August 2013 | Nate Pedersen

Anonymous British Donor Contributes £100,000 to Keep Jane Austen's Ring in the Country


Last week we reported on the export ban placed on Jane Austen's ring, purchased at auction by the American pop star Kelly Clarkson. As a condition of the temporary ban, if a British individual or institution raises enough money to match the winning bid of £152,450, the ring will stay in the country. The Jane Austen House Museum quickly began a funding campaign to keep the simple, but elegant ring in Britain. The museum received a huge boost to its campaign last weekend when an anonymous donor contributed £100,000 to the effort.

The Museum has now raised £103,200, with £49,000 left to go.  Their efforts, however, are already sufficient to secure an extension on the temporary export ban from September 30th to December 30th, giving them some more time to raise the capital.

The Museum was interested in the ring before it went to auction in 2012, however it was unable to raise enough money to be a serious competitor at the sale.

The museum formally invited Clarkson to visit the ring in Hampshire once its purchase is secured.  The museum manager, Louise West, said to the The Guardian, "We were very excited that someone like Kelly Clarkson was a fan of Jane Austen - it's not what you'd expect from a young, cool US pop singer. It says a lot about Austen's popularity and who she's popular with. It's not just middle-aged women."

Clarkson has yet to issue a public statement on the situation.