Background Image
Table of Contents Table of Contents
Previous Page  22 / 60 Next Page
Basic version Information
Show Menu
Previous Page 22 / 60 Next Page
Page Background

22

BCD SPECIAL REPORT ON

HISTORIC CHURCHES

23

RD ANNUAL EDITION

MONUMENTAL

BRASSES

Sally Badham

B

RASSES WERE a popular form

of grave marker used to cover the

tombs of people buried inside

churches, particularly between 1300 and

1600. Fewer brasses were made in the

17th and 18th centuries, but there was a

resurgence of interest in the 19th century

as a by-product of the Anglo-Catholic

revival, and some are still made today.

Monumental brasses developed as

an off-shoot from the making of incised

slabs, a type of grave marker with the

design cut directly into the stone, which

were produced in large numbers from

the late 9th century. Most incised slabs

displayed a cross, sometimes with an

inscription, but from the 12th century

figure slabs entered the repertory.

There are brasses in Germany dating

from the 1230s, but it was not until the

1270s that English manufacturers began

enriching incised slabs by inlaying them

with ‘latten’ – a brass-like alloy of copper,

zinc, tin and lead. Among the earliest

surviving examples are two coffin-lids

in Westminster Abbey made for the

offspring of Henry III’s half-brother

Colourful Victorian brass made by Waller of London to Sarah Hornby, 1886,

at Burton-in-Kendall, Cumbria (Photo: CB Newham)