India

Mahatma Gandhi's blood-stained soil for auction in UK

  • 3 April 2012
  • From the section India
Blades of grass and soil with Gandhi's blood in the glass topped case
The blood-stained grass was collected by PP Nambiar

A small lump of soil and blades of grass with a drop of Mahatma Gandhi's blood from the scene of his assassination will be auctioned in England later this month.

The item will be among many other rare pieces from India to be sold by British auction house, Mullock's.

Other Gandhi memorabilia include a pair of his round-rimmed glasses and a wooden "charka" or spinning wheel.

Mahatma Gandhi is revered in India and fondly known as father of the nation.

Guide prices listed on Mullock's website for the 17 April auction for the drop of blood, glasses and "charka" range from £10,000-£15,000 ($16,000-$24,000).

The soil and blades of grass are clearly visible in a small wooden box with a glass top inside a wooden casket.

In a letter of provenance dated 24 September 1996 collector PP Nambiar said that he received "the most sacred of all relics - a fraction of the pinch of soil I collected on 30 January 1948 from the spot where the father of our nation MK Gandhi fell to the bullets of his assassin".

Mr Nambiar described how he collected the sample which to him "is a treasure of immense sentimental value".

Various letters written in English and Gujarati by Gandhi as well as many photographs of him visiting London at the Cabinet Ministers Conference in Delhi in 1946 will also be put up for auction.

Other items of value from India that will be sold at the auction include "a finely painted miniature painting of Maharajah Ranjit Singh Set in a large mourning broach with a lock of hair said to be of the sitter".

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