Grosvenor House Fine Art & Antiques Fair Catalogue 1994. pg 148
An exceptional quality and important early George III specimen giltwood girandole. Surmounted by a Ho Ho bird, with outstretched wings above the original mirror plate surrounded by naturalistic carving of branches and foliage also incorporating an architectural obelisk and rockwork.
Thomas Johnson ( 1714-1778) was a carver and gilder who published several books of designs. In 1755 he published 'Twelve Girandoles' this was folowed by 'The book of the Carver' in 1758.
His most revered publication was produced monthly between 1755-1758 and was titled ' One Hundred and Fifty New Designs'
Johnson interpreted fashionable Rococo designs with rustic motifs, bringing his work a vitality that was not seen in the work of other designers.
Johnsons designs featured animals, trees, branches and architectural motifs. Many of these works were adapted from Francis Barlows illustrations of Aesop's Fables.
Johnson's sketches were so intricate and detailed few cabinet makers had the skill to interpret his designs in practice.
The present girandole is so expertly carved and proportioned, that it would almost certainly have been created by Johnson himself or Thomas Chippendale, one of the few other cabinet makers working at the time that had the skill to create this piece.