Mahathma Gandhi's items auctioned for $1.8 million

Friday, March 6, 2009

Mohandas K. Gandhi

Valuable personal items belonging to Mahatma Gandhi, The father of India were auctioned for US$1.8 million by Antiquorum Auctioneers in New York City, New York. Documentary filmmaker James Otis owned these items and put these up for auction.

The items were bought by the owner of the United Breweries group and Kingfisher Airlines, Vijay Mallaya, a Bangalore based Indian entrepreneur. The list of rare personal belongings included a Zenith sterling silver Pocket watch, a pair of eyeglasses used by Gandhi, a pair of leather sandals, his blood work from Irwin Hospital, New Delhi and a brass bowl and a plate set.

The initial bid price was $20,000, but reached $1 million in less than a minute. Mallaya eventually outbid all other bidders for the final price of $1.8 million. The Indian government did not participate in the auction due to a restraint order from the Delhi High Court. The restraining order was passed by the court in response to a written petition filed by the legal heir of Mahatma Gandhi, Navjivan Trust.