Brass Rubbings

Brass Rubbings

I found this Rubbing at a Thrift shop for $1. I knew it was something but it did not have a signature or any way to identify what it was. I researched this forever! I google searched gold etched drawings, Gold on black paper and so many different google searches.

brass rubbing

My Ebay Listing is here

brass rubbing

I thought I finally had it figured out when I saw a gold print on black paper online. The print I found was an from an artist named Sascha Brastoff. He mostly did ceramics but I saw this print and got excited. I ended researching about Sascha B and found someone that wrote a book about him. Then I researched that man and found his email on a blog. I emailed Author Steve Conti. He was nice enough to write me back and tell me this was definitely not Sascha Brastoff. That was so nice of him to email me back and I wanted to give him a shoutout. ( I have emailed many people in the past on other things with no reply.)

And… back to the drawing board. Next I decided to ask on Social Media. I posted a picture of it asking “does anyone know this artist?” on Instagram and Pinterest and someone replied a few days later saying it looked like a Rubbing. I was so happy to have another way to research this! I had never heard of a Rubbing before and she was right!!

So now I know this is A Brass Rubbing of Sir Ralph Verney & Lady Elizabeth. This is why I love searching for treasures! I am always learning something new.

Here is information on them.

Sir Ralph VerneyLady Elizabeth


What is a Brass Rubbing? Here is what I found out about that..

Brass rubbing was originally a largely British enthusiasm for reproducing onto paper monumental brasses – commemorative brass plaques found in churches, usually originally on the floor, from between the thirteenth and sixteenth centuries. The concept of recording textures of things is more generally called making a rubbing. What distinguishes rubbings from frottage is that rubbings are meant to reproduce the form of something being transferred, whereas frottage is usually only intended to use a general texture.

Brass rubbings are created by laying a sheet of paper on top of a brass (actually called "latten" - an alloy of brass and nickel) and rubbing the paper with graphite, wax, or chalk, a process similar to rubbing a pencil over a piece of paper placed on top of a coin. In the "old days" rubbings were most commonly made using the equivalent of what nowadays is called "butcher paper" [a 22–30-inch-wide (560–760 mm) roll of paper laid down over the brass and rubbed with "heelball", a waxy glob of black crayon once used to shine shoes. Now most brass rubbers purchase special paper rolls of heavy duty black velvety material, and the crayons are gold, silver or bronze (other colors are available).

Brass plaques are slowly but surely worn away by the rubbing process and in many cases creating rubbings is banned. Brass rubbing centers with replicas of original brass plaques have become a prime source for brass rubbings in the UK.

Brass rubbing Information from wikipedia.


Searching for Treasures

If you have problems identifying the person in the drawings, take a picture and put it on social media asking if anyone knows who it is. I do that a lot with different things and you would be surprised how well that works. :) Just be sure to do more research after the suggestions to be sure its correct.

Kim Sweatt

I have 3, one large and two smaller. How do you identify the person in the running if there is no name?


So happy I found this post! I came across a framed rubbing of Elizabeth Verney at my local Goodwill yesterday and it came home with me, thankfully her name is also written underneath the image which gave me a bit of a head start in learning about her, but I’ve definitely had trouble getting info.


My mom did one around the same time frame when traveling in England for 3 months. She had it framed when she came back to the states. Definitely frame it!

Eileen Moatz

I have several rubbing from churches in England.We did them with our scout troops and mom did some on her own.They were done in the late 60s early 70s. They are not framed. Are they worth framing after all these years?

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