St Barbara

15th century (made)
St Barbara thumbnail 1
Not currently on display at the V&A

Place Of Origin

This statuette representing St. Barbara holding a cannon ball was made in the 15th century England.

object details
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Carved, painted and gilt alabaster
Brief Description
Alabaster statuette depicting St Barbara. English, 15th century.
Physical Description
At the side of the crowned saint stands a tower in the form of a crenellated column, ornamented with a boss. The saint holds a cannon-ball in her right hand; a fragment below her left shoulder suggests she held a palm in her left hand. She wears a tight-fitting robe, and a cloak which is draped from her shoulders.

The left hand is missing and the nose, chin and hair are chipped. There is blue and red paint and gilding on the saint's garments which look modern. Traces of gilding on her hair and crown look more authentic. The back of the figure has been scooped out as if it were a wood carving. There are two lead-filled holes.
  • Height: 57.7cm
  • Width: 22.5cm
Object history
Bought in Paris from N. Filiba in 1921.
Subjects depicted
This statuette representing St. Barbara holding a cannon ball was made in the 15th century England.
Bibliographic Reference
Cheetham, Francis. English Medieval Alabasters. Oxford: Phaidon-Christie's Limited, 1984. p. 77 (cat. 6), ill. ISBN 0-7148-8014-0
Accession Number

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record createdNovember 29, 2002
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