Friday, July 6, 2012
"My dear Caroline. The enclosed ring once belonged to your Aunt Jane. It was given to me by your Aunt Cassandra as soon as she knew that I was engaged to your uncle. I bequeath it to you. God bless you!"
This note was written by Jane's sister-in-law, Eleanor Austen, to her niece, Caroline Austen, in November 1863. The ring was given to Eleanor by Jane's sister Cassandra.
The beautiful oval shaped turquoise and gold ring that once belonged to Jane Austen came directly from her own family is being auctioned, along with the note, in London on July 10,2012 by Sotheby's for a handsome amount of around 20,000 pounds to 30,000 pounds (about $31,000 to $46,000). We could only dream!
This story, I might add has become so fascinating! Is like reading a page straight from one of Jane Austen's own novel.
The intriguing part of the story is who gave the ring to Jane Austen in the first place?
Well, Dr. Gabriel Heaton, who is Sotheby's literature expert said there has been much speculation about who gave Jane the ring.
"We took it to Dublin and showed it to people there, and a lot of people were saying it must have been given to Jane by her Irish lover, Tom Lefroy." Lefroy was the "Irish friend" of whom Austen wrote to her sister Cassandra: "Imagine to yourself everything most profligate and shocking in the way of dancing and sitting down together."
It has been thought that Tom Lefroy could be the origin for the character of Mr. Darcy. This story get's more interesting by the minute!
Dr. Heaton is more inclined to believe that the ring was given to Jane by her brother Henry. "The ring is in a box fashioned by a goldsmith in the City of London, and Henry worked as a banker there so would have been in the right place and had the money to buy it," he said.
Perhaps we will never really know who gave the ring to Jane Austen.
At the end it would be interesting to own though a piece of history from one of the world's most popular and talented novelist.
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