Jane Austen's jewellery on view


IT MAY NOT BE patriotic to point out a week after Bloomsday but novels by Jane Austen have almost certainly been read by more Irish people than have read Ulysses.

Fans of the English author might like to see a ring owned by her which will be exhibited at Sotheby’s Dublin office on Molesworth Street on Thursday next. It will be on show for one day only, ahead of its auction in London on July 10th.

The gold ring (size K½), set with a cabochon blue gemstone, is expected to sell for between £20,000 and £30,000 (€25,000- €35,000), the same price as a first edition of her most popular novel, Pride and Prejudice which was published in 1813. It is also in the auction.

The ring is still in its original London jeweller’s box (“T. West, Goldsmith, Ludgate Street, near St Paul’s”) and is being sold by a descendant .

Sotheby’s said it was “an exceptionally intimate possession, previously unknown to scholars, which has passed down through generations of the Austen family”.

It is described it as “an attractive but simply designed piece, befitting not only its owner’s modest income but also what is known of her taste in jewellery”.

The perfect jewel, then, for the Age of Austerity.