Black and white armor gained favor in the mid-16th century. The surfaces were embossed with motifs ranging from simple bands to lavish displays accented by intricate repeated borders. The raised portions were polished bright. The backgrounds were left hammer finished, with the surfaces usually covered with Brunswick Black, a bituminous coating which hardens with age and oxidizes with a slightly iridescent hue. Quality varies and this example is forged in especially high relief with well defined beveled edges. The central eight point radial motif may which would have held a lavish multicolored splay of feathers, adding a striking flourish. It undoubtedly was among a group serving a town or royal personal guard.