Bronze Buddhist statue gifted by Gandhi to be auctioned in Bonhams

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London, Sep. 6 (ANI): The grand daughter of Mahatma Gandhi's Irish friend Emma Harker is set to auction a bronze statue of a seated Buddhist deity gifted by Father of the Nation at Bonhams sale of Asian art.

The 13-inch-high statue, being said to be that of the Bodhisattva of compassion Avalokitesvara, may fetch 3,000-5,000 pounds.

Emma went to India to stay with her daughter whose husband was in the civil services there.

Through that influential connection, she came in contact with senior politicians, particularly Sarojini Naidu.

A letter from Gandhi to Emma written in September 1934 suggests that she participated in relief work for the poor in flooded areas of Bihar and Orissa.

Around this time, Gandhi presented Emma with the Buddhist figure.

"Emma Harker who died in 1957 knew Gandhi well, corresponding with him over a number of years, and on one occasion introduced her granddaughter, the owner of this sculpture now, to him," said James Hammond, head of Asian Art at Bonhams.

Recently, there has been a surge in interest for Gandhi's belongings.

In July, three of Gandhi's autographed letters sold for 4,750 pounds while a signed khadi cloth which was said to have been woven by him fetched 2,125 pounds. (ANI)

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