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Sample of Gandhi's blood goes up for auction

Mahatma Gandhi's famous sandals and other memorabilia pictured here on display in 2009 in New York.

Story highlights

  • A microscope slide with a trace of Gandhi's blood is up for auction in England
  • Other lots include a shawl made from thread spun by Gandhi and a pair of his sandals
  • Documents including a two-page will signed by Gandhi are for sale

A glass microscope slide with a trace of the late Indian independence leader Mahatma Gandhi's blood is among an array of memorabilia due to be sold at auction Tuesday in England.

A pair of shabby leather sandals once worn by Gandhi, renowned for his doctrine of nonviolent protest and adherence to an ascetic lifestyle, is also going under the hammer.

Remarkable photos of 'history in the making'

The slide was donated by Gandhi when he was convalescing after an operation for appendicitis in 1924, according to Mullock's auction house.

The sandals come from a house at Juhu Beach, in Maharashtra, western India, where Gandhi lived from 1917 to 1934, the auction listing says. They have a guide price of 10,000 to 15,000 British pounds.

Another lot from the same house features a handwoven linen shawl "made from thread which Gandhi spun himself," according to the auction house.

Photographs, paintings and audio recordings of Gandhi are also up for sale, as well as personal documents and household items belonging to the former leader.

Book of the week on the great soul of Mahatma Gandhi

The documents include a two-page will, handwritten "in a neat secretarial hand" in Gujarati and signed by Gandhi, the auction house said. It is expected to fetch 30,000 to 40,000 pounds.

The independence leader, who was born Mohandas Gandhi in Gujarat in 1869, became known as Mahatma, or "great-souled," for his efforts toward social and political progress for his countrymen.

He was a key figure in the Indian National Congress and led the Indian nationalist movement against British rule, characterized by a campaign of civil disobedience and nonviolent resistance. India achieved independence in August 1947.

Gandhi was nominated five times for the Nobel Peace Prize -- in 1937, 1938, 1939, 1947 and finally in January 1948, a few days before he was assassinated -- but was never awarded it. No peace prize was given in 1948.