The etched acanthus designs with their allegorical emblems are of a distinctive character frequently associated with the armours, luxurious firearms and splendid related etched steel accessories of both the court of the ruling Dukes of Brunswick and that of the Saxon Electors in Dresden. In Christian iconography the lions and the phoenix are representative of majesty and strength, together with immortality: the lions in this instance are possibly additionally emblematic of the Brunswick court; the peacock and pelican respectively represent immortality and sacrifice, while the bucranium is a classical Graeco-Roman device much used within the renaissance as an emblem reinforcing a sense of historic classical grandeur and was as such a favoured decorative device.
Constructed of four lames front and rear, the uppermost hinged on the left and closed by a stud catch on the right and with turned roped edge. The lower three lames with their subsidiary edges each cut at the middle with cusped ornament. The broad lower lame slotted for a stud to secure the right spaulder, with a low medial ridge coming to a blunt point and its flanking outer edges slightly concave. Finely decorated throughout with linear bands of scrolling leafy acanthus fronds on a blackened granular ground inhabited by allegorical animals, birds and motifs, with three principal bands radiating from the base front and rear, the frontal bands involving a rampant lion at the sides and a phoenix in the middle, the latter surmounted by a classical bucranium, the rearward bands involving flanking pelicans and a peacock centrally, above the latter a plaque suspended within the foliage and etched with the date ‘1555’. The frontal lower border etched at its centre with a winged bat mask and the corresponding rearward border involving a serpent.