St James the Less

Statuette
15th century (made)
Not currently on display at the V&A

Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Saint James the Less, with long hair and a spade shaped beard is shown holding a fuller's club, the symbol of martyrdom in his right hand. In his left hand he holds a scroll, which presumably originally bore the phrase of the Apostles Creed attributed to him. He wears a robe and a cloak draped from his right shoulder.

Saint James the Less was beaten to death with a fuller's club, in Lower Egypt where he was preaching the Gospel.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Carved and painted alabaster
Brief Description
Alabaster statuette depicting St James the Less. English, 15th century.
Physical Description
The saint has long hair and wears a spade-shaped beard. He holds a fuller's club, his symbol, in his right hand. In his left hand he holds a scroll, which presumably originally bore the phrase of the Apostles' Creed attributed to him. He wears a robe and a cloak draped from his right shoulder.



The top of the scroll is broken off at hand level. There are traces of the usual green ground and daisy pattern. There are traces of blue in the folds of the cloak.



The back of the panel is marked with 12 closely spaced incisions. There are two holes with the remains of lead in-filling. There is a mark down the middle, running the length of the figure, which shows where the alabaster was sawn from the block. On one side the surface is smooth, on the other very rough. The bottom has been cut away.
Dimensions
  • Height: 55.6cm
  • Width: 16.7cm
Style
Marks and Inscriptions
12 closely spaced lines. (On the back of the figure.; incising)
Credit line
Given by Dr W. L. Hildburgh FSA
Object history
Acquired by Dr W. L. Hildburgh in Paris. Possibly originally from the church at St. Avit-les-Guespières, Sarthe. On loan from Dr Hildburgh since 1924 and given by him to the Museum in 1946.
Subjects depicted
Summary
Saint James the Less, with long hair and a spade shaped beard is shown holding a fuller's club, the symbol of martyrdom in his right hand. In his left hand he holds a scroll, which presumably originally bore the phrase of the Apostles Creed attributed to him. He wears a robe and a cloak draped from his right shoulder.



Saint James the Less was beaten to death with a fuller's club, in Lower Egypt where he was preaching the Gospel.
Associated Objects
Bibliographic Reference
Cheetham, Francis. English Medieval Alabasters. Oxford: Phaidon-Christie's Limited, 1984. p. 109 (cat. 38), ill. ISBN 0-7148-8014-0
Collection
Accession Number
A.58-1946

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record createdNovember 13, 2002
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