makers / Thomas Johnson

Thomas Johnson


A highly talented carver & later, designer, and a contemporary of Thomas Chippendale & Matthias Lock, he published to great acclaim in 1755 ‘Twelve Girandoles’, and followed this with, in 1756, ‘53 Designs’, and between 1758 and 1759, ‘A Collection of One Hundred and Fifty Designs’. Drawing inspiration from the Fables of Aesop, the rococo, China, and the idealised rustic life, his work is whimsical, exuberant and witty. Chippendale borrowed freely from his work, and Johnson, a founder member of the ‘Antigallican Society’, a group who excoriated the French taste, from which Chippendale also freely borrowed, refers to the Grand Old Man of English furniture designs, in his autobiography, as ‘that d....d plagiarist’