Monumental Brass Rubbings


What is Brass Rubbing?

During the Medieval time period, when wealthy and prominent people died, their burial vault was placed in their church and on top of the vault came a brass sheet where the likeness of the individual was etched. Some were extremely elaborate while others were very plain with simple lines. The complexity depended upon the skill of the artist.

In the Victorian age in Britain, creating a facsimile of these brass pieces became very popular. Many times these enthusiasts romped around Great Britain on their holidays doing brass rubbings. They would go to churches and put paper on top of the brass tomb. As they rubbed with a special crayon the etched image would appear. Many of these tombs held very important people, wealthy Lords and Ladies, Knights, Kings and Queens and even humble saints.

Because of the popularity of this activity some brass monuments were becoming worn. So to protect these precious artifacts, replicas of these brasses were made. They looked exactly like the original, except much smaller. The originals were life size. The replicas varied in size from 12 to 48 inches.

Golden Gryphon has a collection of these monumental brass pieces. They can be brought to your school as a learning package. Every student will be assigned a Brass and they will have an opportunity to create a piece of Art while learning about the history of the piece. This is an exciting activity that is easy to do.

This program can be booked on its own, or along with our Medieval feast event.

Preparation Page for Brass Rubbings

  1.  Please watch the instructional video. You may use this to instruct the students or you may decide to learn the art of brass rubbing and instruct the children yourself.
  2. We will transport everything you need to your location. In the brass rubbing tote you will find: masking tape, erasers, gold, silver and bronze rubbing crayons, polishing cloths and elastics.
  3. At least one month prior to the event, please read the description of the monumental brasses on our website. Determine which brass goes with what child. Keep in mind the size of the brass plate and the child’s ability to do the work of the rubbing.
  4. The day of the rubbing, you will need to make sure each child has a surface area that will accommodate the size of their particular monumental brass. Some students will be fine at their desk, others will need a larger table.
  5. We have over 30 monumental brass plates enough for 1 class. Let the students know which brass plate they will be using. One month prior to the event encourage them to read about their brass piece below. Have them research their person or symbol and on the day of the rubbing they can either dress like that person or bring something that they made that is connected to that person or symbol. The possibilities are endless. This process will create interest, enthusiasm and a wonderful learning experience. The day of the event will be exciting for the children because they will know their character or symbol intimately.

PLEASE NOTE: These monumental brass plates are very valuable, many being hard to replace. The crayons are also costly. They are handmade and imported from a tiny shop in Ireland. The exact number of crayons need to be returned. Any cost for damage or loss will be invoiced to the school. Please make sure the children are well supervised and are aware that these items are precious.