Pomorski i povijesni muzej Hrvatskog primorja Rijeka

Maritime and History Museum of the Croatian Littoral

Pomorski i povijesni muzej Hrvatskog primorja Rijeka

The Collection of Wooden and Metal Items

Head: Msc. Ivana Šarić Žic, curator

The Collection of Wooden and Metal Items consists of tools and other functional implements used primarily in local economic activities, such as agriculture, livestock raising, viticulture, olive growing, fishing, tools made for handicrafts and trades, as well as those used for gathering and transport.
One part of the collection features tools for the manual tilling of the soil and larger devices for ploughing. Various hoes (sapon, matičica), shovels, and other tools were used for the cultivation of small, impervious karst fields which were tilled manually. Only occasionally was larger equipment used, such as the plough (vrganj) and ploughshare and the harrow (zubatica) was used for breaking up the soil.
The collection also features various types of billhooks for clearing, pruning and collecting fruits, harvest sickles, scythes (whetstone, quiver, hammering irons, sharpening anvil, scythe hammer). Moreover, it displays the tools used for threshing on the threshing floor (cip, vijača), as this was practiced until the advent of threshing machines in the mid-20th century.
The exhibits relating to livestock farming are comprised of tools and items used in the territory of the Velebit mountain range and on the islands. They include the shepherd’s equipment (stick, barrel, bag), cattle equipment (muzzle), and devices used for the processing of milk into dairy products such as curds, cheese and butter (mortars).
The Mediterranean climate favours the cultivation of olives and grapevines, thus olive groves and vineyards are typical views of the littoral landscape. The exhibits contain tools used in the cultivation, collection and processing of grapes (spraying device, sulphur sprinkling device, tubs and barrels), and the inventory of a toš or olive mill (športi, šešule, dishes).
Although the types of fishing and its techniques have not changed significantly over the years, fishing equipment and tools have evolved – fishing vessels in particular. Among the more valuable exhibits is the monoksil, a wooden boat carved out of a single piece of wood from the island of Krk. The vessel was purchased from Anton Bogović from the village of Bogovići near Malinska in 1957. To complete the exhibit are tridents, lamps, traps and other fishing equipment.
The collection includes wooden items used for various practical purposes (barilica, badanj, brenta, korito) as well as the tools needed for their making (svidar, lita, blanja, nožac, karta vetrata). There are also wooden household items such as furniture, toys and wooden dishes, as well as wickerwork. Of the latter, there are many baskets (vrnja, panar, košić), fences, fish traps, cradles, toys, covers for glass bottles (bocuni), and parts or entire pieces of furniture (sedilo kantrega). As regards copperware, these used most often were copper and metal sheet items such as copper cauldrons of various sizes, and buckets such as pantagana and sić.
Also important in every household were the blacksmith’s products such as trenogi, komoštre/verugi, gradele, mulete, paleta and popečak made of wrought iron.
Gathering was an important source of food in areas characterised by barren soil. Everything which was edible or had medicinal qualities was gathered (asparagus, onions, chestnuts, dandelion, sage). The herbs and plants were gathered, sorted, dried, tossed and stored in containers, baskets and on wickerwork surfaces for drying. As needed, they were then pulverized with small wooden or stone mortars. As is the case with other activities, carrying and transporting was important. Thus different means and ways of transport developed, by both people and animals. For this purpose, baskets, barrels, pack saddles, yokes and wagons were used.