The pier-glasses, with palm-wrapped borders, are conceived in the French antique fashion. Their Grecian cornices are sculpted, in bas-relief, with Apollonian sunflowers, whose projecting corner tablets are tied by a flowered ribbon-guilloche and supported by veil-draped, truss-scrolled and laurel-festooned busts of nymphs that appear to recall Euterpe, the Mount Parnassus companion of Apollo and muse of Lyric Poetry.
Their architecture relates to that of pier-glasses labelled by the Holborn firm of Robert Cribb & Son, who were appointed in 1810 as 'Carver and Gilders' to George IV when Prince of Wales (C. Gilbert, Pictorial Dictionary of Marked London Furniture, Leeds, 1996, fig. 257).
The opening of Putney Bridge in 1729 and the attractions of Richmond Park combined to establish Roehampton as a favoured place for rural villas in the eighteenth century. William, 2nd Earl of Bessborough commissioned the young Sir William Chambers to design a country villa to house his large antique sculpture collection.
The villa of Parksted at Roehampton, built c. 1760-63, contains the most complete surviving interior scheme by Chambers, with the exception of Somerset House. Chambers designed Parksted as a Neo-Palladian villa in the manner of Colen Campbell, with a complete set of inter-connecting rooms, each in a distinct and different style. The ceiling schemes, like most of Chambers'’s work, rely on perfectly executed relief plasterwork of the greatest subtlety of design. They combine Franco-Roman ideas with neo-Palladian precedents, and echo the spirit of the Ancients. Furthermore, the balance between decorative effect and well-observed naturalism in the plant ornament is characteristic of Chambers's approach to decoration.
Whilst these pier-glasses emanate from the Drawing Room at Parksted, the extension to the lower part of the plates suggest that they were originally either elsewhere in the house, or introduced to the house in the later 18th century following Chambers's completion of the interiors.