This elegant shield of parade, formerly in the Rotschild collection and now in the collection belonging to the businessman Luigi Marzoli, falls in the category of circular shields used in the 16th century. This particular shield owes its name to the use ad pompam vel ostentationem, which had to symbolize wealth and power for its owner. It seems more like an art piece rather than a shield to be used in battle. Together with prestigious armours, this shield was used only in rare occasions where the aristocrats of the time gathered to celebrate an important event.
This object is expensive because of the rich and damascened decorations carved in relief. It probably dates back to the luxury armour production which spread from the fourth decade of the 16th century. In this period, the producers of armours began to create, together with war armours, also pieces decorated with scenes from historical events and the classic mythology which symbolized the legitimacy of the power held by the aristocratic class, exerted both through arms and a right that had ancient roots.
The images and the archaic style were derived from engravings, largely diffused, of mannerists followers of Raphael and Giulio Romano. In the majority of cases, these were a mixture of different iconographic sources that were attentively juxtaposed to create a well-balanced picture.