Jane Austen museum raises funds to buy author's ring off Kelly Clarkson
The US singer paid £152,450 for the gold and turquoise ring
Kelly Clarkson has inadvertently walked into a battle over Britain's literary heritage, in her attempt to buy a ring owned by romantic novelist Jane Austen.
The "Since You've Been Gone" singer, who also owns a first edition of the author's novel Persuasion, shelled out £152,450 for the gold and turquoise ring once owned by Austen at Sotheby's in London last year.
But the Government put an export ban on it until the end of September to allow someone in Britain to buy it. Clarkson agreed to sell to a UK buyer, for the same price she paid.
Now the museum of Austen's home in Chawton, Hampshire - which was outbid in the last auction - has received a £100,000 anonymous donation to help it do so.
Fundraiser and former museum curator Louise West said: "We are very confident we can match this price."
Mrs West was keen to say that the museum had nothing against Ms Clarkson personally, and has invited her to visit the museum, where Austen wrote and revised her six completed novels, next time she is in the UK. So far the singer has not replied.
West said: "Kelly Clarkson should have been informed that this export ban was likely to happen. This is nothing against her at all - it could be anyone - and it does happen all the time, but we know that it is shame for her.
"But the ring should stay in this country because there is so little of Austen's personal effects left anywhere at all and it would be great to bring it back to the house where she probably wore it and on the bicentennial year of the publishing of Pride And Prejudice."
The museum already displays two other pieces of jewellery owned by the writer - a turquoise bracelet and a topaz cross.
Upon the author's death in Winchester in 1817, the ring passed to her sister Cassandra, who then gave it to her sister-in-law Eleanor Austen on her engagement to Jane and Cassandra's brother, the Reverend Henry Thomas Austen.
Glastonbury Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend will perform with Paul Weller as their warm-up act
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Katie Hopkins gives rare glimpse of sensitive side with heartfelt open letter to her children penned in case she dies from epilepsy
- 2 Rihanna's Met Gala dress took one Chinese woman 2 years to make, was reduced to omelette meme in 2 seconds
- 3 Top Gear: Jodie Kidd, Philip Glenister and Guy Martin 'in advanced talks' to replace Jeremy Clarkson and co
- 4 Women think Irish men are the sexiest, survey finds
- 5 Florida couple forced to register as sex offenders for having sex on public beach
Penny Dreadful, series 2 episode 1, review: It is still gloriously silly
Top Gear: Jodie Kidd, Philip Glenister and Guy Martin 'in advanced talks' to replace Jeremy Clarkson and co
Eurovision 2015: What date and time is the song contest and who are the favourites to win?
Indiana Jones sequel confirmed by Lucasfilm - but will Harrison Ford return to the franchise?
How the Other Half Eat, Channel 4 - TV review: Swapping food trolleys shows how food and class are closely connected
In defence of liberal democracy
General Election 2015: Post-election 'shambles' looms as 70 per cent of voters say SNP 'should not be able to veto UK government policies'
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
General election live: SNP suspends two members for disrupting Labour rally
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils