Three figures, intricately carved in boxwood, Italian, possibly by an expatriate German craftsman, late 17th Century.

The subjects shown are Venus, Goddess of Love, accompanied by a blindfold Cupid; Cicero, the Roman philosopher, statesman and orator and Alexander, the great General. In all, the Earl purchased eight figures, the others depicting Mars, Lucretia, Cleopatra, Pallas Athene and Catalina. The figures are thought to be the work of a German craftsman working in Italy. All of the group are recorded as at Burghley in 1688; the four female subjects within the Countess’ apartment and the males on the mantel of the principal guest bedroom.


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