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For sale: Gandhi bowl

Gandhi’s metal bowl, wooden fork and two wooden spoons which are being auctioned

London, Sept. 14: Gandhi would have been amused.

A metal food bowl, wooden fork and two wooden spoons, which probably did not even cost a rupee, are being auctioned with the starting bid set at £22,900 - Rs 20 lakh in today's money and enough to set up the Mahatma in fine bone china from Harrods.

They are being sold in an online auction run by Paul Fraser Collectibles, which describes itself as "a high-end memorabilia dealer based in Bristol". It says it has the world's largest private stockholding of collectibles.

The auction runs until September 29.

Gandhi used the items daily while he was incarcerated at the Aga Khan Palace in Pune between 1942 and 1944.

The British authorities imprisoned Gandhi following his Quit India speech in August 1942.

The items have "superb provenance", according to the auction house. They originally come from the collection of Gandhi's close friend Sumati Morarjee. When Gandhi was released in May 1944, he went immediately to Morarjee's house in Bombay, taking the bowl and utensils with him.

Morarjee (1909-1998), who was born into a wealthy family, was known as "the first woman of Indian shipping" as she headed the Indian National Steamship Owners' Association.

Daniel Wade, a spokesperson for the auction house, said: "The wonder of these items isn't just that Gandhi held them and used them, it's that he did so during one of the most important periods of his life and in the history of India. Victory is close for Gandhi when he uses these, because after his release in 1944, India wins Independence just three years later. Historically important artefacts such as this rarely come up for sale."


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