Metropolitan Museum of Art, Boxed Set of "Sunburst" Engraved Correspondence Cards
This sunburst design, known as a sun in splendor, is adapted from the decoration on a piece of horse armor in The Metropolitan Museum's Collection, called a chanfron. It was worn on a horse's head to protect it in battle or tournament.
About the Sunburst Correspondence Card Design
The original chanfron comes from a complete horse armor dated 1554 and made by Wolfgang Grosschedel (documented 1517–1562), who lived and worked in the German city of Landshut, where he was the foremost armorer of his generation. The piece is also decorated with the coat of arms of the Bavarian noble family Freiberg von Aschau, and may have belonged to Pankraz von Freiberg (1508–1565).