J. Wilson – Set of (3) Sci-Fi / Fantasy – Pen and Ink Drawings, Dated 1909 or 1969?

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An intriguing set of three pen and ink drawings on white wove paper. (1.) ” The Oakfield Psychic Telescope in Action,” signed J. Wilson and dated 1909 or 1969 (lower left) with inscription verso. (2.) ” Fantasy Artist’s Phantasmagoria,” signed J. Wilson (lower right) with inscription verso. (3.) ” Utopia ” (our title) signed J. Wilson (lower left).

 

Description

This unique set of drawings raises many questions about their origins, unfortunately with Wilson being a common name we have been unable to identify the artist, however, the quality of the pen-work suggests a professional hand.

The first drawing “The Oakfield Psychic Telescope in Action” illustrates the beginnings of a story based around a machine that can communicate with the spirit world. The evil spirit heads circling the top of the machine appears to be giving a message through some kind of crystal ball or orb to the two mysterious figures dressed in black hooded cloaks. An inscription is written on the back of the drawing which reads:-.

The Message Now Being Received Reads as Follows:-
“….. And the cosmic forces of comet Halley and asteroid Icarus shall combine and thence be set on course which shall make collision with planet earth in the year one-thousand-nine-hundred and eighty-three.
Therefore repent ye forthwith, and turn from the ways of transgression, for the LOGOS have now become wearied of his plaything, the planet earth.”

In the second drawing “Phantasmagoria” a giant robot strides through an apocalyptic landscape clutching a human figure while death and evil look on with gleeful contemplation at the destruction of mankind. This drawing appears to be way ahead of its time if the date can be matched to 1909 as previously thought, however, the date is most likely to be 1969. Certainly, the two small spirit heads at the bottom of the image look very much like the spirits one sees illustrated in magic posters of the Edwardian period. The inscription on the back of the drawing Reads:-

“Fantasy Artist’s Phantasmagoria”
J. Wilson, 17 Pennygate, Spalding
N.F.S.
Ins. Pr. 15/-

The third drawing shows a young girl and a boy standing beneath a castle that has been illuminated by a rainbow. The landscape may represent a vision of paradise, heaven, or some utopian spirit world outside of our own.

Brand

Wilson, J. (Fantasy Artist / British, early c20th)

British (early c20th)
No.1

Image: 13 7/8 in x 19 7/8 in. (35.3 cm x 25 cm.) Mount: 18 1/2 in x 14 3/8 in. (47.1 cm x 36.5 cm.)

No.2

Image: 11 7/8 in x 17 7/8 in. (30.3 cm x 45.5 cm.) Mount: 17 1/2 in x 23 1/4 in. (44.3 cm x 59 cm.)

No.3

Image: 12 x 16 7/8 in. (30.4 cm x 43 cm.) Mount: 17 3/8 in x 22 1/4 in. (44.3 cm x 56.4 cm.)