A pair of gold-plated spectacles believed to have been worn by Mahatma Gandhi that was presented to him in the early 1900s have emerged at an UK auction and is being estimated to fetch between Rs 10 lakh to Rs 15 lakh.
According to East Bristol Auctions in Hanham, south-west England, they were surprised when the spectacles of Mahatma Gandhi was dropped through their letterbox in an envelope.
“It’s a huge find of great historical importance. The vendor had presumed them to be interesting, but of no value and did tell me to dispose of them ‘if they’re not worth anything,” said auctioneer Andy Stowe of East Bristol Auctions.
“I think he nearly fell off his chair when we presented our valuation. It’s a really great auction story – and one that we all dream of,” he added.
The spectacles have already attracted much attention and online bidding of the same has reached around Rs 6 lakhs till now. The glasses are said to belong to a family in England, who possessed the piece of history since 1910 when their uncle was gifted with the spectacle while he was working for British Petroleum in South Africa between 1910 and 1930.
“The vendor’s uncle definitely worked for British Petroleum in South Africa, and I believe Gandhi didn’t wear glasses until the late 1910s early 1920s,” says Stowe in reference to the provenance of the glasses, which is believed to be owned by Mahatma Gandhi during his time in South Africa.
“The story that appears with the lot is exactly what the vendor told us, and exactly what was told to him by his father some 50 years ago,” adds Stowe.
The auctioned lot titled “Pair of Mahatma Gandhi’s Personal Spectacles” is a part of the auctioneer’s Military, History and Classic Cars online sale and will be on bid till August 21. The news of Mahatma Gandhi’s spectacles has attracted huge attention from all around the globe including many interested bidders from India.
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