Portrait of famous artist engraved onto a dog hair

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Micro-engraver, Graham Short, has surpassed his previous record of completing the smallest engraving, with a 0.1mm portrait of JMW Turner, the renowned artist, onto a section of a single dog hair.

The engraving took Short around 75 hours over a three week period to complete. The artist says this is the smallest engraving he has ever done, and believes no-one else has done smaller.

Short caused quite a stir in 2016 when he engraved Jane Austin’s portrait onto four £5 notes, which were then valued at £50,000. This engraving is believed to be worth approximately £40,000 and was done to coincide with the release of the new twenty pound note in 2020 which features Turner.

He describes how a daily walk to the newsagents and regular meetings with a sheepdog gave him the idea. He noticed that the dog’s hair felt quite rigid and coarse, so after liberating a few hairs, he started experimenting. He hollowed out one of the hairs and inserted a 22 carat gold disc, onto which he proceeded to engrave the portrait.

Graham, who lives in Bournville, Birmingham said:

“I would never attempt anything like this again. It was too difficult, but I’m guessing it’s the smallest engraving in the world.”

Silver and glass engraving can be quite an art form, but Short takes it to a whole new level, and the 73 year old believes that the extreme measures he has to take are worth it.

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