Lowell Libson & Jonny Yarker Ltd

  • Pen and ink, watermark 'CM'
  • 7 ½ × 3 ¾ inches · 190 × 95 mm
  • Drawn c. 1755
  • £4,500


  • William Drummond, to 2016


  • London, Lowell Libson & Jonny Yarker Ltd., The Spirit and Force of Art: Drawing in Britain 1600-1750, 2018, cat. no.71. 

This drawing shows an especially fantastical rococo design for a girandole, a piece of furniture with which Johnson was closely associated. 

On his arrival in London in 1755, Johnson launched his career by carving a girandole 'in a taste never before thought on; the principle of it was a ruinated building, with cattle, &c.... this taste being so well received, I immediately published a small book of designs for girandoles.'[1] Several books of furniture and ornament designs appeared in the 1750s by Matthias Lock, Thomas Chippendale, William Ince and John Mayhew. Johnson's books were distinguished by his inclusion of sixty mirror and girandole designs, double the number by Chippendale or Ince and Mayhew.


  1. Jacob Simon, ‘Thomas Johnson's 'The Life of the Author', Furniture History, 2003, vol 39, p.51.