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Tony Grist

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Nice Brass, Pity About The Church [Feb. 7th, 2019|11:59 am]
Tony Grist
St Swithun's East Grinstead used to have a spire that was the pride of the town. In 1772 it was struck by lightning and fell over in a westerly direction and demolished the rest of the building. The city fathers decided on a complete rebuild and called in the prodigious Lunnon architect James Wyatt- who designed them a church of grandiose proportions and considerable frigidity. Nothing remains of the former church, so far as I can see, apart from a few funerary memorials. The Victorians added gloom to the frigidity by filling the windows with their tiresome stained glass.

I didn't take many photos- and the only one I really like is this- of a 15th century memorial brass. Brasses can be difficult to see- let alone photograph- because they're so highly reflective. You have to get the light to fall just right- and in this instance it did...



P.S. Is brass rubbing still a thing? It's been a long time since I last saw anyone at it.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: pondhopper
2019-02-07 01:10 pm (UTC)

That is a really lovely brass and you did indeed catch the light just right!
The only brass rubbing centre in London that I am aware of that is still active is at St. Martin in the Fields. They closed the one at Westminster Abbey some time ago.

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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2019-02-07 01:38 pm (UTC)
I'm not sorry to hear it. Original brasses were getting worn away- and rubbing a facsimile is really not the same thing.
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[User Picture]From: puddleshark
2019-02-07 03:02 pm (UTC)
Oh, that is a wonderful brass! So much detail. And enormous feet!

Whenever I read that a church was rebuilt by Wyatt, my heart sinks.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2019-02-07 03:51 pm (UTC)
I wonder what is was like to walk about in those big metal boots!

Wikimedia says of Wyatt that the Adam brothers accused him of plagiarising their work and he responded by saying he was forced to work in their debased style because it was what his clients wanted. I get the feeling he didn't have a lot of heart- and you need heart to build a church.
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[User Picture]From: charliemc
2019-02-07 07:58 pm (UTC)
The heartbreaking losses of history... And rebuilds rarely suffice.

That photo is amazing! The piece is beautiful -- and you did an amazing job, as it's so hard with any metals to get it perfect. (Been there several times with a lot of failures, I'm afraid.)

Thanks for sharing!
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2019-02-07 08:50 pm (UTC)
In this case the rebuild was in quite a different style- so it's essentially a new building.

The photo was a bit of a plunge in the dark- literally so; I was in a dark building on a dark day- and having to hold the camera in an awkward position to capture the effect of the available light falling on his face.
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[User Picture]From: charliemc
2019-02-08 12:53 am (UTC)
I can see that would be the best way to get the photo. No light sources to mess it up! Yet there must have been somelight from your camera....
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2019-02-08 09:01 am (UTC)
There were lights on in the church and there was light coming from the windows.
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