Gandhi's glasses, letters to be auctioned in UK

Mahatma Gandhi
London, Apr 2: A pair of Mahatma Gandhi's round rimmed glasses, 'charkha' and a pinch of soil and blades of grass from the place where he was assassinated in 1948 are among several rare items to be put up for auction in Shropshire on Apr 17.

The action, to be conducted by Mullock's, is expected to fetch nearly 100,000 pounds. The guide price for the items set by the auctioneer 10,000 pounds to 15,000 pounds is the highest for three items in the collection: the pair of glasses, 'charkha' (spinning wheel) and a casket containing the soil and blades of grass from the spot where Gandhi was killed in New Delhi.

The soil and blades of grass were collected by one PP Nambiar, who describes the samples in a provenance, and are placed in a small wooden casket containing a small glass topped box. The description says: "The casket comes with a letter of provenance by PP Nambiar dated Sep 24, 1996 saying that the recipient: '... has today received the most sacred of all relics a fraction of the pinch of soil I collected on 30 Jan 1948 from the spot where the Father of our nation MK Gandhi fell to the bullets of his assassin...'".

Mullock's says that the item is also accompanied by a copy of 'True but never heard before' by PP Nambiar, which is a personal account of collecting the soil sample on the day Gandhi was murdered. It quotes Nambiar's words: '... in my search I found a drop of blood on the grass almost dried. I cut the grass and also took two pinches of soil from the brink of the pothole which I wrapped in a piece of Hindi newspaper found nearby. This is in my box even today. I keep it in a jewellery box brought by me from Indo-China in a later year. To me it is a treasure of immense sentimental value...'.


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