A pair of round glasses that belonged to the hero of Indian independence Mahatma Gandhi, who would have given them “in gratitude for a good deed”, were sold for 260,000 pounds (about 288,000 euros, $ 340,000), announced the auction house East Bristol Auctions.
“We found them just four weeks ago in our mailbox, left there by a man whose uncle had received them from Gandhi himself. An incredible result for an incredible object!” the auction house wrote on Instagram, posting a video of the sale held on Friday night.
The gold-framed round lens glasses were valued at between £ 10,000 and £ 15,000 (€ 11,000 and 17,000, $ 14,500 and $ 22,500).
They were left in an envelope in the mailbox of the auction house.
“One of my colleagues picked it up, tore the envelope and found a note that said, ‘These glasses belonged to Gandhi, call me,’” one of the auction commissioners, Andrew Stowe, told Sky News television.
After a call to the seller, “we searched, investigated and found that it was a historical discovery … I called the man, who said: ‘If they are worth nothing, get rid of them,’” explained the auctioneer.
When he found out its estimated value, the seller couldn’t believe it, the commissioner said.
The defender of non-violence “often gave his old or no longer wanted glasses to those who needed them or to those who had helped him,” the auction house explained on its website.
The pair of glasses was donated by Gandhi in the 1920s to the seller’s uncle, who was working for British Petroleum in South Africa at the time, according to East Bristol Auctions.
“They were supposed to have been offered as thanks from Gandhi for a good deed,” he added.