About Jarosław

Important figures: Wilhelm Orsetti

Wilhelm Orsetti (Guglielmo), Złotokłos coat of arms, died in 1659, was a merchant and a banker of Italian origin. In 1632, he came to Poland from Lucca and was entered against the citizens of Krakow.

The same year Orsetti married Katarzyna Cieniowic with whom he had several children: daughter Anna, baptised in St Mary’s Church in Krakow, Katarzyna, Bartłomiej, Franciszek, Wilhelm, Anna Marianna, Mikołaj.

On the basis of the preserved Krakow customs books we are able to trace Orsetti’s trade operations. He imported Italian goods through Austria; more or less every month he received one or more boxes of expensive Italian silks and dresses. He maintained contacts and conducted business in Poland with Lviv, Jarosław, Lublin, Warsaw, Poznań and Gdańsk, where he shipped copper along the Vistula. He imported yachts from Lublin to Krakow, from Poznań - Greater Poland cloth.

At that time, Jarosław was known for its fairs, therefore Orsetti quickly established close contacts with Jarosław. In 1633, he acquired a tenement building in the town. He wanted to create a convenient base for his merchant operations. His intention to acquire the tenement was supported by the town owner, Duchess Anna Ostrogska. She wanted Orsetti to expand it so that it serves as a ‘decoration of the town and to its benefit’. This tenement, called the Orsettis’ tenement building until this day is a decoration and a symbol of the town.

In 1643, Orsetti was considered the richest merchant in Krakow. He also pursued banking – lent money on security to the Krakow Jews. Before 1650, he was most likely the owner of an old tenement building in the Krakow Main Square.

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