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Symbology in Brass Rubbings

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posted on Feb, 18 2013 @ 07:16 PM
Symbology in Brass Rubbings

I'd like to present some wonderful images of a once hot art activity called Brass Rubbing. I am then going to discuss the symbology we can see present in the rubbings of these monumental brasses dating from the middle ages (13th to 17th century).

Luckily for me... my family has brought to surface this amazing art technique that grandma did while living overseas. They have a little treasure trove (approx 300) of these brass rubbings quietly tucked away in grandma's attic just waiting for our wondering eyes to see. So today I shall share some of them with you.

I will include a little article which explains a bit about Brass Monumentals & Rubbings for those of you unfamiliar with it as I was until I heard the juicy little story over visiting the family over the holidays. See Below.

I will include the following for you to see at your viewing pleasure:
a. three brass rubbings (done by gramdma, bless her for this little gift to our eyes)
b. a picture of the original monumental brass /tomb
c. a picture of the church that the brass resides in
d. a video of one of the monumental brass shown

I will discuss in a little bit of detail the symbology behind some of the beautiful and intricate details you can see that were carved into these brasses and the hidden meanings behind them. I am no expert at heraldry or medieval symbology/history so please bare with me. I have done a little bit of research to present to you here. & I simply am putting forth my ideas of the symbology and pointing to what I see present as it gravitates toward a path i choose to take in my lovely life right now. Take from it what you will. I hope it brings a bit of pleasure to your day today and perhaps even takes you on a little journey of discovery to ponder.

posted on Feb, 18 2013 @ 07:18 PM
Three Of Grandma's Brass Rubbings:

Sir John D'Aubernoun

St Marys, Stoke D'Abernon

Original Brass of Sir John D'Aubernoun

Alianora de Bohun, Duchess of Gloucester - Westminister Abbey, London

Westminister Abbey

Original Brass of Alianora de Bohun, Duchess of Gloucester

Thomas Boleyn, 1st Earl of Wiltshire

St Peters Church, Hever

Original Brass of Thomas Boleyn, 1st Earl of Wiltshire

Video of Original Brass of Thomas Boleyn

edit on 4/10/2016 by Blaine91555 because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 18 2013 @ 07:28 PM
Sir John D Aubernoun

Lion at feet - bravery, valour, nobility, courage

Chevron - protection, has built a church or fortress or has accomplished some work of faithful service

Alianora de Bohun - Duchess of Gloucester

Swan - Poetic harmany, light, love, grace

Fleur de lys - Flower of the Lily, royalty, purity, perfection, holy trinity

Thomas Boeleyn, 1st Earl of Wiltshire

Griffon at feet - mystical creature, guardian of the divine, death defying bravery, guard over treasures

Knight of the Garter - Order of the Garter

The Most Noble Order of the Garter, founded in 1348, is the highest order of chivalry existing in England and is dedicated to the image and arms of St. George as England's patron saint. Chivalric orders are societies and fellowships of knights founded in imitation of the military orders of the Crusades.


Now I want to point out a common symbol that seems to appear on these brasses. This one is particularly interesting to me. I am drawn toward this because it takes me to a place I am at for the moment. I am focusing intently on finding my inner peace, my balance, just a path I am taking now and probably will ponder for the rest of my time on the earthly realm. Nothing out of the ordinary. I'm not claiming to know anything.. just focusing myself on positive things to bring calm to my life and my focal point is Inward. Now I am not certain that this is what the symbol(s) were meant to be. I did however do research and found that the objects I've pointed out on the brasses to my eye look to be the respresentation of the dorje, mandala, rose or quatrefoil.

Here I have pointed out the symbols from the Brass Rubbings that I am referring to.

MANDALA: State of enlightenment, The attainment of englightenment, Radiating from a central point, Visual expression of the universe. To raise consiousness. Most mandalas are based on a circle encompassing a square or cross. Meditation.

DORJE: Indestructible, brilliance like a diamond, thunderbolt or lightening, thunderbolt of enlightenment, an abrupt or pivotal change in consciousness, the fixed solidness of the point of power around which all else turns, the hub of the world

ROSE: The love of God, the Virgin Mary, The Cross (if shown with four petals), Love, Faith The shape of the rose is round and centered, like a madala, symbolizes perfection and Heaven. The shape also resembles a wheel, recalling the flaming wheels of the book of Daniel.

QUATREFOIL: Four leaves, The quatrefoil is an ancient symbol of good luck, a Celtic symbol representing "the wheel of being," as well as a Christian symbol of the cross. Equal proportion, harmony, symmetry, global oneness. It doesn't intrude, it fills, it is whole. It does not divide, it is a symbol of inclusivity.

Now I will bring up something else that could tie in to the four symbols above. Ezekiel's Wheel. Notice the famous four points of Ezekiel's Wheel to make the connection.

The infamous account of Ezekiel 's wheels, often misinterpreted as a primitive description of a UFO encounter, is actually a vision of the hybrid living creatures who populate the celestial narrative. Ezekiel saw four-faced cherubim and the wheels which were assigned to them the four faces of the cardinal points of the zodiac, and a reference to their movement through the heavens (the higher mind).

Ok well there you have it. I feel these symbols (dorje, mandala, rose, quatrefoil) all point toward the same concept. Being or Becoming Enlightened, Cosmic Conscousness, Finding Balance, Inner Peace ... so on so forth. I know all this stuff has been around for ever, I'm not saying I've made any type of discovery here. I just thought the Brass Rubbings were really cool and when i started looking at the symbols and researching them I found it interesting.

I hope you have enjoyed the thread and the beauty in the details of the rubbings.

