Brass Rubbing: John and Joan de la Pole


Thumbnail of Brass Rubbing: John and Joan de la Pole ()

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Basic Information

Artifact Identification Brass Rubbing: John and Joan de la Pole   (1997.05.0008)
  1. Communication Artifacts
  2. :
  3. Documentary Artifacts
  4. :
  5. Graphic Documents
Artist/Maker None
Geographic Location
  1. Europe, West
  2. :
  3. United Kingdom
  4. :
  5. Essex
  6. :
  7. Chrishall
Period/Date 1380 CE
Culture N/A

Physical Analysis

Dimension 1 (Length) 266.7 cm
Dimension 2 (Width) 116.8 cm
Dimension 3 (N/A) N/A
Weight N/A
Measuring Remarks None
Materials Plant--Wood, Paper, Glass, Wax
Manufacturing Processes Rubbing
Munsell Color Information waived

Research Remarks

Published Description

From Horowitz. 2002. Sir John's costume was quite common in his day and shows a marked advance in the use of metal plate over the old chain mail. His jupon, or short outer garment, covers the hauberk of mail, which in turn was protected by a breastplate. The camail safeguards his head and shoulders, along with a steel helmet. His legs are completely encased in plate, and the sollerets covering his feet are pointed and pieced together. The spurs are of the rowel type; there is no shield. His hands are covered with gauntlets made of steel and leather, with small steel plates, or gadlings, over the knuckles. His feet rest on a lion. Lady Joan, his wife, wears her hair in the reticulated or nebulé fashion prevalent during the period c. 1370-1415. The hair is plaited and pulled tightly over a frame, giving a desired shape. Her kirtle has buttoned sleeves and is covered by a cote-hardie studded with buttons from her bare neck to her waist. The gown separates at the upper-arm to create two long rays of linen (liripipes). At her feet is a small dog with a bell collar. Both figures are surrounded by a triple canopy. Each has their coat of arms above their heads, and between them is a newly created shield bearing their combined families: Pole impaling ("side by side with ") Cobham. Sir John was the son of William de la Pole, Lord of Castle Ashby in Northamptonshire. His father, a county judge for Essex and Bedfordshire, went on a pilgrimage in 1362 "beyond the sea," perhaps to the Holy Land. In October 1362, an agreement for marriage was confirmed between young John and Joan de Cobham, daughter of Sir John de Cobham, Lord Cobham, and Margaret, daughter of the Earl of Devon. The newlyweds, both referred to as "the two children," were to receive £100 of lands and manors from Lord Cobham, while the groom's father was granted £300. John's father was dead by 1367, and the son soon became an important landlord in several counties. He was a justice sitting on special royal commissions, often with the Duke of Lancaster, John of Gaunt. He died on 3 March 1380. The brass is unusual because the couple hold hands rather than clasp them separately in prayer. If affection was meant, it could perhaps be said that, due to their early marriage, they might be considered 14th-century childhood sweethearts.

Description N/A
Comparanda N/A

Horowitz, Mark R. The Monumental Brasses of England: The Horrowitz Collection. Morton Grove, IL: Portcullis Productions, 1980 (1979). p. 12-13. Horowitz, Mark R. The Monumental Brasses of England. The Horowitz Collection. New Edition, 2002. p.23-24.

Artifact History

Archaeological Data N/A
Credit Line/Dedication The Horowitz Collection
Reproduction Yes
Reproduction Information N/A

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