The collection includes copper, brass, bronze, tin and iron artistic objects, made and decorated using various techniques. Apart from European objects exhibited in Wawel Royal Castle and Pieskowa Skała Castle chambers, the collection also includes a set of oriental Chinese, Persian and Armenian objects displayed in the ‘Oriental Art in the Wawel collection’ exhibition. The most valuable objects were obtained in the 1920s and 30s, through the efforts of the then curators, who aimed to recreate the functional character of castle interiors. They come from donations and purchases in Poland and abroad, e.g. from Karol Sheldon Phillips from Paris, Szymon Szwarc from Vienna, the Fukier family from Warsaw, Jakub Judkiewicz from Kraków, Brunon Konczakowski from Cieszyn, and also from the Sieghardt collection from Austria.
Particularly noteworthy are four sarcophagi of Sieniawski family members: Adam Hieronim, Mikołaj, Aleksander and Prokop, with recumbent representations of the deceased on the lids. Made of tin and lead alloy, most probably in the years 1619-1636 in Lvov by Wrocław sculptor, Hanusz Pfister, intended for the Brzeżany castle chapel, they are unparalleled in Polish art. They are exhibited in Pieskowa Skała.
The following sets are unique in Poland: fireplace tool sets (Renaissance French and Italian, and Baroque Dutch), candlesticks (including Baroque embossed spotlights and Classicist gilt bronze candelabras), ornamented brass vessels (Nuremberg bowls) and copper vessels (wine coolers, pitchers and containers), chemist’s mortars (Gothic, Renaissance and early Baroque), and tin items.
Objects representing early Polish culture constitute separate groups, such as pen cases with inkwells, scissors for cutting candle wicks, complicated locks, padlocks, keys and even a 17th-c. treasury door; keepsakes of a patriotic character (boxes in the shape of royal sarcophagi, national heroes’ statuettes) and bronze study room sculptures with various themes.
Keepsakes of the royal Vasa family are of unique value; they include the inscription cartouche from Karol Ferdynand Vasa’s sarcophagus, and a cartouche with Sigismund III Vasa’s coat of arms, most probably from a carriage the king used.