Spectacular success! Mahatma Gandhi’s gold wire glasses sell for eye-watering £260,000

A pair of glasses worn by civil rights campaigner Mahatma Gandhi have been sold for £260,000.

The spectacles had been left in an auction house letterbox with a note simply saying:

“These glasses belonged to Gandhi, give me a call.”

The seller had inherited the glasses from an uncle who worked in South Africa when Gandhi was there.

East Bristol Auctions had estimated the glasses would sell for about £15,000.

Auctioneer Andrew Stowe said:

“These are probably the most famous pair of spectacles we’ve ever had, and the most important historical item we’ve found.

“I read the note, carried on with the morning duties, and then around lunchtime I thought, ‘Well let’s give this gentleman a call, let’s see what the story is’.”

“A few hours later, we were digging around and doing some research and we discovered that they are a very important historical find.

“I phoned the gentleman back… his exact words were ‘if they’re no good, just throw them away’.

“I told him I thought they were worth £15,000, and I think he nearly fell off his chair.”

Gandhi led a non-violent protest movement for India’s independence from British rule in 1947.

He was assassinated in 1948.


About the Author

Philip Braund spent 16 years at the Daily Mirror as a reporter and news editor before moving to ITV. He was the series producer of the ground-breaking investigation programme The Cook Report, Managing Editor at ITV's Millbank Studios, and Head of News at ITV Central. He has won national and regional Royal Television Society awards for documentaries.

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