Take note of Jane Austen

A rare £5 note, engraved with a tiny portrait of Jane Austen, is to be presented to a visitor centre dedicated to the author this month.

Detail from a note similar to the one to be presented.

The note, reputedly worth £50,000, will be given to the Jane Austen Centre, in Bath, by Graham Short, the micro-artist responsible for the engraving.

The presentation will take place at the Centre, in Gay Street, at 11am on Tuesday July 18; the 200th Anniversary of the author’s death.

The news puts an end to months of speculation that the fiver may have been put into circulation, after Mr Short paid an incognito visit to the well-known tourist attraction earlier this year.

Mr Short, who lives in Birmingham, said he visited the centre to learn more about Jane Austen as felt he “really ought to know more about her life than I do”.

He added: “It will be framed with glass on the back and the front so you can see through it.”

David Lassman, from the Jane Austen Centre said: “We’re obviously very appreciative of this gift from Graham and it will go on display where visitors to the exhibition can view it.”

Mr Short originally engraved 5mm portraits of Jane Austen on five £5 notes, along with classic quotes from her books, making each one worth thousands of pounds.

Graham Short known as the ‘world’s smallest engraver’ who engraves works of art on pin heads and the eye of a needle at his workshop near Birmingham. Picture David Parker 15.02.16

He then put four of them into circulation as a Willy Wonka type ‘Golden Ticket’, so members of the public who found them would receive an unexpected windfall.

The first £5 note was spent by Mr Short in a cafe in Blackwood, South Wales in 2016, and was discovered not far away just two weeks later.

A second one, spent in Scotland, was discovered after turning up in a Christmas card, while the third was donated back by a kindhearted pensioner to go towards a good cause.

The fourth £5 note, however, spent in Melton Mowbray, Leicstershire, has yet to be found.

The opportunity to see one of these unique engraved notes up close though, will now be afforded anyone visiting the Jane Austen Centre from July 18.

While the chance to hear Mr Short talk about his work is also on offer, when he appears at Bath’s Jane Austen Festival, which runs between 8th-17th September 2017.