Framing Brass Rubbings

The practice of making rubbings has been around since ancient times, with impressions made from relief images on everything from temples, to gravestones, to coins.

A brass rubbing is made from a plate called a brass. Brasses in England illustrate knights and ladies, scholars, merchants and priests.

Laid in floors and walls, brasses memorialize the figures they depict and reflect their status and occupation. Produced in England and Europe from the 1200s to the mid-1600s, many brasses are still found today, in old cathedrals and churches.

Rubbings are created by positioning paper over a raised image and rubbing evenly across the surface with a crayon or a graphite or charcoal stick. The paper should be strong and flexible.

Whether you spent your time on your hands and knees doing the rubbing, or whether you purchased a rubbing ready made, it's a treasured souvenir – and should be framed by a professional framer with extreme care!

Mounting and framing:
Because of the process involved in creating a rubbing, the paper will be stretched to some degree. Be aware that creases and wrinkles may not go away even if the piece is mounted down to a board.

Rubbings have a dramatic look when framed with either a plain wood or metal frame, which complements the color of the image in the rubbing. The gothic simplicity of these rubbings is often effectively presented when simply accented by a gold or black frame.

Matting is recommended to act as a spacer between the brass rubbing and the glass, and to visually tie a black or gold rubbing into a room's decor. Many times the image is close to the edge of the paper and a mat will open up the composition so it does not appear cramped in the frame.

Your brass rubbings can create beautiful, dramatic and treasured art for your home or office!

Look for the purple and white Professional Picture Framers Association (PPFA) member decal on a shop door or window!