Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

Panel - St Michael weighing souls with the Virgin interceding
  • St Michael weighing souls with the Virgin interceding
  • Enlarge image

St Michael weighing souls with the Virgin interceding

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    15th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Carved, painted and gilt alabaster

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Dr W. L. Hildburgh FSA

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

The Virgin Mary stands on the right sheltering two souls under her left arm while St Michael stands on the left holding the top of the scales in his left hand. As the Archangel Michael weighs a sould in judgement, the Virgin stretches out her rosary to redress the balance in favour of mercy. The panel is damaged and it is possible to reconstruct the damaged details of this panel from other surviving examples.

Physical description

The winged saint, wearing a tiara surmounted with a cross, an alb and amice, stands on the left of the panel, looking right. He holds the shaft of a weighing balance in his left hand. The crowned and haloed figure of the Virgin, wearing a close-fitting gown, stands on the right of the panel, facing left. She shelters three souls, one of whom is represented only by the back of the head, under her cloak beneath her left arm. A stylized tree is between the two principal figures.

Much of the weighing balance, including the weighing pans, is missing, and there is a hole in the lower centre of the panel and a large piece missing from the lower left-hand side. Traces of green paint remain and the usual daisy pattern. The upper background is gilt, with traces of gesso knobs. There is green with some reddish brown on the tree. There are traces of red in the folds of the Virgin's cloak. The back of the panel bears three lead-plugged holes with latten wires attached.

Place of Origin

England (made)


15th century (made)



Materials and Techniques

Carved, painted and gilt alabaster


Height: 39.2 cm, Width: 25.3 cm

Object history note

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

Descriptive line

Alabaster panel depicting St Michael weighing souls with the Virgin interceding. English, 15th century.

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

Cheetham, Francis. English Medieval Alabasters. Oxford: Phaidon-Christie's Limited, 1984. p. 133 (cat. 62), ill. ISBN 0-7148-8014-0


Alabaster; Paint; Gilt


Carving; Painting; Gilding

Subjects depicted

Cross; Gown; Alb; Halo; Crown; Tree; Cloak; Amice


Christianity; Religion; Sculpture


Sculpture Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.