Memory from the January Insurrection

(work in progress)

The year 1863 refers to the January Uprising. Waged by Polish patriots in the regions of Poland occupied by Russia, this insurrection lasted 18 months from 22 January 1863 – 18 June 1864. The 1863 Uprising was brutally crushed by the Russian army. The number of patriots killed, executed or deported to Siberia remains unknown. Norman Davies estimates the number of deported to 80,000 considering who died on the way were not recorded. The memory of destroyed properties and confiscated domains was passed down through generations.


In the collective memory of the Poles, the January Uprising has a special place because a repressive russification of Poland followed this tragedy. The population turned to a passive protest. The Catholic Church had stated a national mourning (żałoba narodowa) after a series of violently suppressed demonstrations in 1861. After 1863, the black colour became the rallying signs of families who had lost men during combats or for a long exile.

Today, we treasure objects that remember this time of hope, courage and sorrow. Our collection features a few books, memorabilia, old engravings and pieces of “black jewellery” that have no other value than memory.