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Gandhi's glasses sell for RM1.42 million at auction

Gandhi’s spectacles sold for RM1.42million


A pair of Mahatma Gandhi’s glasses have sold at £260,000 GBP (approximately $340,000 USD or RM 1.42million) at East Bristol Auctions.

According to reports, the spectacles were purchased via phone by an American collector and greatly surpassed its expected selling price of £15,000 GBP (approximately $19,600 USD or RM82,000), setting a new record for East Bristol Auctions.

Stowe added, “It’s a phenomenal result. These glasses represent not only an auction record for us, but a find of international historical importance.”

"We found them just four weeks ago in our letterbox, left there by a gentleman whose uncle had been given them by Gandhi himself," East Bristol Auctions wrote on Instagram after the sale late on Friday.

"An incredible result for an incredible item! Thanks to all those who bid."

Gandhi was known for giving out old or unwanted pairs to those in need or those who had helped him.

The non-violent protestor gave the glasses to the vendor's uncle while he was working for British Petroleum in South Africa during the 1920s or 30s, said the auction house.

The sale price smashed the original estimate of around £15,000.

The pair was originally owned by an elderly man from Mangotsfield who mentioned that the glasses had been handed down from generation to generation in his family, and was in their possession after a relative met the political and spiritual leader in South Africa some time in the 1920s. 

The man, who revealed that he would split the money with his daughter, was unaware of the value it held. “These glasses have been lying in a drawer for the best part of fifty years,” auctioneer Andrew Stowe said. 

“The vendor literally told me to throw them away if they were ‘no good’. Now he gets a life-changing sum of money.”

When he suggested they might be worth £15,000, "I think he nearly fell off his chair."



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