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 6:19 PM EST, Fri November 21, 2014
China and likely other countries have the capacity to shut down the U.S. power grid, says the NSA.
updated 8:21 PM EST, Thu November 20, 2014
If it wasn't for a comic's skit, Bill Cosby would still be America's favorite father, says expert.
updated 10:50 AM EST, Fri November 21, 2014
Obama orders the most sweeping overhaul of U.S. immigration in decades, prioritizing the deportation of "felons, not families."
updated 4:06 PM EST, Tue November 18, 2014
Fighters loyal to ISIS are now in control of Derna, a city on Libya's Mediterranean coast.
updated 2:45 PM EST, Wed November 19, 2014
The founder of a U.S. nonprofit that works with returning soldiers is named CNN's Hero of the Year.
updated 8:24 AM EST, Mon November 17, 2014
It's a very big challenge but NASA chief scientist Ellen Stofan thinks it can be done.
updated 7:39 PM EST, Sun November 16, 2014
CNN's Atika Shubert explains how the most recent ISIS video differs from the other previous hostage execution videos.
updated 12:38 PM EST, Mon November 17, 2014
A Syrian cleric condemns ISIS and its execution of U.S. hostage Peter Kassig.
updated 12:20 PM EST, Sun November 16, 2014
Volunteer fighters in eastern Ukraine dig down just 800 meters from the front line.
updated 12:29 PM EST, Tue November 18, 2014
TV anchor wears the same suit for a year. Female colleague wears new outfit daily. Who gets criticized?
updated 7:04 AM EST, Fri November 21, 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