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 an Augustinian friar. The Order of Friars Hermits of Saint Augustine, now known simply as the Order of Saint Augustine, was founded in the thirteenth century, and continues strongly today. Their work includes teaching, scientific study, and missionary work. The friars are a separate order to that of the Augustinian canons and canonesses. (see 1212:32-1905 and 1212:37-1905). The Augustinian friar wears a black tunic with wide sleeves over a white garment with close-fitting white sleeves, a wide leather belt, and a black cape with hood.