Sculptor creates tiny crown in the eye of a needle as coronation tribute

Dr Willard Wigan previously created a tiny royal coach to mark the late Queen’s Jubilee.

Richard Vernalls
Friday 05 May 2023 15:03 BST
Coronation micro-sculpture. (Paul Ward/PA)
Coronation micro-sculpture. (Paul Ward/PA)

A renowned micro-sculptor has created a tiny crown fitted inside the eye of a needle to mark the coronation of the King and Queen Consort.

Dr Willard Wigan hand-wove a 24-carat gold frame around a carved grain of sand to make the body of the piece, encrusting it with real jewels and painting the piece with a brush made from his own eyelash.

In all, he invested 600 hours of work across seven weeks.

It drove me mad to make this

Dr Willard Wigan

Dr Wigan, from south Birmingham, has previously created similar models including one of the Queen’s Coronation Carriage – also fitted inside the eye of a needle – to mark her Platinum Jubilee last year.

He used a microscope to create the crown, employing a special breathing technique and working mostly through the night and early mornings, when there are fewer vibrations and air disturbances from passing traffic.

The piece, made to look like St Edward’s Crown – which will be placed on Charles’s head during the Westminster Abbey ceremony on Saturday – is mounted within the eye of a sewing needle and is not much bigger than a full-stop in standard newsprint.

Dr Wigan was honoured with an MBE for services to art in 2007.

“It drove me mad to make this,” he said.

“When my work is finished, it doesn’t belong to me any more, this crown is for people to see. It’s one of the hardest and most detailed sculptures I’ve ever undertaken to date.”

He plans to exhibit the crown rather than give it to the King, as a gift for all people to see and enjoy.

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