The subject is the beautiful Daphne, daughter of the river god Peneus, running from the unwelcome amorous approaches of the god Apollo. Daphne called to her father for help; he saved her virtue by taking the unusual step of turning her into a laurel bush. The Earl’s purchase of the piece, for 60 crowns, is recorded in Culpepper Tanner’s notes of 1681. The piece is again recorded by Tanner in the 1688 inventory of Burghley as: “My Lady’s Clossett……A Daphne & Apollo in Ivory on a pedistall of Ebony & Carved by —.”
41.9cm overall height, 24cm width, 11cm depth.