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Brass rubbing - Sir Thomas de St Quintin and his wife Agnes

Sir Thomas de St Quintin and his wife Agnes

  • Object:

    Brass rubbing

  • Place of origin:

    Beverley (Location of original brass. Rubbing would have been made on site. Original brass might have been made elsewhere prior to its installation., made)

  • Date:

    1418 (made)
    second quarter 20th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    wax rubbing of monumental brass on paper

  • Credit Line:

    Given by the Royal Institute of British Architects

  • Museum number:

    E.881-1950

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Monumental brasses are commemorative plaques that served as effigies and were most commonly found in churches. The earliest examples come from the thirteenth century but they were popular up until the seventeenth century and then again in the Victorian Gothic Revival. Surviving brasses from the medieval period are limited due to the turbulent history of the Church but they do survive in considerable numbers in the East of England, Germany and Flanders. Made from an alloy of copper and zinc, a material known as latten, they were laid into church floors and walls. Monumental brasses are historically and stylistically significant because they record dress, architecture, armoury, heraldry (coats of arms and insignia) and palaeography (handwriting) in a dated object. In addition they tell the story of memorial and patronage.

The practice of recording brasses through a process of rubbing originates from the Victorian Gothic Revival. An early method of pouring printer’s ink into engraved lines and then placing damp tissue paper over the brass was replaced around the mid-nineteenth century with the more effective technique of using black shoemaker’s wax, known as heel ball. Brass rubbing continued to be a popular hobby into the twentieth century before the process was understood to cause damage to the brasses.

Physical description

Rubbing of a memorial brass, consisting of effigies and part of a border inscription, commemorating Sir Thomas de St. Quintin and his wife Agnes (born de Mauley), from Harpham Church, Yorkshire. Sir Thomas is depicted in armour.

Place of Origin

Beverley (Location of original brass. Rubbing would have been made on site. Original brass might have been made elsewhere prior to its installation., made)

Date

1418 (made)
second quarter 20th century (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

wax rubbing of monumental brass on paper

Dimensions

Height: 1727.2 mm, Width: 533.4 mm

Object history note

Rubbing taken at Harpham Church, Yorkshire and given by the Royal Institute of British Architects. On 6 sheets mounted on 2 sheets.

Descriptive line

Rubbing of the brass effigies of Sir Thomas de St Quintin with his wife Agnes (née de Mauley), 1418, Harpham St. John Church, Beverley, Yorkshire

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Victoria and Albert Museum, Department of Prints and Drawings and Department of Paintings Accessions 1950, London, 1962.
Stephenson, Mill. A List of Monumental Brasses in the British Isles. London, 1926 and Appendix, 1938.
V&A Print Room's Print Catalogue: BRASS RUBBINGS CATALOGUE 1277-1434, 1991

Materials

Wax; Paper

Techniques

Rubbing

Categories

Death; Metalwork; Rubbings; Commemoration

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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