What are Brass Rubbings? 

Brass Rubbing is a medieval art form where a sheet of paper is stretched across the brass plates commonly found on tombs and churches in Europe, and an impression taken using special hard waxes.  Read on for more details.

We import our rubbing plates from England.  They are high quality reproductions of European tomb pieces or Celtic stone carvings.  They consist of a brass plate mounted on a composite slab.  The following description explains how the brass rubbing picture is created to order.  

The example being used is King Robert the Bruce, Scotland's medieval hero king who won independence for Scotland from the overbearing English monarchs.

  • Ensure the brass is clean and free of dust.

  • Tape a sheet of special paper down to the brass

  • Lightly feel for the outline of the brass features and carefully crease the paper at these edges

Creasing the outline.

  • Using the flat side of the wax, pick out the outline in wax.

Lightly marking the edges with wax.

  • Go lightly over the whole figure to pick up the detail, taking care not to rub over the edge.

Starting to work more heavily on local areas

  • Starting at one end of the brass, using the tip of the, wax, rub quite hard in the same direction, doing small areas at a time.  Use a small piece of card or your hand to stop you slipping off the edge of the paper and tearing it.

  • Carry on rubbing until you have a good even finish all over.

  • Using a piece of kitchen paper buff the waxed area to bring up gloss sheen.

  • Carefully remove the tape and your piece of work is ready to frame.


Robert the Bruce King of Scots Brass taken from the Original Brass at Dunfermline Abbey, Fife, Scotland.

Completed Brass Silver on White Paper Still Taped to Brass.

We can provide a wide selection of rubbings rolled up in a protective tube to ensure safe delivery to you.  We also can make up King Robert and other selected brass rubbings into fully matted, glazed and framed pictures.


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