Lifestyle & Belief

Gandhi blood fails to sell at London auction, doesn't get high enough bids


Indian philosopher and nationalist leader Mohandas Karamchand GGndhi, better known as MGhatma Gandhi (C) poses with women during his tour of Bengal province in 1946.



During his lifetime, Mahatma Gandhi inspired a movement that gave his country independence and brought the British empire to its knees — at least diplomatically.

However, British auctioneers hoping to tap into the great legacy of the iconic Indian leader were disappointed when his blood samples failed to reach a high enough bid at an auction Tuesday, according to the Associated Press.

Auction house spokesman Richard Westwood-Brookes told AP the blood bidding didn't get up to the $15,155 reserve price. 

The items in question were actually microscope slides — doctors had saved Gandhi's blood on them when he underwent surgery for an appendectomy in the 1920s, according to Reuters.

The iconic Indian leader is believed to have donated the blood to the people with whom he was staying at the time.  

The slides have traveled far since then, landing in the hands of London's Mullock's auction house. They were on offer along with other Gandhi memorabilia, including his sandals and rice bowl. But the blood was thought to be the big item; auctioneers told Reuters they expected the slides to go for $15,200 to $22,800. 

Didn't happen. Westwood-Brookes told AP other items (he did not specify if all of them were Gandhi-related) sold for a total of $435,000. 

Some of them could have been owned by German dictator Adolph Hitler, because in a weird case of irony, Mullock's was also auctioning off various items owned by the Nazi leader on Tuesday. The event therefore captured both extremes of 20th-century leadership, showcasing Gandhi's shoes along with, among other items, a marble slab from Hitler's bunker, according to Newser.