The pier-glasses, with Roman medallioned frames wreathed in echinous (egg-and-dart) guilloche, are enriched in the George II 'picturesque' fashion. Roman acanthus serves to clasp 'water' trophies of 'Pan' reeds and 'Venus' shells to the bases; while acanthus husks, festooning their pearl-centred and wave-scrolled crestings, relate to garlands on mirrors designed in the 1730s by William Kent (d. 1748) for Chiswick, Middlesex, and also featured on the frontispiece of the architect John Vardy's, Some Designs of Mr. Inigo Jones and Mr. William Kent, 1744.
Sir Basil Urwin Spence (1907-1976) brought flair to the colourless world of post-war British architecture. Educated at Edinburgh, Spence began his architectural career joining the well known Edinburgh practice of Rowand Anderson, Balfour Paul, & Partners. In 1938 he was commissioned independantly to design the Scottish pavilion at the Empire Exhibition in Glasgow. This led to more exhibition projects, in Edinburgh, Glasgow, London and Johannesburg. Particularly noteworthy was his contribution to the 1951 Festival of Britain. His major commission was his rebuilding of Coventry Cathedral. By the time the finished Cathedral was consecrated by Her Majesty Queen Elisabeth II, in 1962, Spence had become a household name. He set up his own architectural practice in London, Basil Spence & Partners in 1951. Among his other well-known projects are Swiss Cottage Library, Knightsbridge Barracks, Mortonhall Crematorium and Sussex University. He also advised several high-profile overseas projects such as the new Parliament buidling in Wellington, New Zealand and the United Nations new offices in Geneva.