Dum Spiro Spero means ‘While I Breathe, I Hope’. The bird is likely a Cornish Chough (a type of raven or crow common in Cornwall), or a perhaps a martlet (see image on Dictionary of Heraldry by Elvin, Plate No. 34, #59), perched on a tree stump slipped (a live trunk with leaves coming out of it). Backmark indicates a date of between 1845-1887. We are able to ascertain that this bird is black, by the pattern of heraldic tincture, denoting colour sabre.