A compact rusted metal bowl, two wooden spoons and a wooden fork, once used by Mahatma Gandhi himself, will be sold at an auction in Bristol, United Kingdom on January 10. The opening price for the antique items is set at GBP 55,000 (Rs 54 lakh), but after adding the auctioneer's commission, GST, insurance, freight, and Indian customs duty on their import, the price would add up to Rs 1.2 crore.
However as the higher estimate is GBP 80,000, the cost might go up to Rs 2 crore. It may be mentioned that the auction bids are highly unpredictable hence the price could go up even more.
Items personally used by Gandhi are very rare and are considered antique and valuable. His heirlooms attract all sorts of buyers including institutions as well as individuals throughout the world. The present set of bowl and cutlery, which are to be auctioned next month, have excellent provenance and 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 of cutlery was used by Gandhi during 1942-1944.
"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 (approximtely 21 cm 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)," it said.
"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.