Thomas Johnson 1714-1778
Thomas Johnson first published his designs in the publication “Twelve Girandoles" which appeared in 1755. Although only a slim volume it introduced his work to a wider audience. This was followed by a series of 53 designs published between 1756 and 1757. Being a carver rather than a cabinet-maker, Thomas Johnson’s designs were arguably far more inventive than contemporary published cabinet-makers works such as Chippendales and Mayhew and Inces. Thomas Johnson concentrated his efforts on the design of wall lights, girandoles and console tables which allowed him to play with forms and motifs. The engravings are often too elaborate to be executed, however, and they must have been intended to promote his inventiveness rather than for practical purposes. His target audience after all was cabinet-makers and upholsterers rather than the nobility although they of course showed a real interest. Ronald Phillips Ltd has held and continues to stock a collection of works attributed to Thomas Johnson from his whimsical giltwood console tables to his elaborate and detailed wall lights, all are available for sale at our Bruton street gallery in London.