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Museum successful in bid to bring Jane Austen's ring home

  • Date: 24 September 2013
  • Area: National
Gold and turquoise ring in box

Jane Austen's ring saved for the nation.

Jane Austen’s House Museum in Chawton, Hampshire has announced that its fundraising campaign to 'bring home' a gold and turquoise ring once owned by Jane Austen (1775-1817) has been successful. Sufficient funds have been raised to purchase the ring, thereby preventing it from leaving the UK.

The ring had been in the Austen family for over 200 years before it was sold at auction in 2012. Although the Museum was interested in acquiring the ring at the time of the auction, it was unable to raise sufficient funds in the time available. The ring was instead sold to the American singer Kelly Clarkson, a long time Austen devotee. 

The ring became subject to a temporary export ban, following a recommendation from the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art and Objects of Cultural Interest, which is administered by Arts Council England.

The Museum’s ‘Bring the Ring Home’ fundraising appeal was launched at the beginning of August, when an anonymous donor came forward immediately with a pledge of £100,000. Austen fans from all over the world have since added their donations and the Museum was able to reach its target well before the 30 September deadline to ‘show a serious expression of interest to buy the ring’.

Jane Austen's House Museum have now revealed that their offer to purchase the ring has been accepted. 

Alan Davey, Chief Executive, Arts Council England, said:

‘This ring is a truly important piece of history in understanding one of literature’s greatest authors. It is fantastic that Jane Austen’s House Museum has managed to raise the funds to keep this on display for people to enjoy and admire. Those who have donated should be thanked for their enormous generosity. This is one of many items that have been saved for the nation this year – along with the seven Jewish silks recently saved by the Rothschild Foundation, and peridot jewellery, now on display at the V&A.’

Useful links and further information

Read our original news story when the ring was temporarily barred from export.

Find out more about our work with cultural property and view other items currently under temporary export bar.

Follow Arts Council England on Twitter.