The following description was prepared by William Gross:
This example is one of the earliest Torah shields, or "Tas" in Hebrew, still extant. The crown, the center rectangle with the strapwork, the holiday plaques, and the chain are all from the original date, 1639, as indicated in the inscriptions and the plaque silver marks. At the end of the eighteenth century, restoration was done on the item and the new frame with the guilloches was added. In addition, a beautiful Yad, set with diamonds, 052.001.042, was crafted at the same time by the same silversmith who renovated the task. Of large shields from this early period, only two others remain, one from Bingen, from 1588, in a private collection in Paris and the Turado Tas, from 1607, in the Portuguese synagogue in Amsterdam. This early rectangular form design does not contain the lions, pillars, or tablets of the law which came to characterize the Torah shield some 70 years later. The restoration shows how ritual objects were repaired and brought up to date in the latest decorative styles but were preserved as venerated objects of the community.
Inscription: The Tree of Life is for those who grasp (it) and its upholders are content. He is the esteemed and the upright, the honorable, our teacher and Rabbi, Jacob son of Joseph, may his memory be for a blessing, who upholds with his wealth the Book of the Tree of Life for the synagogue; and his wife, the lady Goitlen, daughter of the Rabbi, Reb Abraham, may the memory of the saints be for a blessing, in honor of her Creator, and in honor of the Torah. This Tas was made from her riches. This was brought to the synagogue on Thursday, the Day of Remembrance, to offer before the Lord their remembrance for good, the year "and you put the mark of life" (chronogram (5)400 [= 1639], Rosh Hashanah), according to the minor reckoning