Jane Austen’s ring sells for five times estimate in Sotheby’s English Literature Sale

LONDON.- This afternoon in Sotheby’s English Literature, History, Children’s Books & Illustrations sale, a previously unknown gold and gem set ring belonging to the great English author Jane Austen, sold for £152,450 – more than five times its pre-sale high estimate of £20,000-30,000.
Eight bidders battled for the turquoise ring, which was eventually won by an anonymous private collector over the telephone. The ring was offered for sale for the first time, having remained in Jane Austen’s family for nearly 200 years – handed down between female descendants over many generations.
The Gandhi-Kallenbach archive of letters, papers and photographs spanning five decades, was privately sold before the auction to the Indian Government. Sotheby’s manuscripts specialist Dr Gabriel Heaton commented: “Jane Austen‟s simple and modest ring is a wonderfully intimate and evocative possession The price achieved today and the huge level of interest it has generated, is a remarkable testament to the author‟s enduring appeal and her place at the heart of our literary and cultural heritage.”
US singer Kelly Clarkson has been foiled in her attempt to take home a ring once owned by Jane Austen, after a British museum said Monday it had raised enough money to buy it back. The 31-year-old singer bought the ring at an auction last year, but the British government blocked her from taking it out of Britain while attempts were made to raise funds to “save it for the nation”.
Jane Austen's House Museum in Hampshire, southern England, where the 19th century author penned her six novels, said Clarkson had accepted its offer of £157,740 ($253,300, 187,500 euros) for the ring. The museum had been outbid by Clarkson at the original auction, but launched a campaign in August to raise buy-back funds from Austen fans around the world. Curator Mary Guyatt said the museum was “thrilled” to be bringing the gold and turquoise ring “home”. “
The museum has been stunned by the generosity and light-footedness of all those who have supported our campaign,” she said. “Visitors come from all around the world to see the house where she once lived and we will now take great pleasure in displaying this pretty ring for their appreciation.”
The ring, one of only three surviving pieces of jewellery known to have belonged to the celebrated novelist, is due to go on display at the museum early next year. Known for their gentle mocking of the landed gentry, Austen's novels including “Pride and Prejudice” and “Emma” are among Britain's best-loved classics.
Austen fan Clarkson, whose hits include “A Moment Like This” and “Since U Been Gone”, has sold more than 20 million albums. She shot to fame as the winner of the “American Idol” TV talent contest in 2002.More Information: http://artdaily.com/news/65187/Persuasion–Museum-in-Britain-reclaims-Jane-Austen-ring-from-Kelly-Clarkson-#.UkHf86n3Bz8[/url]
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