Figure of St John the Baptist from Wix, Essex by Unknown Artist

John the Baptist appears in the robes of a prophet, with his characteristic wild hair and long beard, gesturing with his right hand to a platter which he holds in his left.


3.3 x 1.1 x 1 cm
Art Fund grant:
£4,500 ( Total: £18,000)
Acquired in:
Department for Culture, Media and Sport

This represents the platter on which the saint’s head was brought to Salome after his execution according to the account in St Matthew’s Gospel. The figure was originally part of a larger object such as a shrine, casket or piece of statuary. It is a rare object due to the thoroughness of the destruction of religious art during the Reformation. This work will compliment the gilt bronze figure of St John the Evangelist, ArtFunded in 2002, as an example of late medieval figurative metalwork.


Found by a metal detectorist in the Wix, Essex and declared Treasure in 2008.

Venue details

Colchester Castle Castle Park, Colchester Essex CO1 1TJ 01206 282 939

Entry details

Free with National Art Pass (standard entry £7.50)

Daily, 10am – 5pm (Sun from 11am)