From: (Sunday) 21 Aug 2016
Graham has turned into Willy Wonka in a bid to make four people richer this Christmas.
The prize for the lucky people on this occasion is not chocolate bars with golden tickets, as in the famous Roald Dahl book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, but new ‘engraved’ £5 notes estimated to be worth more than £20,000 each.
The polymer Bank of England notes, being put into public circulation in Scotland, England, Wales and Ireland on Saturday this week, were made by Graham in partnership with the THH Gallery, based in Kelso in the Scottish Borders. The 70-year-old artist from Birmingham has appeared on television around the globe after capturing the public’s imagination with his engraving of miniature art on to items such as a razor blade edge, pinhead, brass screw, football stud and Stephen Fry’s fountain pen. His last piece, a portrait of HM The Queen on a speck of gold inside the eye of a needle, sold for £100,000.
On each of the new £5 notes, Graham has engraved a 5mm portrait of Austen encircled by a famous quote on the transparent section to the right of Big Ben. The first one was ‘spent’ in a shop in the Scottish Borders this week, with three others being put into circulation in England, Wales and Ireland in coming days, and a fifth donated to the Jane Austen Society.
Graham said: “I’m always looking to do something different and as soon as I saw the new £5 note I thought ‘wouldn’t it be good if I could engrave something on it?’ I didn’t know what but then I found out it was going to be the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s death and her image is also going on the new £10 note, so it ties in nicely with that.
“The beauty of this is that you can’t see the engraving at all, but when you turn the note and the light comes at a different angle it appears. I call it invisible engraving.
“Graham is one artist we work with and he wanted to help what we do by coming up with something to help the ordinary man in the street during these hard times. The popularity of his work has gone through the roof worldwide with clients now including the Royal Household, Scottish Parliament, Rolls Royce and Chanel, which is great, but it’s no longer accessible to most people. But I think the £5 note idea is a cracker. It’s real Willy Wonka stuff and we can’t wait for someone to find they have one!” said THH Gallery owner Tony Huggins-Haig.
The four notes being put into circulation this week have the following quotes and serial numbers:
“If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more.” Emma
Serial number: AM32 885551
“To be fond of dancing was a certain step towards falling in love.” Pride and Prejudice
Serial number: AM32 885552
“A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of.” Mansfield Park
Serial number: AM32 885553
“I hope I never ridicule what is wise or good.” Pride and Prejudice
Serial number: AM32 885554
Media interested in attending the art event, for interview or photography, should contact David Ferguson of Ferguson Media.
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