organizations) in the field of using deposits in the Lublin province or the Forum of Cities of the Amber Route), and sometimes even the world (eg the World Amber Council), there were many more. Not all of them are continued, but all together strengthened Gdańsk's unique position as the World Capital of Amber and Poland - a country commonly and positively associated with this stone. "Amber is our competitive advantage" - Paweł Adamowicz used to say and knew how to use this advantage skillfully.
"Thanks to Mr. President, we felt that someone was interested in us and our affairs. The personal commitment and initiative of the head of Gdańsk led to the creation of, inter alia, the declaration of good amber craftsmanship, the opening of the Amber Museum, commissioning of the amber plenipotentiary, implementation of the regulation regulating the lease of urban land for exploration of amber deposits, and the construction of a modern Amber Expo exhibition facility. Mr. President was a real Gdańsker who felt personally responsible for his city, and his greatest treasure - amber - was very important to him. It is thanks to the favor of the President that industry organizations supporting the dynamic development of the industry and the promotion of the Gdańsk goldsmith school have been developed all over the world "- recalls Adam Pstrągowski, president of the board of S & A S.A.
For many years, Paweł Adamowicz awarded amber jewelery every year to medals of the President of Gdańsk, thanking them in this way for their merits in the promotion of amber and Gdańsk - the World Capital of Amber. Today, unexpectedly and too early, the time has come to thank Him for the invaluable contribution in this field - is there any medal that could express the gratitude of the amber industry ...?