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Trappist Monk

  • Object:

    Ecclesiastical figure

  • Place of origin:

    France (possibly, made)
    Germany (possibly, made)
    Netherlands (possibly, made)

  • Date:

    first half 19th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Figure made of tow and wax, dressed in linen and woollen materials.

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Mr. G. Smith

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

  • Public access description

    This figure is one of a set of 50 dressed to represent the outfits worn by Catholic religious orders. They are made of tow (hemp) with wax heads, hands and feet. They were probably made in France, as they are labelled in French, but some of the orders represented were only active in Germany and the Netherlands.

    This figure represents a Trappist monk. The Trappist order is a Cistercian order founded in 1664, and still in existence today. The Trappist order is mainly known as a monastic order, but like other Cistercian orders, it has a women's branch known as the Trappistines. The order was founded at La Trappe Abbey in Normandy in reaction to the general relaxation of practices in many Cistercian monasteries, and retains stricter rules. The Trappist monk's habit comprises a white tunic over which is worn a black scapular and cloak.

  • Physical description

    Figure made of wax and tow, dressed in linen and woollen fabrics.
    White tunic, black scapular, black cape

  • Dimensions

    Height: 31 cm including stand

  • Object history note

    One of a group of 50 figures given to the Educational Department by Mr. G. Smith of St John's Wood in 1868, but only formally accessioned in 1905. The labels on the bases are in French but some of the orders represented (e.g the Alexians and the Order of the Conception) seem to have been confined to Germany and the Low Countries. (from original acquisition record for 1905)

  • Descriptive line

    Wax and tow figure dressed as a Trappist monk

  • Collection code

    Textiles and Fashion Collection