Gandhi’s iconic glasses sell for $340,000 in UK

Published August 22, 2020, 5:23 PM

by Agence-France-Presse

A pair of gold-plated glasses worn by Indian independence hero Mahatma Gandhi has sold in Britain for £260,000 (about 288,000 euros, $340,000), the auction house said.

A handout picture released by East Bristol Auctions on August 19, 2020, shows a pair of glasses that once belonged to Indian independence icon Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi photographed at the auction house in Bristol head of their sale. (EAST BRISTOL AUCTIONS / AFP)

“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 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.

Auctioneer Andrew Stowe told Sky News earlier this month that the vendor had told him: “If they’re no good, just throw them away.”

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