THE JEWELS OF THE POLISH COMMONWEALTH. A CONTRIBUTION TO THE HISTORY OF THE POLISH CROWN JEWELS AND THE SO-CALLED MUSCOVITE CROWN
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The author's aim was to study the role of jewels, especially the Polish Crown Jewels, and the history of the so-called Muscovite Crown. The article was based on documents from the State Archives in Gdansk and the National Library in Warsaw. The documents concern the jewels put in pledge as security against Prince John Casimir Vasa's debt. These items were most likely the Crown Jewels, including one in the form of an eagle, while the so-called Muscovite crown, pledged by King Augustus II of Saxony, undoubtedly came from the Crown Treasury. The so-called Muscovite crown was made in imitation of Rudolf II's crown about 1600 in Prague on the order of Boris Godunov. Brought to Moscow, it was used for the coronation of Tsar Demetrius, called the False Dmitri. It later found its way to Poland, to become a material symbol of the Polish claim to the throne of Muscovy. Jewels, in addition to their main decorative function and the role as signs of power, were valued for their monetary worth, small size, and ease of storage, transport or hiding. However, above all, in urgent situations such objects were simply sold or pawned to meet financial needs.
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