Benjamin Walter Spiers was a London painter of genre scenes and still-lifes. Christopher Wood considers him to be 'one of the most remarkable painters of still-life in English Art'. His watercolours are very different to the typical nature morte, as painted so successfully by 'Bird's Nest' Hunt - William Henry Hunt, O.W.S. (1790-1864) and his followers.
Spiers was interested in possessions rather than objects of nature and his curiosity for antiquarian objects, books, maps, prints etc. His work can be seen as illusionistic decoration rather than straight forward still-life. The successful deception he achieves in trompe l'oeil: 'to trick the eye' and display the artist's skill in depicting three-dimensionality and surfaces such as glass, mirror and ceramic.