Page last updated at 13:20 GMT, Saturday, 21 February 2009

Auction for Dickens' diamond ring

Charles Dickens' ring
The ring was expected to sell for between 25,000 to 35,000

A diamond ring given to the author Charles Dickens by his poet friend Lord Alfred Tennyson has been put up for auction in Herefordshire.

The 0.9 carat diamond ring is inscribed with the message "Alfred Tennyson to Charles Dickens 1854"- the same year in which he published Hard Times.

It was listed to be sold by auctioneer Nigel Ward & Co at its salerooms in Pontrilas, Herefordshire.

The ring has a guide price of between 25,000 to 35,000.

'Ring's custodians'

Papers detailing the ring's provenance were also due to be auctioned.

These include a list of valuables believed to have been written by the author's son Hector Charles Bulwer Lytton Dickens in the Bay of Biscay, on 14 April, 1924.

Hector wrote: "Large diamond ring belonging to my father bought by me from my brother A.T. Dickens (Alfred D'Orsay Tennyson Dickens) in Melbourne in 1890. Engraved inside 'Alfred Tennyson to Charles Dickens 1854', the year of my birth."

The auctioneers said the document was believed to be genuine based on the fact that Alfred Dickens is known to have incurred large debts and emigrated to Australia, where he later married.

Hector Dickens' will was among the papers to be auctioned, showing how the ring was passed down among the family to its current owner who is putting it up for auction.

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