Exceptional wood statue of St. Apollonia. Upper Swabia, second third of the 16th century (circa 1540). Carved basswood with hollow back. Polychrome probably later in the eighteenth century. Only the tip of the left foot was replaced, all that has not been broken.
Saint Apollonia (or Apolline): Virgin and Martyr of Alexandria in Egypt. The last year of Emperor Philip the Arab, in 249, after Trajan Decius usurped power, pagan mob summit Apollonia to deny his God. They seized her, broke her jaw, causing him to lose all his teeth. They threatened to throw her alive in a pile if it did not utter impious formulas. She chooses to offer his life in sacrifice, rather than blaspheme or undergo further suffering. She rushed into the flames.
She is the patron saint of dentists (celebrated Feb. 9) and is invoked against the toothache.
Upper Swabia: the south-west of present-day Germany which lies north of Lake Constance. Duchy of Swabia is founded in the tenth century. Baroque art there has been a tremendous growth thanks to the proliferation of churches and monasteries competed in beauty, thus asserting their power.