A letter written by Mahatma Gandhi in 1922 from Sabarmati jail
to Rabindranath Tagore's eldest brother Dwijendranath on Wednesday fetched
49,250 pounds, over seven times its pre-sale estimate, at a Sotheby's auction
here while a rare copy of the Indian Constitution sold for nearly eight times
its offered price.
After being lodged in the jail in Ahmedabad city in west India, Gandhi wrote the autographed letter to Dwijendranath rejoicing that his incarceration has come at a time when he felt fully prepared and expressing joy that "India's wonderful calm at this moment is significant of her strength". He asked Dwijendranath to send messages of support to Young India journal in the two-page letter, written in pencil.
The letter had an estimate of 5,000-7,000 pounds at the sale of English Literature, History, Children's Books and Illustrations.
The limited first edition of the Constitution on stiff Whatman paper and with an estimate 4,000-5,000 pounds sold for 39,650 pounds (hammer price with buyer's premium).
The copy is signed by President Rajendra Prasad in English and Devnagari on the authentication page and also by Jawaharlal Nehru and dated 1950 on the front free end papers.
Another letter in which Gandhi sends condolences to an unknown friend in 1922 on hearing from Charlie (Andrews) of the death of his or her mother, but asking "should not birth and death be the same though" sold for 5,625 pounds. It had an estimate of 3,000-4,000 pounds.
There was no immediate information about the buyers of the three items.
A collection of 10 remarkable and articulate love letters written by singer Mick Jagger to the beautiful black American singer Marsha Hunt, sold for 187,250 pounds, more than double the pre-sale low estimate of 70,000-100,000 pounds.
They were purchased by a private collector, bidding over the telephone, the auction house said.
Last month, Gandhian author Giriraj Kishore approached ruling coalition UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi to stop the auction of the two letters.