Anonymous donor spends £100k to stop Kelly Clarkson buying Jane Austen's ring

An anonymous donor has given £100,000 (€116,300) to stop Kelly Clarkson from buying a ring once owned by Jane Austen.

Anonymous donor spends £100k to stop Kelly Clarkson buying Jane Austen's ring

An anonymous donor has given £100,000 (€116,300) to stop Kelly Clarkson from buying a ring once owned by Jane Austen.

The 'Mr. Know It All' singer - who is a self-confessed "history nerd" - could lose out on owning the prized heirloom, which she won at auction in the UK last year, after the Hampshire-based Jane Austen's House Museum received a six-figure donation to help it match her £152,450 bid.

Kelly was blocked from taking the turquoise-and-gold ring out of country after it was deemed a 'national treasure' and an export bar was placed on the item. Potential buyers were given until September 30 to match the 'American Idol' winner's bid and now the museum - a conversion of the iconic 'Pride and Prejudice' author's former home - looks likely to ensure it remains in the country.

Government officials are satisfied the museum has shown "serious expression of interest to buy the ring" after receiving the £100,000 donation and it now has until December to raise £52,450 in order to match Kelly.

The museum initially tried to win the trinket at auction, but their modest bid was beaten by the 31-year-old star. However, since officials placed the export bar, Austen enthusiasts have worked diligently to raise money to outbid Kelly.

Fundraiser Louise West told BBC News: "We could see the writing on the wall. We knew it was going to go for much more than we could raise in that short space of time."

Although she may not own a piece of literature history, staff at the museum have invited the 'Stronger' hitmaker to visit the landmark in Chawton, Hampshire, southern England.

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