Mahatma's charkha fetches 1,10,000 pounds at auction in UK

Mahatma's charkha fetches 1,10,000 pounds at auction in UK
London, Nov 6: Mahatma Gandhi's famous charkha that he used in Yerawada jail during the Quit India movement fetched a whopping £1,10,000 at an auction in the UK. His final will was also sold for £20,000 at the auction for historical documents and artefacts by Mullock's Auction house in Shropshire.

The auction house, however, refused to name the buyers.

Made of Indian teak, the chakhra, with a minimum bid of £60,000 was used by Gandhi during his term at the Pune jail and was gifted to American Free Methodist missionary Revd Floyd A Puffer by him in 1935.

Puffer was a pioneer in Indian educational and industrial cooperatives who invented the bamboo plow that was adopted by Gandhi. Puffer, along with his wife, worked as a missionary in India during the indepence movement. In 1935 displayed Gandhi's spinning wheel at a number of talks and events. He later presented the charkha to fellow missionary Reverend Dr Frank J Kline in 1965 and it has since passed through Kline's family to the present owner.

One of the earliest known references to the charkha is an article dated December 1931 in the monthly magazine Popular Science.

Gandhi's final will was written in Gujarati at the Sabarmati Ashram and it follows the will dated 1921 that was sold at an earlier auction by Mullock's. The will provides a historic insight into Gandhi's thinking and his speculation for the future.

Mullock's has put over 60 of Gandhi's prized possessions for auction, including important documents, photographs and books.

The auction house's specialist Richard Westwood Brookes said: "The charkha is one of Gandhi's most prized possessions as he devised the workings of it himself. It was used by him in Yerwada Jail whilst fighting for the rights and independence of India. It has impeccable provenance and is unquestionably the most important Gandhi artefact we have ever sold.

"The charkha was the physical embodiment and symbol of Mahatma Gandhi, he once said: 'In my dream, in my sleep, while eating, I think of the spinning wheel. The spinning wheel is my sword. To me it is the symbol of India's liberty'," Brookes said.


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