Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Jane Austen's Ring

The famous author, Jane Austen

It’s kind of funny that I read an article about the resolution of the auction of Jane Austen’s ring while currently rereading Northanger Abbey. Apparently there was a major debacle when Kelly Clarkson of American Idol fame purchased a ring once owned by Jane Austen at auction. Kelly is a huge fan of the 19th century writer and when one of only three known pieces of Jane Austen’s jewelry went up for sale, she bought it.


America's sweetheart, Kelly Clarkson, is a huge Jane Austen fan
Jane Austen’s House Museum in Chawton, South England tried to purchase the ring but was outbid by Clarkson. The ring went for five times what Sotheby’s had estimated. This is when the UK Minister of Culture, Ed Vaizey, stepped in and instituted a ban on the ring leaving England. Now correct me if I’m wrong but shouldn’t the auction have rules prior to putting the ring up for sale? This would have saved a lot of hand wringing and trod upon sensibilities if someone had put conditions a buyer would have to meet prior to selling the ring.


Jane Austen's House Museum
Kelly Clarkson was a good sport and allowed the ring to hang out in England until another buyer could be found. Jane Austen’s House Museum immediately began a campaign to raise funds for the purchase of the ring and got a big boost when an anonymous donor contributed £100.000 towards their endeavor. Needless to say the museum was able to raise the full amount and Kelly Clarkson accepted the offer.


The famous ring
The ring will now be on display at the Jane Austen House Museum and at least Kelly Clarkson can visit it from time to time. The other known pieces of Austen’s jewelry are already on display at the House Museum. They are a topaz cross and a turquoise and ivory bracelet. So now Jane Austen’s entire know collection of jewelry will be on display for all her fans to see. What I want to know is how this girl got by with only three pieces of jewelry?
Don't worry Kelly, I'm sure there is a replica out there somewhere

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