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Statuette - St Barbara

St Barbara

  • 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 crowned figure of Saint Barbara stands with her head inclined to the right holding a crenellated tower with a truncated spire in her left hand. She presses a palm branch against her body with her right arm and her right hand rests on her breast.

The tower refers to her imprisonment by her Father.

Physical description

The crowned saint stands with her head inclined to her right. In her left hand she holds a crenellated tower, with a truncated spire; the tower is ornamented with a boss. She presses a palm branch against her body with her right arm, and her right hand rests on her breast. She wears a long gown and a cloak. Her eyes are unusually large.

There are traces of red in the surviving paint which has become very darkened with age. The back of the figure, which also shows darkened paint, is incised with three sides of a rectangle surmounted by two parallel lines. There are two lead-plugged holes, one with a latten wire attached. The bottom has been cut away.

Place of Origin

England (made)


15th century (made)



Materials and Techniques

Carved and painted alabaster

Marks and inscriptions

3 sides of a rectangle surmounted by 2 parallel lines.
On the back of the figure.; incising


Height: 44.7 cm, Width: 13.8 cm

Object history note

Acquired by Dr W. L. Hildburgh in Paris. On loan to the Museum from Dr Hildburgh since 1922.Given by W. L. Hildburgh in 1946.

Descriptive line

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

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

Cheetham, Francis. English Medieval Alabasters. Oxford: Phaidon-Christie's Limited, 1984. p. 80 (cat. 9), ill. ISBN 0-7148-8014-0


Alabaster; Paint


Carving; Painting

Subjects depicted

Boss; Gown; Cloak; Spire; Palm leaf; Tower; Crown


Christianity; Religion; Sculpture


Sculpture Collection

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