Brass Rubbing: John Sleford


Thumbnail of Brass Rubbing: John Sleford (1982.05.0140)

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Basic Information

Artifact Identification Brass Rubbing: John Sleford   (1982.05.0140)
  1. Communication Artifacts
  2. :
  3. Documentary Artifacts
  4. :
  5. Graphic Documents
Artist/Maker Kathleen H. Cairns.
Geographic Location
Period/Date Medieval, 1401 CE
Culture British, English

Physical Analysis

Dimension 1 (Length) 271.0 cm
Dimension 2 (Width) 130.0 cm
Dimension 3 (Depth) 1.3 cm
Weight 634 g
Measuring Remarks 130.0cm is the measure of the dowel rods. The end pieces are 125.0cm and the body of the piece, border to border is 117.0cm. The depth refers to the thickness of the dowel rods used to suspend this piece.
Materials Paper, Plant--Wood, Metal--Steel, Pigment
Manufacturing Processes Rubbing
Munsell Color Information Black (N 2/ 3.1% R) White (N 9.5/ 90.0% R) Moderate Yellowish Brown (10YR 5/4) Strong Red (5R 5/12)

Research Remarks

Published Description

From the catalogue, An Exhibition of Medieval Brass Rubbings by Kathleen H. Cairns. "John Sleford, 1401. He was rector of the church. In processional cope with orphrey, a richly embroidered strip showing the following saints: Virgin and Child, St. John, Katherine, Paul, Mary Magdalene, John the Baptist, Audrey, Peter, Margaret and Wilfred (a bishop). Under a triple canopy with Trinity, his soul held in a sheet by seraphim. Also the arms of England and Queen Phillipa. The margin inscription is badly mutilated. The largest extant effigy brass in England TRANSLATION OF INSCRIPTION: John Sleford de (break in brass). Generous with his purse lies under this marble, vanquished. Helper of the just, constant punisher of vices whom King Edward loved, for he was slow to evil. He cared for the wardrobe of him (King Edward) while he lived, well. He built the church, never after felt sorry. He erected the stalls, pouring his money generously. Canon at first of Wells, later he was of Ripon. At the Feast of Edward he died with modest end (break in brass) in the thousandth year of our Lord and with a full set of four hundred also, adding a first year to this sum. His body was brought into the universal Oneness. O merciful Christ I pray he may enter heaven. May He who bore death for all hold no stern judgement (break in brass)." Description as it appears in exhibition catalog for Botetourt Gallery and Museum, College of William and Mary, 1971-1972: "He was Rector of the church, Master of the Wardrobe to Edward III, Chaplain to Queen Phillippa, Prebendary of St. Stephens, Westminster, Archdeacon of Wells, Canon of Ripon and Wells, rebuilder of his church at Balsham and erector of the stalls. In precssional cape and orphery. On the orphery are the following saints: Blessed Mary and Child, John Evangel, Katherine, Paul, Mary Magdalene, John the Baptist, Audrey, Peter, Margaret, Wilfred (a bishop). Under a triple canopy with Trinity, soul in a sheet held by seraphim. Also the arms of England and Queen Phillippa. The margin inscription is mutilated. The largest extant brass in England. (Translation follows; same as above)

Description N/A
Comparanda N/A

Cairns, Kathleen H. An Exhibition of Medieval Brass Rubbings, December 7, 1969 through January 4, 1970. Frick Fine Arts Building, University of Pittsburgh. Catalog #5. Cairns, Kathleen H. An Exhibition of Brass Rubbings from the Collection of Kathleen H. Cairns, December 5, 1971 - January 14, 1972. Botetourt Gallery and Museum, Swem Library, College of William and Mary. Catalog #2. Felgate, T.M. Knights on Suffolk Brasses. East Anglian Magazine Ltd. Ipswich, Sufflok 1976. Spinke, Winifred. A Memento from Old England. Bury St. Edmunds, n.d. Cairns, Kathleen H. An Exhibition of Medieval Brass Rubbings, October 20 through November 19. Catalog #2

Artifact History

Archaeological Data N/A
Credit Line/Dedication Gift of Kathleen H. Cairns
Reproduction no
Reproduction Information N/A

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