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Gandhi's glasses and other belongings set to fetch 80k pounds at auction

London, Mon, 02 Apr 2012 ANI

London, Apr 2 (ANI): Gandhi's distinctive round-lensed spectacles, which he bought in the UK when he was studying in the 1890s, and his personal prayer book, are a part of an incredible archive of material from the holy man is to be sold.

The Father of the Indian Nation, who was known as Mahatma - an honorary title meaning Great Soul, was shot at point-blank range in 1948 and moments later a bystander, PP Nambiar, collected the dirt and some blades of grass.

He placed them inside a container where they have remained ever since and now it is a much-prized item of curiosity, wonder and even worship.

Nambiar later wrote a book in which he described how he came to gather the soil, and there is also a letter of provenance from him.

Also in the sale is a series of letters from Gandhi that spell out his philosophy.

All the items are to go for auction along with numerous other personal items where they are expected to fetch up to 80,000 pounds.

Gandhi's prayer book for sale is written in his native Gujarati language and there are some important hand-written letters, some signed with the rare form of his name Bapu.

Another item includes Gandhi's Chukra - a type of sewing kit - that he had with him when he travelled to London for the second Round Table Conference in 1931.

The archive has been consigned by a collector along with detailed provenance and is being sold by Mullock's auction house in Ludlow, Shropshire, on April 17.

"This is a wonderful archive of material with excellent provenance," the Daily Mail quoted Richard Westwood-Brookes as saying from the saleroom.

"It comes from the close friend of one of Gandhi's disciples and is of great importance to the Indian nation.

"The soil upon which Gandhi fell is of particular significance to the Indian nation and is like a holy relic.

"The letters from Gandhi and his spectacles are also greatly important and are as close as you can get to the man.

"The market for Indian items such as these has picked up in recent years and there are an increasing number of collectors.

"It is a great privilege to sell these objects that are rightly regarded as important pieces of Indian history," he added. (ANI)

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