John Tame and Wife Alice
Medium:Paper and heelball
Date:1970 – 1980
Paper and heelball; gold wax on black paper. Rubbings of British monumental brass. On the left is John in armor, he had shoulder length hair and hands clasped in prayer. His wife is on the right in a long gown with a long belt and fur accents on her collar and cuffs.
During the 1970s, Jane Ewing traveled across Europe, documenting brass altar tombs through the process of creating heelball, or crayon and paper rubbings of the images on the tombs. In order to better preserve the tombs from too much wear, this practice is now illegal in Europe. Today these reproduction images allow researchers to better understand the symbolism behind the imagery on the tombs and how they represent the interned individuals. These two effigies from Fairford Church in Gloucestershire, England are of John Tame (1430-1500) and his wife Alice Twyniho (d. 1471). Tame was a wealthy wool producer who helped fund the stain glass windows that can be found in the church still today.