Cutlery used by Mahatma Gandhi during his incarceration at the Aga Khan Palace in Pune and at the house of shipping magnate Sumati Morarjee in Mumbai have been on sale in Bristol since January, but there have been no offers matching the asking price yet.
Gandhi’s metal food bowl, two wooden spoons and a wooden fork were put up for sale by Paul Fraser Collectibles for £75,000, but despite much interest among “wealthy Indians in London”, no one has yet offered the asking price.
A representative of the company that specialises in unique and historically significant items told HT that Gandhi’s items were still available for purchase, and added: “We’ve had a lot of offers but none at the asking price”.
The provenance of the items has been attributed to ‘the collection of Sumati Morarjee’.
Paul Fraser Collectibles said that the food bowl measures approximately 2½” high by 8” in diameter and carries the stamped numbers to its base ‘208/42’. The spoons and fork are approximately 6½” in length.
“According to Morarjee family lore the utensils were used by Gandhi during his incarceration at the Aga Khan’s palace in Pune from 9 August 1942 to 6 May 1944, and then taken to their home at Juhu Beach”, the company said.
The description of the items says: “Gandhi first visited the ‘Palm-Bun’ house in 1915 after his return from South Africa. He also spent extended periods of time at the home, most notably in 1924 after his surgery for appendicitis and in 1944 after his release from detention at the Aga Khan’s palace in Pune”.
“During both extended visits Gandhi was cared for by Sumati Morarjee, a close associate of Gandhi’s who was actively involved in the underground movement for Independence…These items were subsequently kept by Sumati Morarjee at her home, in an unoffical museum”.