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Gandhi's personal effects, documents fetch over 300,000 pounds

London, May 21, 2013 (PTI) 22:13 IST
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Mahatma Gandhi's personal effects and documents, including his prayer beads, blood sample, leather chappals and the iconic leader's last will and testament, went under the hammer today fetching a whopping 300,000 pounds.

The last will and testament of Mahatma Gandhi proved to be the highlight of the auction of rare documents and items associated with the Father of the Nation in a small English town today.

The "highly important" handwritten will on folio paper beat its estimate of 40,000 pounds to fetch 55,000 pounds, adding to an overall total of over 300,000 pounds.

However, another keenly watched lot containing a fragment of Gandhi's blood on a microscopic slide could not match up to the guide price of 10,000 pounds and sold for just 7,000 pounds.

"While the blood sample may be sacred for some, the will is an extremely important historical document. It is hand-written in Gujarati and signed by Gandhi," Richard Westwood-Brookes, historical documents expert for Mullock's auctioneers, told PTI from the auction site at Ludlow Racecourse in Shropshire.

The slides of Gandhi's blood date back to 1924 when he was in convalescence from an appendectomy near Mumbai. He is believed to have donated the blood to the family he was staying with at the time.

"It is an important and rare artefact but we also have Gandhi's shawl and sandals, which have attracted tremendous interest," Westwood-Brookes added in reference to other key items that went under the hammer today.

The hand-woven linen shawl, made from material hand-spun by Gandhi himself, sold for 40,000 pounds – nearly double the estimated price.

His heavily worn-out leather chappals also beat estimates to grab 19,000 pounds, while his wooden prayer beads fetched 9,500 pounds.

Another key signed document, Gandhi's power of attorney to his son dating back to November 1920 and complete with various stamps of the Bank of Baroda and Bank of India, attracted some intense bidding on the phone to fetch 25,000 pounds.

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