Skip to main content

Sample of Gandhi's blood goes up for auction

By Laura Smith-Spark, CNN
updated 6:54 AM EDT, Tue May 21, 2013
Mahatma Gandhi's famous sandals and other memorabilia pictured here on display in 2009 in New York.
Mahatma Gandhi's famous sandals and other memorabilia pictured here on display in 2009 in New York.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • A microscope slide with a trace of Gandhi's blood is up for auction in England
  • Other lots include a shawl made from thread spun by Gandhi and a pair of his sandals
  • Documents including a two-page will signed by Gandhi are for sale

London (CNN) -- A glass microscope slide with a trace of the late Indian independence leader Mahatma Gandhi's blood is among an array of memorabilia due to be sold at auction Tuesday in England.

A pair of shabby leather sandals once worn by Gandhi, renowned for his doctrine of nonviolent protest and adherence to an ascetic lifestyle, is also going under the hammer.

Remarkable photos of 'history in the making'

The slide was donated by Gandhi when he was convalescing after an operation for appendicitis in 1924, according to Mullock's auction house.

The sandals come from a house at Juhu Beach, in Maharashtra, western India, where Gandhi lived from 1917 to 1934, the auction listing says. They have a guide price of 10,000 to 15,000 British pounds.

Another lot from the same house features a handwoven linen shawl "made from thread which Gandhi spun himself," according to the auction house.

Photographs, paintings and audio recordings of Gandhi are also up for sale, as well as personal documents and household items belonging to the former leader.

Book of the week on the great soul of Mahatma Gandhi

The documents include a two-page will, handwritten "in a neat secretarial hand" in Gujarati and signed by Gandhi, the auction house said. It is expected to fetch 30,000 to 40,000 pounds.

The independence leader, who was born Mohandas Gandhi in Gujarat in 1869, became known as Mahatma, or "great-souled," for his efforts toward social and political progress for his countrymen.

He was a key figure in the Indian National Congress and led the Indian nationalist movement against British rule, characterized by a campaign of civil disobedience and nonviolent resistance. India achieved independence in August 1947.

Gandhi was nominated five times for the Nobel Peace Prize -- in 1937, 1938, 1939, 1947 and finally in January 1948, a few days before he was assassinated -- but was never awarded it. No peace prize was given in 1948.

Antonia Mortensen contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 12:46 PM EST, Sun December 21, 2014
The tragic killing of two cops could not have happened at a worse time for a city embroiled in a bitter public battle over police-community relations, Errol Louis says.
updated 8:27 AM EST, Mon December 22, 2014
North Korea warns the United States that U.S. "citadels" will be attacked, dwarfing the hacking attack on Sony that led to the cancellation of a comedy film's release.
updated 9:51 PM EST, Sun December 21, 2014
The gateway to Japan's capital, Tokyo Station, is celebrating its centennial this month -- and it's never looked better.
updated 11:21 AM EST, Sat December 20, 2014
More than 1.7 million children in conflict-torn areas of eastern Ukraine face an "extremely serious" situation, Unicef has warned.
updated 8:22 AM EST, Fri December 19, 2014
Boko Haram's latest abductions may meet a weary global reaction, Nigerian journalist Tolu Ogunlesi says.
updated 5:34 AM EST, Fri December 19, 2014
Drops, smudges, pools of blood are everywhere -- but in the computer room CNN's Nic Robertson reels from the true horror of the Peshawar school attack.
updated 9:43 PM EST, Wed December 17, 2014
The gunman behind the deadly siege in Sydney this week was not on a security watch list, and Australia's Prime Minister wants to know why.
updated 4:48 AM EST, Thu December 18, 2014
Bestselling author Marjorie Liu had set her sights on being a lawyer, but realized it wasn't what she wanted to do for the rest of her life.
updated 3:27 PM EST, Tue December 16, 2014
CNN's Matthew Chance looks into an HRW report saying Russia has "legalized discrimination against LGBT people."
updated 9:12 PM EST, Mon December 15, 2014
The Sydney siege has brought home some troubling truths to Australians. They are not immune to what are often called "lone-wolf" terror attacks.
Bill Cosby has kept quiet as sexual assault allegations mounted against him, but his wife, Camille, finally spoke out in defense of her husband.
updated 9:31 AM EST, Fri December 19, 2014
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT