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Statuette - St Fiacre

St Fiacre

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    15th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Carved alabaster

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Dr W. L. Hildburgh FSA

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    On display at the Garden Museum, London

Saint Fiacre holds a book in his right hand and a spade in his left. He is the patron saint of gardeners.

Saints are the heroes and heroines of Christian faith. In the 14th and 15th centuries, they were a popular subject for alabaster carvings. Religious themes penetrated private life, so devotional images of saints were sculpted not only for church interiors, but also for individuals to contemplate within the privacy of their homes.

Physical description

An unusually large figure of the saint stands with his bare head inclined to his right. He is bearded and his head is small in proportion to his body. He wears a girded habit under a cloak with a lappet hanging down in front; on his shoulders he wears a hood, gathered in folds round his neck. In his right hand he carries a closed book, and in his left he holds the handle of a spade which rests between his feet.

A horizontal break across the middle of the figure has been repaired. The bottom left-hand corner of the figure and part of the saint's beard is missing. The top of his book is chipped. The lower right-hand side of the figure has been damaged.

No paint remains on the figure. The back of the figure bears three holes, two of which are lead-plugged.

Place of Origin

England (made)


15th century (made)



Materials and Techniques

Carved alabaster


Height: 60 cm, Width: 22 cm

Object history note

Acquired by Dr W. L. Hildburgh in Paris. On loan from him since 1926. Given by Dr Hildburgh in1946.

Historical significance: Figures of this saint in English alabaster are rare.

Descriptive line

Alabaster statuette depicting St Fiacre. English, 15th century.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Cheetham, Francis. English Medieval Alabasters. Oxford: Phaidon-Christie's Limited, 1984. p. 102 (cat. 31), ill. ISBN 0-7148-8014-0





Subjects depicted

Hood; Cloak; Habit; Book; Shovels


Christianity; Religion; Sculpture


Sculpture Collection

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