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Panel - St Stephen

St Stephen

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    15th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Carved and painted alabaster

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Dr W. L. Hildburgh FSA

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

The beardless Saint Stephen stands with five stones in his left hand and a stone on his head, symbolising his martyrdom by stoning. He wears the deacon's tunic, dalmatic and amice. The shape of the stones is reminiscent of small medieval loaves as represented in figures of St Philip.

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

The beardless saint stands with five stones in his left hand and a stone on his head. He wears the deacon's tunic, dalmatic and amice. The saint's right hand and possibly a book carried in it are missing. The top corners of the panel are missing. There are traces of light green paint on the robe and background which appear not to be original. The back of the panel is marked with four diagonal strokes intersected by a slanting stroke. 'St. Protoy' is also scratched on the back. There are two lead-plugged holes with the remains of latten wires attached.

Place of Origin

England (made)


15th century (made)



Materials and Techniques

Carved and painted alabaster

Marks and inscriptions

4 diagonal lines intersected by a slanting line.
On the back of the panel.; incising

'St. Protoy'
On the back of the panel.; incising


Height: 36.9 cm, Width: 13.8 cm

Object history note

Acquired by Dr W. L. Hildburgh in Paris. On loan since 1928. Given by Dr Hildburgh in 1946.

Descriptive line

Alabaster panel depicting St Stephen. English, 15th century.

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

Cheetham, Francis. English Medieval Alabasters. Oxford: Phaidon-Christie's Limited, 1984. p. 150 (cat. 79), ill. ISBN 0-7148-8014-0


Alabaster; Paint


Carving; Painting

Subjects depicted

Amice; Dalmatic; Rock; Tunic


Christianity; Religion; Sculpture


Sculpture Collection

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