Kelly Clarkson Prevented From Taking Jane Austin’s Ring From UK
When Kelly Clarkson, the American pop singer, bought a ring owned by Jane Austen at auction, she thought she would be taking home a small but romantic piece of Britain’s literary heritage.
The winner of the television show American Idol purchased the gold and turquoise ring last year for more than £150,000, more than five times its sale estimate.
But she has now been prevented from taking it out of the country. Ed Vaizey, the culture minister, has put a temporary export bar on the ring in an attempt to keep it in Britain.
The ring is one of only three surviving pieces of jewellery known to have belonged to the author of Pride and Prejudice, having been given to her sister Cassandra and then passed down through the family before it was sold.
Mr Vaizey said: “Jane Austen’s modest lifestyle and her early death mean that objects associated with her of any kind are extremely rare, so I hope that a UK buyer comes forward so this simple but elegant ring can be saved for the nation.”
The decision on the export licence will be deferred until September 30 and can be extended to December 30 if proof emerges of “a serious intention to raise funds” to match its six-figure price tag.