The most sacred relic of Mahatma Gandhi, his prison Charkha (spinning wheel) will take center stage at British Auction house Mullock’s on November 5 and is expected to sell for £60000 – £80000 GBP.
When India was under British colonial rule. Cotton was grown in India where the men would harvest it and the British would ship this cotton back to England and have it woven and spun into cloth which was then shipped back to India and sold at a price that the people could not afford. In order to resist against the British, Gandhi encouraged the men to spin (which was traditionally women’s work) and weave their own cloth . Since the traditional charkha was typically bulky and difficult to move, he needed a charkha that could be transported easily.
During his imprisonment in Yerwada jail, Mahatma Gandhi had devised the portable spinning wheel (charkha) that folds and has a handle for carrying. He often mentioned that his daily spinning was a form of meditation
Mullock’s Specialist Richard Westwood Brookes said: “This would have been one of Gandhi’s most prized possessions as he devised the workings of it himself, the Charkha was used by him in Yerveda Jail and was a form of meditation, it has impeccable provenance and is without a doubt the most important Gandhi artefact we have ever had for sale.”
The sale will also include a number of historical items related to the Sikh and Mysore Kingdom, of note is a fine 19th century painting of Tipu Sultan, a British school painting of the Sultans daughter dated 1837 , an early account dating to 1805 of Maharajah Ranjit Singh the lion of Punjab and a rare miniature Koran printed for the Muslim soldiers who fought alongside allied forces in World War 1.
Other Highlights include a score of important documents and photographs, some signed by Mahatma Gandhi, including an early publication advising the Jews of Germany to take up Sartgarya (non-violence) during the holocaust.
Mr Westwood Brookes said: “We have a wide selection of Gandhi and India related artefacts for sale, they have been carefully selected based on rarity, quality and historical importance, I don’t think we will ever witness a Sale of this magnitude ever again.”