Tuesday 29 December 2020 11:19 PM UTC
STOCKHOLM Dec 29: A small, rusted metal bowl, two wooden spoons and a wooden fork — once used by Mahatma Gandhi — will be sold at an auction in Bristol, United Kingdom, on January 10 at an opening price of GBP 55,000 which, after adding auctioneer’s commission, GST, insurance, freight and Indian customs duty on import of antique items would all add up to ₹ 1.2 crore.
That is, however, the auctioneer’s low estimate, the higher estimate being GBP 80,000, which would take the cost in India to nearly ₹ 2 crores. However, auction bids are highly unpredictable and can sometimes go up to two or three times the higher estimate given by the auctioneer.
Gandhi heirlooms — letters, photographs, portraits, books, sandals, spectacles among other items — attract collectors of all sorts, both institutions and individuals, throughout the world. Items personally used by Gandhi are, however, rare at auctions. The present set of bowl and cutlery have excellent provenance. It comes from the collection of one-time shipping magnate Sumati Morarjee, a well-known devotee of Mahatma Gandhi.
According to the East Bristol Auctioneer’s catalogue, “The set was used by Gandhi during his incarceration at Aga Khan Palace in Pune (1942-1944) and at the Palm Bun House in Mumbai. The bowl of simple metal construction, stamped 208/42 to base, with a scalloped form leading to a flat base (approximately 21 cm diameter). The cutlery comprising a wooden fork and two carved wooden spoons are also of a simple form, in the traditional manner (approx. 16cm long).”
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