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Annonciade (Sister of the Annunciation)

  • Object:

    Ecclesiastical figure

  • Place of origin:

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

  • Date:

    first half 19th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • 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 Soeur de l'Annonciade, (literal translation: Sister of the Annunciation). The habit consists of a dark brown serge tunic, over which is worn a red scapular and knotted girdle. It is completed with a white wimple and black veil. The Soeurs de l'Annonciade are a contemplative order founded in 1501 by Joan of France, Duchess of Berry.

Physical description

The doll wears a habit of brown wool, red wool scapular, white linen wimple and black linen veil, pinned in place. She has a belt of knotted cord, and under her habit a linen shift and drawers. Her lower legs and feet are painetd black as if in stockings and heeled shoes. She has a smiling wax face and hands.

She has been mounted on a later wooden display stand labelled 'Religieuse de l'annuntiation de l'ordre de S.Francois'.

Place of Origin

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


first half 19th century (made)



Materials and Techniques

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


Height: 310 mm including stand, Width: 160 mm max, Depth: 135 mm max, Depth: 98 mm stand, Width: 130 mm stand, height: 27.5 cm without 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 an Annonciade nun

Production Note

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


Wax; Tow; Linen; Wool (textile)


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


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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