Do some digging on your own if you so wish. If anyone has anything to add I'd love to hear it.
edit on 18-2-2013 by leolady because: cuz

edit on 4/10/2016 by Blaine91555 because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 18 2013 @ 08:05 PM
very cool copies of some impressive brass reliefs. lots to ponder, interesting how there is a common theme in the symbology. Would be nice to see the other 297. Nice work Leolady

posted on Feb, 18 2013 @ 09:10 PM
reply to post by leolady

Explanation: S's&F!

Amazing pictures and nicely polished thread!

Personal Disclosure: Bumped for justice and I noted the mandala's etc reminded me of this picture I made as a tool in helping me try to understand the big bang.

Events At The Vanishing Points Horizon! Shooting Straight Sent Me In Circles! (by OmegaLogos posted on 7-7-2012 @ 09:41 AM) [ATS]

posted on Feb, 18 2013 @ 11:47 PM
I'm giving this thread a well deserved bump.
Very interesting subject. Thanks for posting this for us.

posted on Feb, 19 2013 @ 05:35 AM
reply to post by ezekielken

Thank You !

Maybe I will ask them to send me three more rubbing photos to post here. I am now kind of intrigued to see the symbols on some of the other rubbings that Grandma did. My stepdad said he was going to give my thread to the professor at the local college where they just put some of her rubbings on display. Said he had wished they'd had my thread for that display... aawwweee. :-)

The research was kind of fun for me too. Was a nice break to come home to each day...I found myself looking forward to it.

edit on 19-2-2013 by leolady because: cuz

posted on Feb, 19 2013 @ 05:45 AM
reply to post by OmegaLogos

Thank You !

Now that's cool OL ! I like your mandala, it has the square with circular central and the 4 points (cross).

I guess I just never really sat down and focused on the specifics of these shapes we have seen so many times over and over again. But I really did find it fascinating that they all had the same build / makeup with the center as the focal point & with the 4 points or cross pattern.

Maybe it is a gateway.. to the spiritual or enlightened path... or the representation of a real physical gateway, one that goes to the outer realms of space... to the cosmos ?


edit on 19-2-2013 by leolady because: cuz

posted on Feb, 19 2013 @ 05:50 AM
reply to post by SLAYER69

Thank You ! I am honored that you stopped by to take a read and a looky loo & that you found this interesting !


posted on Feb, 19 2013 @ 05:53 AM
Interesting art in brass leolady. I have never seen anything like this before. Reminds me of legend of Camelot.

posted on Feb, 19 2013 @ 01:44 PM
Very nicely done introduction to the topic!

I remember when this was a popular art -- some of my friends were into it, and there were museums nearby that had "brass rubbing" as a children's activity (while it was brass, they were using crayons on modern brass etchings.) Your grandmother was very talented -- those things aren't quite as simple to do as one might think!

posted on Feb, 20 2013 @ 05:36 AM
reply to post by AthlonSavage

Thanks Athlon !

I'm glad its something you have not seen before. That's what I like about ATS...we get to see and read things that someone else dug up for us either in research or from the depths of their wonderful minds.. that we may never have seen or thought of ourselves... Little blessings.

Glad you stopped by and thank you for your advice on posting.


posted on Feb, 20 2013 @ 05:44 AM
reply to post by Byrd

Hey Byrd.

Well Thank You. I will pass your compliment onto Grandma !

Based on some of the reading I did, I think there probably are still some places out there that offer brass rubbing activities for anyone interested but yes they are replicas or other pieces of brass being used.

You know when I first heard of the brass rubbing over the holidays, it did remind me of something I did as a child growing up. One of the churches I attended was having a Halloween party. This particular church had a small cemetery on site. One of the planned activities was rubbing tombstones. We used paper and some kind of crayon or chalk and walla... we ended up with a rubbed tombstone. It was fun.

But yeah looking at the life size rubbings Grandma doesn't look that easy and the detail turned about beautiful. I can only imagine trying to keep the paper in place...

posted on Feb, 20 2013 @ 11:31 AM
You should ask your grandmother about her techniques. The detail of Sir John is just beautiful, and the smoothness of the black ink is very aesthetically pleasing. Is she also an artist?

posted on Feb, 23 2013 @ 10:27 AM
I'd like to share in depth a bit more of information on some of the symbols. First we will look at the dorje because I was first drawn toward this symbol when I started my research on the symbols in the rubbings.

The dorje which originated in India from Hinduism (2000 BC) to Buddhism (500 BC).

In sanskrit dorje means vajra

The dorje symbol came to Tibetan Buddhism from Hinduism. In Sanskrit, dorje is called 'vajra.' Vajra means, 'thunderbolt' or 'diamond,' and the vajra is indestructible. The vajra is like a diamond, because it can destroy, but it cannot be destroyed. The vajra represents spiritual power. In Hinduism, the vajra is the weapon of Indra (the god of rain, lightning, and the sky). The vajra symbol also DESTROYS IGNORANCE. The vajra is the symbol of Vajrayana Buddhism, one of the three major branches of Buddhism. Vajrayana Buddhism is also known as the 'Thunderbolt Way' or the 'Diamond Way.'

The vajra symbol Destroys Ignorance: I couldn't help but notice this reminds me of the ATS Motto - Deny Ignorance


posted on Mar, 13 2013 @ 07:33 PM
Here are a few more pictures of some of Grandma's Brass Rubbings.

Sir John Harpeden, Knight of, Harpsden, Oxfordshire, England

Margaret Cheyne

John, Lord Le Strange, and his Wife Jacquetta, 1509, Hillingdon, Middlesex

John Wawtrey and Ruislip

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