Kelly Clarkson Loses Jane Austen Ring To UK Museum

Kelly Clarkson has been unsuccessful in her efforts to export the ring that once belonged to beloved British author, Jane Austen.

Kelly Clarkson London
Kelly Came Up Against Some Stiff Competition From Jane Austen's House Museum.

US singer Clarkson won the ring last year at an auction, outbidding Jane Austen's House Museum to buy the exquisite gold and topaz ring for £152,450. One of three pieces of Austen jewellery known, the ring had been in Austen's family since she passed away.

When it was announced that the family had made the decision to sell with a reserve price of £30,000 ($46.3K), Jane Austen's House Museum reportedly contacted the owners. Louise West, the museum's manager, told of how they may have been able to secure the ring at auction with the help of the Heritage Lottery Fund but didn't have time to "raise the cash at such short notice."

Kelly Clarkson
The 'Since U Been Gone' Singer's Bid To Relocate The Ring To The USA Was Met With Outrage.

Clarkson won the bid but was not permitted to remove the ring from the UK after there was an uproar over the loss of a unique piece of British heritage. A campaign, entitled 'Bring the Ring Home,' was set up to raise funds to buy the ring back. To give the museum time to raise funds, UK culture minister Ed Vaizey put an export bar on the ring until the 30th September.

With a week to spare, the museum managed to successfully raise the funds needed and its bid has been accepted, meaning the ring will be on display in Hampshire in the New Year. The fundraising was largely down to one anonymous donor who gave a whopping £100,000 ($154K) to the cause. Though the museum was then given an extension until December, the desired amount was raised well within the original timeframe.

Kelly Clarkson Jane Austen Ring
The Museum's Campaign Raised Enough Money To Buy The Ring From Kelly.

Mary Guyatt, curator of the museum, said the cause had been "stunned by the generosity and light-footedness" of those who had pledged money, as reported by BBC News. Ed Vaizey spoke of the phenomenal support for the museum, saying "It's clear from the number of people who gave generously to the campaign just how admired Jane Austen remains to this day."

Clarkson, who has remained quiet throughout the museum's campaign, has spoken out to affirm that there are no hard feelings and that she recognises the value of the ring to England's heritage and public. "The ring is a beautiful national treasure and I am happy to know that so many Jane Austen fans will get to see it at Jane Austen's House Museum," she said.

Kelly Clarkson American Music Awards
Looks Like She'll Have To Pick Out Another, Less Culturally Significant Ring.

Jane Austen's ring will go on display from January next year. The museum have assured that Kelly Clarkson will be welcome to visit the exhibition.


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