Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Jane Austen's Ring

What is the fascination with turquoise?

One of the first rings I remember buying was a large fake turquoise ring. I was about sixteen, unfortunately I took it off in the little wash room on a train to Paris not to long after buying it, and left it on the sink, needless to say it was gone when I went back for it.  It wasn't worth much, but it was to me at sixteen.  I learnt a valuable lesson, never take your rings off when you wash your hands, you will always forget them.

When I first came to the States, I wanted to return with something authentically North American and I think Indian turquoise jewelry is that.  So I collected several very nice pieces, and I also have a very special butterfly necklace made for me by some friends which has a turquoise stone in it.

Here is Jane Austen's turquoise ring, the stone has no inclusions and is a rarer form of turquoise.  You can just imagine her sitting at her desk writing and wearing this ring.

A gold and turquoise ring belonging to Jane Austen has sold for more than £150,000 at an auction in London – more than five times its estimate.

Quote from the Telegraph:
The ring, which featured a large oval turquoise gemstone, was sold alongside a handwritten letter by her sister-in-law Eleanor Austen bequeathing the rare jewel to her niece Caroline.
The note, dated 1863, confirms the item belonged to the 19th-century British author.
"My dear Caroline," Eleanor wrote. "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!"
The rare piece is the latest in a series of the writer's pieces to be sold at auction.
Last year, a handwritten draft of an unpublished Jane Austen book was sold for just over £1 million. It was said to be the earliest surviving manuscript of the author's work.
The sale of Miss Austen's jewelery at more than five times its estimate yesterday appeared to demonstrate that fascination with the Pride and Prejudice writer has yet to wane.
After a tense battle between eight bidders, the item was eventually sold at £152,450 to an anonymous private collector over the phone.
"Jane Austen's simple and modest ring is a wonderfully intimate and evocative possession," said Dr Gabriel Heaton, a manuscript specialist at Sotheby's auction house.
"The price achieved today and the huge level of interest it has generated, is a remarkable testament to the author's enduring appeal and her place at the heart of our literary and cultural heritage."

Turquoise has been known by many names, but the word turquoise, which dates to the 16th century, is derived from an Old French word for "Turkish", because the mineral was first brought to Europe from Turkey.

1 comment:

  1. I love the colour turquoise, and I too had a turquoise ring as a young woman. I never knew the origin of the word, and I am surprised that Jane Austen had a turquoise ring. A very interesting post, thanks!


01 09 10