Mahatma Gandhi
File image of Mahatma Gandhi | Photo: Commons
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New Delhi: A pair of Mahatma Gandhi’s glasses were found by staff at an auction house in UK’s Bristol last week. They were apparently left by the owner in the company’s letterbox.

The pair of glasses were left inside a plain envelop on a Friday and were found “sticking halfway out” of the auction company’s letterbox by its staff last Monday.

Andrew Stowe, who runs the auction company, claimed the glasses are likely to fetch more than 15,000 pounds (over Rs 14 lakh). They would be sold as part of an online-only auction on 21 August.

“Someone popped them into our letterbox on a Friday night and they stayed there until Monday — literally hanging out,” he said.

Stowe has also been quoted as saying that when the owner was told their value he “nearly had a heart attack“.

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Gandhi wore the glasses in South Africa

Stowe said one of his staff members had handed the pair of glasses to him and informed there was a note saying these were Gandhi’s.

“I thought ‘That’s an interesting one’ and carried on with my day,” he said.

When Stowe later began to investigate the “gold-plated, circular rimmed glasses”, he claimed to have fallen “off his chair” upon discovering that they actually belonged to Gandhi.

According to the owner, the glasses had been handed down from generation to generation in his family. They had come to possess it after someone from the family met Gandhi in South Africa during the 1920s.

“We looked into the dates and it all matches up, even the date Gandhi started wearing glasses. They are probably one of the first pairs of glasses he wore as they are quite a weak prescription,” said Stowe.

For Stowe, these glasses have been the most important find for his company till date.

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1 Comment Share Your Views


  1. re: Mahatma Gandhi’s glasses found in UK auctioneer’s letterbox, could fetch over Rs 14 lakh
    There is global interest in the imminent sale of a pair of glasses, reputedly Gandhi’s, by East Bristol Auctions on 21 August.
    The bidding has already reached £60,000.
    The provenance of the glasses, according to the auction house is as follows: “given to the vendor’s Uncle c1920-1930 by Gandhi whilst in South Africa…….”
    The provenance cannot be true! Gandhi left South Africa in July 1914 and never returned.

    The source of all media coverage is East Bristol Auctions. No media have questioned the veracity of the vendor’s story.

    Andrew Stowe of East Bristol Auctions has not returned my calls,

    I look forward to hearing from you soon..

    You are welcome to contact me.


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