ESCUTCHEON (O. Fr. escucheon, escusson, modern écusson, through a Late Lat. form from Lat. scutum, shield), an heraldic term for a shield with armorial bearings displayed (see Heraldry). The word is also applied to the shields used on tombs, in the spandrils of doors or in string-courses, and to the ornamented plates from the centre of which door-rings, knockers, etc., are suspended, or which protect the wood of the key-hole from the wear of the key. In medieval times these were often worked in a very beautiful manner.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)