Oscar Wilde’s stolen ring found
A golden ring once given as a present by the famed Irish writer Oscar Wilde has been recovered by a Dutch “art detective” nearly 20 years after it was stolen from Britain’s Oxford University.
The friendship ring, a joint gift from Wilde to a fellow student in 1876, was taken during a burglary in 2002 at Magdalen College, where he studied. At the time it was valued at approximately Rs33,00,000.
The trinket’s whereabouts remained a mystery for years and there were fears that the ring — shaped like a belt and buckle and made from 18-carat gold — had even been melted down.
But Arthur Brand, a Dutchman dubbed the “Indiana Jones of the Art World” for recovering a series of high-profile stolen artworks, used his underworld connections to finally find it.
The ring will be handed back “at a small ceremony” on December 4.
The ring was an important part of Magdalen’s large collection of memorabilia related to Wilde, who penned classics such as “The Picture of Dorian Gray” and “The Importance of Being Earnest”.
Oscar Wilde was also an accomplished children’s book author. His short story collection The Happy Prince and Other Tales was published in May of 1888. This collection included popular tales such as The Happy Prince, The Nightingale and the Rose, and the Selfish Giant.