After travelling through the decorated chambers of summer and winter, each young mouse encounters the brassmaker dressed as the Green Mouse. Upon reciting a symbolic speech, they reach into his black bag and pick the first mousebrass they touch. It is always the one that is just right for them.
Known mousebrasses Edit
The Anti-Cat Charm Edit
This sign will always be famous for the part it played in the downfall of Jupiter. Before that time this brass had been something of a rarity in the Skirtings, for there were never any attacks from cats and Master Oldnose seldom went to the trouble of hammering out this design. All that changed however when the Green Mouse himself presented Audrey Brown with the Anti-Cat Charm.
Now, upon the Cutty Sark, many young maidens secretly hope they too will be given such an enchanted mousebrass.
The Anti-Fox Charm Edit
Formerly found only in rural communities such as Fennywolde, this mousebrass is becoming increasingly popular in the cities, as foxes (or "Brush Buttocks", as Twit called them) spread into the urban areas.
The Anti-Owl Charm Edit
There were many of these worn in Fennywolde during the time of Mahoot's reign and not one of the bearers were ever snatched by his talons.
The Cheese Charm Edit
This brass is always a welcome sign. It ensures a long, healthy life in which food and shelter will always be plentiful. Audrey and Arthur's mother, Gwen, received this when she came of age and it was a great comfort to her during the dreadful winter of Jupiter's return.
The Sign of Family Edit
Three tails together signifies a strong and united family. It is a most respectable and popular brass. Albert Brown possessed one, as did his son Arthur.
The Sign of the Fieldmouse Edit
The most respected of all country brasses. This is worn only by those mice who truly love the land and whose hearts are filled with wonder at the everyday magic of growing things. Master William Scuttle and Woodget Pipple could have borne no other symbol.
The Sign of Hope Edit
Closely linked with the Sign of Life, this brass is meant to inspire the bearer unto great deeds and surmount adversities and hardship. The renowned Holeborn hero Piccadilly owned this brass.
The Sign of the Housemouse Edit
A common charm amongst urban mice. It denotes constancy and stability and is sometimes given to those who yearn for foolish dreams as a reminder to keep their feet on the ground. This symbol was widespread in both the Skirtings and the Landings. Nel Poot was the last to receive it before the terrible events which drove the mice from Deptford.
The Sign of Bravery & Courage Edit
This rarely bestowed symbol was last awarded to Oswald Chitter by the Green Mouse himself and is kept in the Chitter home on proud display.
The Sign of the Maker Edit
From the moment it is received, this sign confers dignity and authority upon the favoured mouse. This most respected and ancient of charms dates back to the time of the first mouse smith. In the deeps of legend, Wilfrid the Maker was taught by the Green Mouse himself to forge the original brass amulets.
From this early time every sign can be traced and mice still celebrate that wondrous teaching to this very day by singing the song of "Wilfrid the Maker" on the feast day of Wilfrid which falls on the 25th of March. Many games are played upon this day, most especially, the brass borrowing where youngsters of the family may have the honour of wearing their elders' charms until they are put to bed.
One of the traditional dances is "Looping the Brass" performed on the Cutty Sark by Walter Thistlewick and his lads. All brass makers are given this charm: Master Oldnose bore it, as did Isaac Nettle.
The Sign of Life Edit
This mousebrass, along with the Sign of Hope, is normally bestowed upon those whose struggles in life will be difficult and demanding, with little or no reward.
This brass is given to them as a reminder that their endeavours are never in vain and to inspire them to overcome the obstacles placed in their path. Jenkin Nettle bore this sign and it was this which his father discovered in the owl pellet of Mahoot after his son was murdered.
The Sign of the Travelling Mouse Edit
When a mouse comes of age and is given this brass it is a sure sign that he will never be content to remain anywhere for long. Thomas Triton bears one of these, as did Madame Akkikuyu who received it in payment from one of her clients many years ago.
List of mousebrass owners Edit
Below is a list of mice along with the brasses they received:
|Audrey Scuttle||The Anti-Cat Charm|
|Piccadilly||The Sign of Hope|
|Oswald Chitter||The Sign of Bravery and Courage|
|William "Twit" Scuttle||The Sign of the Fieldmouse|
|Arthur Brown||The Sign of Family|
|Thomas Triton||The Sign of the Traveling Mouse|
|Gwen Brown||The Cheese Charm|
|Albert Brown||The Sign of Family|
|Nel Poot||The Sign of the Housemouse|
|Master Oldnose||The Sign of the Maker|
|Isaac Nettle||The Sign of the Maker|
|Jenkin Nettle||The Sign of Life|
|Alison Sedge||The Sign of Grace and Beauty|
|Young Whortle Nep||The Anti-Owl Charm|
|Woodget Pipple||The Sign of the Fieldmouse|
|Griselda||The Sign of the Fieldmouse|
- Mousebrasses are based on horse brasses, which are brass plaques used for the decoration of horse harness gear, especially for shire and parade horses. They became especially popular in England from the mid-19th century until their general decline alongside the use of the draft horse, and remain a collectors item today.