UNITED States singer Kelly Clarkson has been stopped from taking a gold and turquoise ring that was owned by Jane Austen out of Britain.
The star, who shot to fame when she won the American Idol TV show, bought the piece of jewellery at auction last year for more than £150,000, but UK culture minister Ed Vaizey has put a temporary export bar on the ring in an attempt to keep it in the UK.
The ring is one of only three surviving pieces of jewellery known to have belonged to the Pride and Prejudice author.
It was 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 export licence decision has been deferred until 30 September and that can be extended for a further three months if proof emerges of “a serious intention to raise funds” to match its six-figure price tag.
Austen wrote six full novels, which cemented her place among the greats of English literature. They are regularly adapted for TV and film, and continue to sell well, almost 200 years after her death in 1817, at the age of 41.
Clarkson, who grew up in Texas, has sold more than 20 million records since winning the US talent show in 2002.