Mahatma Gandhi’s bowl, cutlery to be auctioned in UK

Gandhi heirlooms -- letters, photographs, portraits, books, sandals, spectacles among other items -- attract collectors of all sorts, both institutions and individuals, throughout the world.
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.(Getty Images/Keystone)
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.(Getty Images/Keystone)
Updated on Dec 29, 2020 08:11 PM IST
Copy Link
London | ByAsian News International | Posted by Shankhyaneel Sarkar

A small, rusted metal bowl (called a katori in Hindi), two wooden spoons and a wooden fork -- once used by Mahatma Gandhi -- would 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 Rs 1.2 crores.

That is, however, the auctioneer’s low estimate, the higher estimate being GBP 80,000 which would take the landed cost in India to nearly Rs 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. This is especially true in the age of 24-hour global online auctions, Covid or no Covid.

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 (approx. 21cm 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).”

“All were, by repute, used daily by Gandhi and originally came from the collection of Sumati Morarjee a long-time friend and supporter of Gandhi, who cared for him on a number of occasions. The items are documented in the book Sumati Morarjee Felicitation (1970) and also in Vithalbhai Jhaveri’s epic film biography ‘Gandhi’. A full letter of provenance and history is supplied with the lot. An incredibly important set of historical artefacts, not only relating to Gandhi, but to the history of India,” it added.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close Story
QUICKREADS

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • Essential supplies of rice, milk and some critically needed medicines are pictured inside a cargo ship, which arrived from India, amid Sri Lanka's economic crisis, at a port in Colombo, on May 22, 2022. 

    Sri Lankan medicine shortage a death sentence for some, doctors say

    A shortage of medicine caused by an economic crisis in Sri Lanka could soon cause deaths, doctors said, as hospitals are forced to postpone life-saving procedures for their patients because they do not have the necessary drugs. "It is very bad for cancer patients," said Dr Roshan Amaratunga. "Sometimes, in the morning we plan for some surgeries (but) we may not be able to do on that particular day ... as (supplies) are not there."

  • The blue 1969 Mustang Fender guitar used by rock icon Kurt Cobain in the 1991 Nirvana music video "Smells Like Teen Spirit" is displayed at the media preview of the "Music Icons" auction, at Julien's Auctions in Beverly Hills, California, on April 11, 2022.

    Kurt Cobain's electric guitar auctions for nearly $5 million

    Rock icon Kurt Cobain's electric guitar, which he played in his band Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit” music video, was auctioned for nearly $5 million. According to Variety, the Fender Mustang electric guitar was sold to the Jim Irsay Collection of Indianapolis at Julien's Auctions on May 22. In his final interview with Guitar World, Cobain had said that the 1969 left-handed guitar was one of his favourites.

  • Russian service members work on demining the territory of Azovstal steel plant during Ukraine-Russia conflict in the southern port city of Mariupol, on May 22, 2022. 

    IMF warns against global economic fragmentation from Ukraine war

    The International Monetary Fund warned against global economic fragmentation as a consequence of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, saying that undoing decades of integration will make the world poorer and more dangerous. Nations should lower trade barriers to alleviate shortages and lower prices, after more than 30 countries restricted trade in food, energy and other key commodities, IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said.

  • Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida welcomes US President Joe Biden at Akasaka Palace in Tokyo, on May 23, 2022. 

    Biden hails 'good friend' Kishida, says US fully committed to Japan's defence

    President Joe Biden assured his "good friend" Prime Minister Fumio Kishida of Japan on Monday that the United States is fully committed to Japan's defence, amid simmering tension with China and the ramifications of Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Biden was greeted with a military honour guard that played the anthems of both countries under a bright blue sky. Earlier, he met Emperor Naruhito, talking briefly at the palace entrance before being ushered inside.

  • An employee vacuums inside the Congress Center ahead of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, on Sunday. The annual Davos gathering of political leaders, top executives and celebrities runs from May 22 to 26.

    Davos Forum is back after 2 yrs, but with less billionaire starpower and no snow

    Ask some of the world's rich and powerful descending on Davos this week and they'll tell you: After a two-year pandemic-enforced hiatus from the Swiss ski resort, the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum just isn't going to be the same. The chiefs of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. aren't going. Neither is BlackRock Inc.'s Larry Fink or Steve Schwarzman, the private-equity billionaire.

SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Monday, May 23, 2022