Tielke's instruments are unique in their wealth of ornamentation: there is an embellishment of edges, there are superbly cut parchment roses and there is marquetry work of flowers and with representations from the love emblematic, from Ovid's Metamorphoses and with gods form the ancient world.
In addition there carving on the backs of viols, there are tendrils on pegboxes and there are heads of men, women and animals.
While patterns for the flower decoration might possibly have been designed by Tielke himself, models for all figurative marquetry were taken from early Dutch sources, printed books from Antwerp and Amsterdam.
The patterns of tendrils and flowers were possibly drawn by Joachim Tielke himself. At least, he had ample opportunity to collect suitable prints while attending the University of Leiden in the Netherlands. Later on he could have used theses sheets for his own designs.
Representations with love emblematic motives were copied from "Amorum Emblemata" by Otto van Veen, Peter Paul Rubens' teacher, appearing in Antwerp 1608. - The antique gods and goddesses and their carts drawn by dear, dragons or dolphins, follow the "Nouveau Livre des Dieux et Désses de la Marine", printed by Cornelis Danckerts in Amsterdam after drawings by Hendrick de Keyser, originally intended for reliefs for the royald Danish castle of Frederiksborg. - No immediate patterns were found for the representations of motifs from Ovid's Metamorphoses. although they show some resemblance with the work of Johann Wilhelm Buar (1607-1642).
The different styles of carvings reflect the number of craftsmen producing them. However, the stylistic resemblance of carved heads on a number of Tielke's instruments with those on Hinrich Kopp's Hamburg cithrinchen is striking.