In December 2016, famed micro-engraver Graham Short and the Tony Huggins-Haig Gallery in Scotland, joined together to create one of the most interesting and kindly art events of recent years.
Engraving tiny portraits of Jane Austen, and a quote from one of her 4 most famous novels on five consecutively numbered editions of the then new plastic £5 notes, Graham and Tony Huggins-Haig moved to secretly spend the valuable notes in small, family-owned businesses across the British Isles. Creating a huge buzz across local and national media outlets, the story gained momentum as two of the notes (spent in Wales and Scotland) were discovered around the festive season.
This movement and excitement around the event couldn’t, however, have prepared Graham, the Tony Huggins-Haig Gallery or the British Isles for the truly altruistic event that occurred in January.
Arriving into work on what looked to be a usual day in the gallery, the staff were astounded to find that the £5 note spent in northern Ireland had not only been found, but had been returned by the generous party anonymously with nothing but a small hand written note reading; “…..£5 note enclosed, I don’t need it at my time of life. Please use it to help young people, kindest regards J…”.
With this wonderful turn-of-events, Graham and Tony joined again to discuss how best to use this note, and to follow the senders wishes in helping young people; and they soon decided the best way forward was to contact Children in Need, a charity known for helping young people of any and all walks of life.
After communications between the Tony Huggins-Haig Gallery and Children in Need, the decision was made to auction the note at Morton & Eden in London.
The auction is due to take place on Friday 8th December 2017, with all proceeds from the sale going directly to Children in Need. Absentee bids are already being taken for the note through Morton & Eden.
With the BBC Children in Need currently funding over 2,600 projects to help young, disadvantaged people across the UK, Graham and the Tony Huggins-Haig Gallery are sure the decision to auction the note for the charity is the best way to fulfil the wishes of the wonderful person who returned the note back in January.
To contact the Tony Huggins-Haig Gallery for more information, photos or interviews call 01573 228666 or email firstname.lastname@example.org