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Gandhiji’s personal items, letters up for auction

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An auction of Mahatma Gandhi’s personal effects and documents will take place in Ludlow, U.K., later this month. Up for sale are articles that belonged to the Father of the Nation when he was recovering from illness at Juhu in 1924, including his personal prayerbeads, shawl made from linen thread that he spun himself, bed sheet, personal bowl with fork and spoon, drinking cup and ivory-carved ‘Three Wise Monkeys’ that he owned.

The sale takes place on May 21 during the next Mullock’s Auction of important historical documents at the Ludlow Racecourse.

Gandhiji’s will and power of attorney, which he wrote in 1921, and a series of important letters are also up for auction. One of these, written in 1937 settles a highly controversial dispute, which was then taking place within the Indian National Congress. There are also original portraits and photographs of Gandhiji, some of which have been personally signed by him.

In addition to the items of Gandhian interest, the sale also features a wealth of documents, paintings and artefacts related to India and Punjab. These include rare original photographs of Maharaja Duleep Singh, one of which shows him with the young Edward VII.

There is also a highly significant letter written by one of the first soldiers to arrive on the scene after the battle of Saragarhi, one of the most famous battles in Sikh history when 21 Sikh soldiers took on an Afghan army of 10,000. Important Sikh paintings, including a particularly fine painting of an Akali warrior with a lady companion, are also to be sold.

Another interesting item up for sale is an 18th century painting of the Holy Prophet’s footprints.

“This is unquestionably one of the most important sales relating to Indian history to be staged in recent years,” commented Mullock’s Historical Documents Expert, Richard Westwood-Brookes. “We are offering many highly important and unique items and we are expecting strong interest from around the world,” he said. — PTI


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