Mahatma Gandhi’s last will and testament, a set of his prayer beads, a pair of leather sandals, and a fragment of his blood on a microscrope slide were among 50 rare items sold at an auction on Tuesday fetching a total of more than £150,000.
The blood sample, billed as a potentially ``hot’’ item , surprisingly failed to sell in the first round but was eventually sold for £5000 against the asking price of £10,000-£15,000.
It was donated by Gandhi to a friend after an operation for appendicitis in 1924.
His will, written on two papers and signed by him in Gujarati, was sold for £55,000 exceeding the maximum guide price by £10,000.
The leather sandals, despite being in poor condition, also fetched more than the asking price of £15,000. They were sold for £19,000.
A set of wooden prayer beads sold for £9,000 and a quaint handheld lantern for £4,500. The lantern was described as being in ``poor condition, rusted and with only one window intact but retaining its original burner’’. Gandhi was said to have used it personally.
A "rare’’ British Parliament paper declaring Gandhi a ``terrorist" from 1932, fetched £260. The paper, dated 1932, discusses the Civil Disobedience Movement describing it as a “Terrorist movement”. Its contents include correspondence between Gandhi and British authorities.
A spokesperson for the auction house Mullock's in Ludlow, England, said they were ``very pleased’’ with the sales.
``They went off very well.’’
Buying and selling Gandhi memorabilia has become big business in recent years prompting calls for his personal effects to be regarded as ``national treasure’’ with the Indian Government being given the first right of refusal.