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Minimite Nun

  • Object:

    Ecclesiastical figure

  • Place of origin:

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

  • Date:

    first half 19th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

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

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Mr. G. Smith

  • Museum number:

    1212:21-1905

  • 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 Minimite nun. The Order of the Minims was founded in Italy in the 1430s by St. Francis of Paola (1416-1507). The order was known for extreme humility and austerity. The Minim nuns wear a simple black habit with wide sleeves, a black scapula, and a white wimple and black veil. Around the waist is a cord with four knots in it representing the four vows of celibacy, poverty, obedience, and service that the nun would make on entering the sisterhood.

Physical description

Figure made of wax and tow, dressed in linen and woollen fabrics.
Black tunic and scapular, cord sash with four large knots, white wimple, black veil

Place of Origin

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

Date

first half 19th century (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

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

Dimensions

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 Minimite nun

Production Note

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

Materials

Wax; Tow; Linen; Wool (textile)

Categories

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

Collection

Textiles and Fashion Collection

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