This frame, cornered by grotesque masks and with strapwork throughout, was inspired by the ornamental designs of Hans Vredeman de Vries, Cornelis du Bos and Cornelis Floris. For this and the complicated figural scheme, it bears strong similarity to the elaborately carved auricular frames from the mid- to late-seventeenth century included in the 1995 Rijksmuseum exhibition, Framing in the Golden Age: Picture and Frame in 17th-Century Holland.
The figures surmounting the glass, Ceres, Bacchus and Eros, invoke the saying 'Sine Cerere et Libero friget Venus' (Venus is ice without Ceres and Bacchus), taken from the comic playwright Terence's Eunuches (4, 732). This theme, popular with many Mannerist artists during the 16th and 17th centuries, points to the sensual licence that food and wine bring, and was probably intended as a cautionary representation in light of the momento mori opposite it - all is vanity. Likewise, the tale of Diana and the hapless hunter Actaeon stresses the dangers of sexual temptation.
Like those in the Rijksmuseum exhibition, this frame was probably intended to hold a hunting portrait. Indeed, it has been suggested that auricular portrait frames, with their undulating and intermingled surfaces that incorporated laughing masks, were intended to remind the sitter of the vanity of earthly pursuits and materiality.