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Thursday, February 23, 2017

Kelly Clarkson’s Quest For Jane Austen's Ring Subject Of TV Show

Jamie Colby (left), host of the FOX Business Network series "Strange Inheritance"

Literary giant, meets pop star, meets British law, meets Jewelry News Network, meets television series.

It’s a strangely connected world we live in. Sometimes it reads like a novel. 

“American Idol” winner Kelly Clarkson is a fan of Jane Austen, the 19th Century English novelist whose own star shines to this day. Clarkson, who collects Austin items, successfully bid for a turquoise and gold ring owned by the writer at a Sotheby’s London auction in 2012. She paid 152,450 pounds ($235,654 at the time of sale), approximately five times the high estimate.

The Jane Austen turquoise and gold ring that became the subject of an ownership war

However, before she could take the ring to her home in Texas the British government stepped in, declaring the ring a national treasure and imposing a temporary export ban. This allowed time for the Jane Austen’s House Museum to match the bid. Clarkson, who originally outbid the museum for the ring, was forced to sell it to them. I wrote about the story in 2013 when the museum was in the process of raising the funds (which included an anonymous donation of 100,000 pounds). The ring is now on permanent public display. 

The story that never seems to die is being revived by the show, “Strange Inheritance,” on the FOX Business Network, hosted by Jamie Colby. It will air February 27 at 9 p.m. EST.

In the episode Colby goes to Oxfordshire, England, to visit Nicky Gottelier, the fifth generation descendant of Austen who inherited the ring. Nicky and her husband David were happy to cash in on their inheritance. Little did they know that the modest ring would be subject of an international dispute.

Colby then traveled to the museum to view the ring and learn its history. 

It certainly appears the couple and museum came out ahead. While Clarkson, according to reports, was gracious in relinquishing its ownership. 

All's well that ends well. Until the next chapter....

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