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Wafer box

  • Place of origin:

    Germany (south, made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1700 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Carved and turned boxwood

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This wafer box, used for storing communinion wafers before they were consecrated, was made in South Germany in about 1700. It is richly decorated with religious themes, ranging from the Instruments of the Passion and Crucifixion to the Coronation of the Virgin Mary and St Anthony with the Christ Child. Communion Wafers symbolize the body of Christ and would have been stored in an box like this one, which would have belonged to a parish church or private chapel.

Physical description

'Wafer Box, south German about 1700, turned boxwood with decoration largely in medallic form pressed on the cover. Within the central medallion slightly convex, is a cricific bearing in low countersunk relief the instruments of the Passion, below each arm is a larger medallion. Dexter, St George and the Dragon, sinister with three lilies of the valley and child inscribed ST ANTONI. Round the rim are eight smaller medallions as follows - 1. the Coronation of the Virgin; 2. the Crucifixion; 3. Saint standing by holding a lily in the dexter hand flanked by angels; 4. Saint, female, standing bearing on the dexter arm a crucifix flanked by angels; 5. Two figures of saints, standing, one bearing a shield; 6. the annunciation; 7. bust of saint holding crucifix is in the dexter hand; 8. female saint, standing.' - Adapted from the 1950 Registered Description.

Place of Origin

Germany (south, made)


ca. 1700 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Carved and turned boxwood

Marks and inscriptions



Height: 3.2 cm, Diameter: 16.5 cm

Object history note

RP: 50/3149

Purchased for £2.10.

Descriptive line

South German 1690-1710

South German 1680-1720




Carving; Turning

Subjects depicted

Instruments of the Passion; Crucifixion; Lily of the Valley; St George and the dragon; St Antony of Padua


Woodwork; Woodwork; Containers; Religion; Christianity; Medieval and renaissance


Furniture and Woodwork Collection

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