Artist engraves Queen's portrait onto pinhead

25th April 2012 - Fine Cut

In a remarkable feat of precision engraving, an artist has created one of the smallest ever portraits of Queen Elizabeth II - on a pinhead.

Self-styled "Hands of Genius" Graham Short from Birmingham attempted the tiny engraving somewhere between 80 and 90 times to perfect the portrait, reports.

"It's very intricate work and making the smallest mistake means I have to file it down again and start over," Mr Short told the publication.

The dedicated craftsman spent around nine months on this latest piece, which measures just two millimetres wide. This is a relatively short project however when compared to some of his past achievements.

One of Mr Short's previous works, 'The Lord's Prayer', took 40 years to complete and sees the Christian religion's most famous prayer crafted onto the head of a gold pin. Mr Short has reportedly turned down offers of £1 million in the past for the sale of the item.

With regards to his latest piece, Mr Short is hopeful that Her Majesty would approve: "No-one has seen the finished piece yet, so I'm quite excited about it. I don't know if the Queen will ever see it but I hope she gets the chance to."

Mr Graham's last work saw him engraving the nib edge of the antique fountain pen belonging to actor, writer and broadcaster Stephen Fry, according to He takes six-monthly doses of Botox around his eyes to keep him focused. He also takes beta blockers to slow his heart rate down to 30 beats per minute so his hand and breathing are steady whilst working.

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