Jane Austen's ring, bought at auction by Kelly Clarkson, will be kept in the UK after a museum successfully bid higher than the US singer.
Kelly Clarkson has been outbid by the Jane Austen House Museum.
Austen's turquoise and gold ring was bought by Clarkson at auction last year. The 31-year-old singer purchased the ring for £152 450 at the auction. The ring has not left the UK, despite Clarkson living in the US, after Culture Minister Ed Vaizey placed a temporary export bar on it. The ban was to be lifted only if no other buyer had outbid the US singer by 30th September 2013. Vaizey had encouraged British buyers to purchase the antique so it could be "saved for the nation." The Jane Austen House Museum has purchased the ring from Clarkson, with the aid of the Bring Home the Ring campaign, which received donations worldwide.
The ring is only one of three pieces of jewellery known to have belonged to the British author. The importance of this item resides its accompanying documentation which shows the Austen family's heritage and the ring's descent through it. The two other pieces of jewellery, namely a topaz cross and turquoise bracelet, are also on display in the museum.
Gwyneth Paltrow has starred in a film adaptation of Austen's work as Emma Woodhouse.
The Jane Austen House Museum, in Chawton, Hampshire, issued a short statement on their website thanking supporters for their donations. The Museum's curator, Mary Guyatt, said she was "stunned by the generosity and light-footedness" of supporters, according to the BBC. The Museum's successful bid has not caused resentment in Clarkson who said, upon hearing the news: "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."
Austen lived a modest life, remaining in Hampshire for the majority it. Born in 1775, Austen wrote six of British Literature's most famous novels: Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, Emma, Persuasion, Sense and Sensibility and Northanger Abbey. Since her death in 1817, her works have been made into numerous plays, films and radio dramatizations. Those who have played some of Austen's famous heroines include Keira Knightley and Jennifer Ehle as Elizabeth Bennet; Gwyneth Paltrow and Kate Beckinsale as Emma; and Kate Winslet and Emma Thompson starred as the Dashwood sisters. Anne Hathaway has also played the author in Becoming Jane, a film based on Austen's short love affair with Tom Lefroy, played by James McAvoy.
Keira Knightley has starred in a film adaptation of Pride and Prejudice as Elizabeth Bennet.