A George III Style Carved Giltwood Mirror After a design by Thomas Johnson

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Object Description

A George III Style Carved Giltwood Mirror
After a design by Thomas Johnson

Of grandiose proportions, the central oval glass plate built up in a concentric arrangement of mercury plates surrounded by an ornately carved giltwood frame incorporating a medley of C-scrolls, flowering branchwork, stylized icicles, acanthus leaves, and distinctive architectural follies and figures; the whole crescendoing to a figure of a musician above an arrangement of musical instruments and an outer frame having carved Classical urns, and fantastical Ho-Ho birds.The present mirror closely follows the original illustration of Thomas Johnson’s design for a mirror published in his “Collection of Designs” (1758) as plate 7, and republished in his “One Hundred and Fifty New Designs” (1761) as plate 8. Typical of Johnson’s designs, this mirror includes various fauna such as dogs, wolves, and sheep, as well as branching foliage and architectural elements.
Circa 1870

Object Literature

Thomas Johnson (1714-1778)

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.

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