What is Brass Rubbing?

Monuments fashioned out of brass were set into walls and floors of European churches between the 13th and 17th centuries to commemorate the dead. Knights, ladies, and priests are portrayed in stylized form, yet costumes are depicted with extraordinary authenticity. The brasses provide a fascinating look at the changes that occurred in clothing, armor, and religious beliefs.

BRASS RUBBINGS are exact impressions taken of these monuments. Rubbings are created by covering the brass with a thin but sturdy paper of high quality and rubbing with special waxes. Originally the engravers themselves took rubbings of their brasses to keep a record of their work. Generally popular since Victorian times, brass rubbing is an enjoyable pastime for art, history, and folklore enthusiasts. Few activities allow you to get in touch with medieval heritage while rewarding you with decorative wall hangings.

Rubbing Centers were set up in recent years to offset the forbiddance of the rubbing of the Church brasses. Facsimilies, accurate in every detail, spare the original monuments wear and tear.

Wachs Brass Rubbing Centre was established at Marlow-on-Thames in 1976 and later moved to Englishtown, NJ. Here Brigitte Wachs handcrafts each rubbing individually, allowing for numerous variations in design. Figures may be grouped as couples or multiple images on one sheet and are available in a variety of colors.