A tiny fragment of soil, said to contain Gandhi's blood, will be auctioned among a variety of his artefacts at a sale in Shropshire, UK on April 17, 2012.
The sale will also feature a pair of spectacles and a wooden spinning wheel known as a "Charka", along with signed photographs and letters written by Gandhi in both English and Gujarati.
Mahatma Gandhi led India to independence and is known in the country as "Bapu", meaning father. A crucial figure in Indian history, he inspired civil rights movements across the globe. The blood-stained soil is said to have been taken from the site of his assassination in 1948.
The collector, PP Nambiar, describes the item in a letter of provenance dated 1996 as "the most sacred of all relics - a fraction of the pinch of soil I collected on 30 January 1948 from the spot where the father of our nation MK Gandhi fell to the bullets of his assassin". He goes on to add that the sample "is a treasure of immense sentimental value".
The sample has been given an estimate of £10,000-15,000, which we believe to be an optimistic figure, given the uncorroborated provenance of the item. Both the spectacles and spinning wheel have identical estimates.
Here at Paul Fraser Collectibles, we are delighted to offer this Martin Luther King Jr autographed programme, which has excellent provenance.