The etched decoration of this type found on North Italian armour has commonly and erroneously been referred to as ‘Pisan’. The city of Pisa in fact has no history of the making or etching of armour and the present etching style is more correctly described as Lombardic, it being the fashion of the whole region. The present example is preserved in notably fine condition and the clearly higher quality suggests that it belonged to an armour of distinction, most probably from a Milanese workshop.
Formed with a low medial ridge drawn down to an acute V-shaped point. Flanged across the neck and with turned cabled edge, the arm openings with holes for attaching gussets and the basal flange with two pairs of holes for attaching a skirt lame. Decorated throughout with etched bands in the Lombardic fashion, filled with a profusion of armour trophies, martial emblems and small monsters all on a gilt granular ground. The medial vertical band rising to a half-armour trophy surmounted by a pair of cabled roundels filled with a male and a female classical bust respectively, each bordered by an elaborate spandrel involving a winged grotesque head and with a sphinx and a complementary winged grotesque respectively forming the base of each, and the panel below the neck centring on a nude deity, possibly Minerva. All within a gilt linear border edged by a single slender line.