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Trinitarian Friar

  • Object:

    Ecclesiastical figure

  • Place of origin:

    France (possibly, made)
    Germany (possibly, made)
    Netherlands (possibly, made)

  • Date:

    first half 19th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown (production)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Figure made of tow and wax, dressed in linen and woollen materials.

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Mr. G. Smith

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This figure is one of a set of 50 dressed to represent the outfits worn by Catholic religious orders. They are made of tow (hemp) with wax heads, hands and feet. They were probably made in France, as they are labelled in French, but some of the orders represented were only active in Germany and the Netherlands.

This figure represents a Trinitarian friar. The Order of the Holy Trinity was established near Paris in 1198. It was dedicated to raising funds for the ransom of Christian prisoners held captive by non-Christians, but is also a nurturing order dedicated to education, hospitality and tending to the poor and sick. Both Trinitarian friars and nuns wear a white tunic, scapular, and cloak, with the distinctive red-and-blue Trinitarian cross embroidered prominently on the chest of the scapular.

Physical description

Figure made of wax and tow, dressed in linen and woollen fabrics.
White tunic, scapular embroidered with red and blue cross, short white cape with red and blue cross

Place of Origin

France (possibly, made)
Germany (possibly, made)
Netherlands (possibly, made)


first half 19th century (made)


Unknown (production)

Materials and Techniques

Figure made of tow and wax, dressed in linen and woollen materials.


Height: 31 cm including stand

Object history note

One of a group of 50 figures given to the Educational Department by Mr. G. Smith of St John's Wood in 1868, but only formally accessioned in 1905. The labels on the bases are in French but some of the orders represented (e.g the Alexians and the Order of the Conception) seem to have been confined to Germany and the Low Countries. (from original acquisition record for 1905)

Descriptive line

Wax and tow figure dressed as a Trinitarian friar

Production Note

Labelled in French; some of the orders represented confined to Germany or the Netherlands.


Linen; Wax; Wool (textile); Tow


Religion; Christianity; Ecclesiastical textiles; Dolls & Toys; Clothing; Europeana Fashion Project

Collection code


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