The World's Smallest Hand Engravings Are a One-of-a-Kind Slice of U.S. History

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Created Nearly 100 Years Ago By Master Engraver Godfrey Lundberg This Rare Accomplishment Has Never Been Replicated

It took master engraver Godfrey Lundberg three years (1913-1915) to painstakingly inscribe the twelve lines, 65 words and 254 letters of the Lord's Prayer on the head of a smaller than usual gold pin. Unique and unmatched in its day, this rare antique hand engraving accomplishment has yet to be duplicated or surpassed.

According to a February 21, 1915 article in the "Spokesman-Review" Newspaper, the hand engraving artwork was so tedious that Lundberg had to forgo coffee and alcohol and undergo a training regime worthy of a professional athlete to tone his body and muscles in preparation for the feat.

He constructed an apparatus for holding the microscope needed to magnify his work, which also supported his arm and hand so that only the sensitive tips of his fingers were free to direct the tiny stylus to engrave the letters. If the steel point of his stylus swerved even the smallest fraction of a hair during the engraving process, his work would be destroyed and he would have to start over again.

Lundberg found that the only time he could work was in the early hours of the morning in his shop at 394 Sprague Avenue in Spokane, WA. The least jar from traffic on the pavement outside could ruin his work. It was reported that strained eyes and nerves set this limit. As it was he could not make more than two or three strokes during a night's work.

In spite of all of the precautions Lundberg took there were several setbacks due to minute jarring (even the rumble of a heavy truck two blocks away would cause him to swerve) and he had to start over three times after having completed up to eight of the twelve lines of the work.

The extraordinary miniature engravings collection which has recently been offered for private ownership to the highest bidder through an online auction, actually includes two separate items; the Lord's Prayer cut into the head of a gold pin and a two-letter monogram of the abbreviation of the United States "US" engraved into the point of a fine gold sewing needle.

His dedication and skill to create these rare miniature engravings were ultimately rewarded with a gold medal at the 1915 Pan-Pacific Exposition in San Francisco prior to the launch of a nationwide two year tour. Curious observers paid 25 cents to view the engravings through mounted microscopes for magnification. The engravings were reported to have been "verified by engravers from coast to coast."

Included in the collection is a letter from the Superior Court of the State of Washington for the County of Spokane dated March 15, 1915 which states Lundberg's achievement "takes rank with the wonders of this or any other age."

As testimony to the unusual nature and historical significance of the "smallest piece of engraving in the world," the leading authority on the odd and bizarre, Ripley's Believe It or Not, featured the pin in its popular publication. A photocopy of page from The World of Ripley's Believe it or Not by Julie Mooney is included in the collection now up for bid.

A website has been launched to tell the story of these rare antique collectible engravings. Included is information on the auction and a form by which to submit a bid. The minimum bid is $1,500,000 U.S. Bidding will take place until mid-March, 2009 or until the Buy It Now (BIN) price of $3,000,000 is met. Go to:

All bids and inquiries will be held in the strictest confidence. Additional details including photos can be seen online at: or you can contact representative Tim Warren at 707-824-2904.


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