London: Grass with a drop of Mahatma Gandhi's blood and soil from the place where he was assassinated in 1948 in New Delhi are among rare items to be put up for auction in the UK on April 17. Other items include a pair of Gandhi's round-rimmed glasses, 'charkha', a 10 inch 78rpm Columbia disc of Gandhi giving his spiritual message signed by him, and original photographs of Gandhi visiting London in 1931.
The items, along with letters in English by Gandhi to Raghavan, Sgt NER Poduwal in Rangoon, and letters by Gandhi in Gujarati and a prayer book in Gujarati are expected to fetch nearly 100,000 in the auction conducted by auctioneer Mullock's in Shropshire.
The highest guide price - 10,000 to 15,000 - has been set by the auctioneer for three items in the collection: the pair of glasses, 'charkha' and a casket containing the soil and blades of grass from the spot where Gandhi was killed in New Delhi.
The soil and blades of grass were collected by one PP Nambiar, who describes the samples in a provenance, and are placed in a small wooden casket containing a small glass topped box.
The description of the item says, "The casket comes with a letter of provenance by PP Nambiar dated September 24, 1996 saying that the recipient.. has today received the most sacred of all relics a fraction of the pinch of soil I collected on January 30, 1948 from the spot where the Father of our nation M K Gandhi fell to the bullets of his assassin."
Mullock's says that The item is also accompanied by a copy of 'True but never heard before' by PP Nambiar, which is a personal account of collecting the soil sample on the day Gandhi was murdered.
It quotes Nambiar's words, "in my search I found a drop of blood on the grass almost dried".
"I cut the grass and also took two pinches of soil from the brink of the pothole which I wrapped in a piece of Hindi newspaper found nearby. This is in my box even today. I keep it in a jewellery box brought by me from Indo-China in a later year. To me it is a treasure of immense sentimental value."
Gandhi's glasses under auction were bought in London around 1890 when he studied Law.