Exhibitions

The Things of Warsaw – core exhibition / Room of Patriotic Items

Pocket watch with the portrait of Tadeusz Kościuszko on the case

An example of a luxury item made of gold and steel, produced by a Swiss company called “Patek&Cie”; produced outside the borders of partitioning powers: Russia, Germany, and Austria-Hungary, due to political censorship. In that period, “Patek&Cie” specialised in the production of high-end watches with cases decorated with miniatures and inscriptions, some of them having patriotic or religious themes. The enamelled miniature with a portrait of Tadeusz Kościuszko (1846–1817) was modelled on an 1813 steel engraving by Antoni Oleszczyński (1794–1879). As can be read on the preserved certificate, the watch had a serial number 1383 and was manufactured in the seat of the company and bought by a certain Smorczewski in 1850 for 295 Swiss franks.

Most clients of “Patek&Cie” were Polish migrants. The company was established in 1839 by two immigrants from Poland – Antoni Patek (1812–1877), a participant of the November Uprising (1830–1831), and watchmaker Franciszek Czapek (1811–1895). In 1845, French watchmaker Adrien Philippe (1815–1894) became Patek’s new partner and the name of the company was changed to „Patek&Cie”. It exists to this day and is currently called “Patek Philippe SA”.