Old-English / Medieval Brass Rubbing

From Angie's collection of authentic English Brass replicas, purchased at the Brass Rubbing Centres in England, Angie is now offering brass rubbings in a single color for outrageously low prices. Now you dont have to travel to England to the old Churches to rub these treasures. We will do the work and send you the product. Specify the color combination: gold on black paper, or black on white paper. Angie is the only one in the US offering multiple colors within each rubbing. All materials are imported from England and are of the highest quality. The inventory and prices for rubbing:
  • Margaret Cheyne (Boleyn), d. 1419, [#800] 6 1/2" x 9" @ $25
  • Robert the Bruce, King of Scotland, d. 1306-1329, [#801] 8" x 18" @ $35
  • Thomas Bullen (Boleyn) Earl of Whitshire, d. 1538, [#802] 8" x 20" @ $35
  • Sir John DAubernon, d. 1277, [#803] 7 1/2" x 18" @ $35
  • Margaret Bernard, wife of Sir Thomas Peyton, d. 1484, [#804] 8" x 18" $35
  • Nicholas Wadham, d. 1609, [#805] 8" x 20" @ $35
  • Dorothy Wadham, 1d. 1618, [#806] 8" x 20" @ $35
  • John and Mary Rixman, d. 1620, [#807] 25" x 21" @ $70
  • Marguerite de Scornay, d. 1443-62, [#808] 22" x 35" @ $80
  • Henry Oskens, d. 1535, [#809] 25" x 36" @ $80
  • John and Lettys Terry, d. 1524, [#810] 25 1/2" x 35" @ $80
  • Richard and Elizabeth Wakehurst, d. 1455 and 1464, [#811] 23" x 59" @ $130

Monumental English Brass Rubbing

by Angie Magruder

A Rubbing of a Monumental English Brass plate is an exact replica of that brass plate, created through a process called, Brass Rubbing.

The Plate from which a rubbing is made is called a brass. Brasses were made from 1100 - 1600 as a commemoration to the dead or for a special church related event. Brasses were made to take the place of granite and marble tomb stones in many instances during that period of time, because the brass alloy used was sturdier, lasted much longer and was considered more attractive (they were sometimes inlaid with colorful enamel work).

Brasses were and still are found throughout Great Britain and Europe. However, because metal and enamel were such a precious commodity, many of the brasses on the European continent were destroyed and melted down (presumably to create armament for the various warring factions).

A brass rubbing is created by stretching paper over the deeply etched brass plate and rubbing vigorously over the papers surface with a hard crayon-type wax cake (some cakes have gold, silver, copper or brass incorporated into them, creating a metallic sheen on the papers surface). In doing this, an exact copy of what lies under the paper is created. In the 1300s a Vicar in a small church school in England is said to have discovered this process by using linen and a ball of black heelball wax, thereby recognizing its aesthetic and decorative appeal.

When it was discovered that a form of art could be created in this manner, it caused great excitement, as there was no art available to the common man. The only art of that time was owned by nobility and usually consisted of tapestry and oil paintings. The popularity of brass rubbing caught on and sky rocketed. People sailed from all over the world to be able to participate in this new art form.

Brasses have been found as small as 3" x 4" and as large as a figure brass, standing over 6 ft in height. Larger scenes were known to have existed, but have been destroyed over the ages. Rubbing a clear and neat image is essential and not always easily achieved. Today brass rubbings can be done in a variety of wax and paper colors, unlike the limited black wax on white paper as was used for hundreds of years. Imperfections that are seen in the rubbings result from damaged brasses, since the rubbings are exactcopies.

The brasses that are being rubbed today are (with only a very few exceptions) exact replicas created from the originals that can still be found in the churches and chapels of England and Europe. Some of the brass copies today are also produced in miniature sizes.

Brasses in our young nation of America are nonexistent except in private collections. For this reason brass rubbings are relatively rare and their origin all but unknown. The history behind each is a fascinating insight into medieval times throughout Europe and Great Britain.