Brass Rubbings Collection
The Ashmolean Museum currently holds some five thousand rubbings of monumental brasses and inscribed slabs, including ones made by the Oxford University Brass Rubbing Society in the 1890s, the Oxford University Archaeological Society in the 1940s, and M.H.R. Cook in the 1980s, as well as those from the major collection compiled by the Oxford Architectural and Historical Society between the 1840s and 1910s. Many of these rubbings are of brasses which have since been worn, damaged or lost, and provide an important record of how the brasses used to appear. Most of the rubbings in the collection are over a century old and are on large-format paper which is now extremely fragile. For preservation reasons the collection cannot be made available for consultation.
Image: Sir Thomas de Braunstone (d.1401),
Constable of Wisbech Castle,
in armour. (detail), Rubbing by T.E. Lawrence in 1905
This online searchable catalogue of the Ashmolean’s brass rubbings collection provides information about the individual rubbings including a short description of each and details of when and by whom it was rubbed, if known, as well as the date of the monumental brass or inscribed slab that was rubbed, and where it was located, again if known. There are few professional photographs of the rubbings in the collection, and copies of these are displayed where they exist. They are supplemented by images of out-of-copyright line drawings of the brasses and by record photographs of the original brasses or the churches where they were located. Where possible, links to other websites providing information about the memorials have been supplied. The Ashmolean is not responsible for the content of these other websites.