John Wilson was born in Manchester in 1941, and educated in
Lancashire. In 1963 he joined the distinguished firm of Maggs Bros Ltd in London
as assistant in the autograph department, soon becoming manager
of that part of the company. He founded his own business in 1967 and was
established in Oxfordshire from 1972 until 1996 when he and his American
, moved to their present house
in the beautiful regency spa town
, home of the world-famous literature and music festivals.
As an acknowledged expert in the field of autograph letters
and historical documents John Wilson is widely consulted on matters of value
and authenticity by colleagues in the trade and by government agencies.
He is always happy to give such advice on any material
which falls within his sphere of expertise. He is a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London.
As a musician he gives occasional recitals on the harpsichord, piano and organ. In 2006 he performed four concertos (for two, three and four harpsichords) with I Cancellaria
, and a Sonata for two harpsichords by Antonio Soler, as part of the Cotswold Early Music Festival.
In 2008 he worked as an accompanist as well as directing his own baroque ensemble Brunerva
(recorder, flute, viola da gamba and harpsichord). He has recently given performances of early English virginals music, nineteenth-century piano music (on Gustav Holst's piano) and of English organ music, with particular reference to Hubert Parry, (on Parry's 'own' organ at Highnam Church).