The earliest engravings in the present book come from Abraham de Bruyn (1538/39-1587?), an engraver and painter from Antwerp. He was known for numerous ornamental pattern engravings, and he was also active in Cologne, where he published the present series, his last signed work. The six engravings depict figures from Greek mythology: Atlas, Andromeda, Medusa, Perseus, Phineus, and Dana; each within a central oval frame and each surrounded by a wealth of delicate ornamental motifs.
The second series of engravings was made by Heinrich Ullrich (active 1595-1621), a draughtsman and engraver in Nuremberg who engraved portraits as well as historical and allegorical scenes. He designed the present series, including tailwork grotesques on embossed grounds, within oval frames, as models for the lids of oval metal boxes.
The three remaining series (Wapenbuechlein, Bossenbuechlein, and Thierbuechlein) consist of works by Jacob Beytler (documented 1558-1607), who was a goldsmith and engraver from Ravensburg. Each leaf of the present three series is signed, and all images are within simple oval frame lines.
Beytler's Wapenbuechlein was first published in 1588. It includes five examples of coats of arms and an emblematic title-page with various weapons and devices that often occur as heraldic charges.
The Bossenbuechlein was also published in 1588. The outline etchings each show two figures before a simple landscape, for example two soldiers, two pilgrims, two musicians, a nun and a monk, etc.
The etchings in Beytler’s Thierbuechlein depict various quadruped animals, such as deer, dogs, and stock in hunting and herding scenes, one plate even includes an elephant and a bear.
Perhaps originally meant to serve an artisan as a pattern book with many blank leaves provided for new drafts and designs. However, it was never used in this sense. About one hundred years later, the blank leaves were used as the family book of the Leonhards. Thirty-five leaves contain manuscript entries in various hands. They record the basic information on all family members, such as their dates of birth, marriages, and deaths from 1693 up to 1884.