Saint Philip

Statuette
fifteenth century (made)
Saint Philip thumbnail 1
Saint Philip thumbnail 2
Not currently on display at the V&A

Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

The beardless Saint Philip is shown with a distinctive hair-style shaped into a zigzag fringe on the forehead. He wears a robe and a cloak draped from his left shoulder and in his right hand, on a cloth, he carries his emblem, three loaves of a typical medieval shape to represent the Feeding of the Five Thousand. From his left arm hangs a long scroll which presumably originally bore the words of the Apostles' Creed attributed to him. The saint's head has been broken off and repaired. His left hand is missing. There is some damage at the figure's shoulders.

Saint Philip was present at the miracle of the Feeding of the Five thousand whereby Jesus fed a multitude of people with only five loaves and two fishes.


object details
Object Type
Parts
This object consists of 2 parts.

  • Statuette
  • Head
Materials and Techniques
Carved alabaster
Brief Description
Statuette, alabaster, St Philip, English, fifteenth century
Physical Description
Statuette, alabaster with flattened back. The beardless saint is shown with a distinctive hair-style, the hair shaped into a zigzag fringe on the forehead. He wears a robe and a cloak drpaed from his left shoulder. In his right hand, on a cloath, he carries his emblem, three loaves of a typical medieval shape to represent the Feeding of the Five Thousand. From his left arm hangs a long scroll which presumably originally bore the words of the Apostles' Creed attributed to him. The saint's head has been broken off and repaired. His left hand is missing. There is some damage at the figure's shoulders.
Dimensions
  • Height: 22in
  • Width: 6in
Object history
Given by Dr W.L Hildburgh after having been on loan since 1924.
Historical context
This figure appears to be from the same altarpiece as the figures of Saint Bartholomew, St James the Less and Saint Jude. They form part of a set of the twelve apostles, possibly from St. Avit-les-Guespières, Sarthe. There is another figure of St Philip in the present collection, in the Apostles Creed Altarpiece. Figures of the Saint in English Alabaster are recorded at Abergavenny on the side of the tomb of William ap-Thomas (c.1450) and at Tong, Shropshire, on the side of the tomb of Sir Richard Vernon (d.1451) Other figures of the saint include one in the George Collection, Connecticut, one in the Burrell Collection, Glasgow and a fragment in the collection of Oscott College, near Birmingham.
Subjects depicted
Summary
The beardless Saint Philip is shown with a distinctive hair-style shaped into a zigzag fringe on the forehead. He wears a robe and a cloak draped from his left shoulder and in his right hand, on a cloth, he carries his emblem, three loaves of a typical medieval shape to represent the Feeding of the Five Thousand. From his left arm hangs a long scroll which presumably originally bore the words of the Apostles' Creed attributed to him. The saint's head has been broken off and repaired. His left hand is missing. There is some damage at the figure's shoulders.



Saint Philip was present at the miracle of the Feeding of the Five thousand whereby Jesus fed a multitude of people with only five loaves and two fishes.
Bibliographic Reference
Cheetham, Francis. English Medieval Alabasters. Oxford: Phaidon-Christie's Limited, 1984.
Collection
Accession Number
A.59:1-1946

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record createdJune 24, 2009
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