Mahatma Gandhi Presentation Spinning Wheel

Value (2016) | $50,000 Auction$75,000 Auction
Watch  

GUEST:
I brought you a spinning wheel, which was presented to my mother by Mahatma Gandhi. My grandfather was a great proponent of Indian independence, trying to drum up support here in the United States for the cause of Indian independence. He dispatched my mother to London-- Gandhi was at the second Round Table Conference-- and with the idea that she should try to persuade him to make a tour of the United States. Now, my mother was seven years old at the time. This is a picture. This is my grandmother, her mom, and this is her sister.

APPRAISER:
So that is your grandmother. That is your mother, seven years old?

GUEST:
Yes.

APPRAISER:
And that's her little sister.

GUEST:
Right.

APPRAISER:
And, of course, there's Mahatma Gandhi.

GUEST:
There's Mahatma.

APPRAISER:
Did you grow up with stories of Mahatma Gandhi?

GUEST:
Oh, yes, because my family was so involved in the whole independence movement. I mean, they also met Nehru, they met Indira Gandhi, even though she was a little girl at the time.

APPRAISER:
And how did your mother actually receive the spinning wheel?

GUEST:
When she went, she made her appeal. She had a petition signed by many important statesmen, including the mayors of five cities, which were the ones who were going to sponsor the tour. But Gandhi said that he didn't think that America was ready for him yet. She made a grand effort, and so he said he would give her a gift. And he asked, what did she want? And she said she wanted a spinning wheel. For the Indian independence movement, it represented economic freedom from colonial oppression. If you spun your own clothes and then wove them with cotton, then you boycotted British goods. The spinning wheel was a very strong symbol. And if you look at the Indian flag, it's on the Indian flag today.

APPRAISER:
It was a very turbulent time in world affairs, you know.

GUEST:
Oh, yes.

APPRAISER:
The second Round Table Conference took place in London. I believe it started in September of 1931. Mahatma Gandhi was the only Indian national actually invited to go and talk about the cause of Indian nationalism. Gandhi's own goals at this conference was expansion of woman rights, ending the caste system, but most importantly, self rule of India. Because at the time, India was a colony of the British crown.

GUEST:
That's right.

APPRAISER:
And he had spent his entire adult life fighting for the cause of India.

GUEST:
Right.

APPRAISER:
And this was at a very pivotal moment. So it's just a tremendous moment in history, where he not only, you know, met your grandmother...

GUEST:
Yes.

APPRAISER:
…met your mother, and presented her with this tremendous, tremendous symbol of the Indian people. This is a typical style of Indian portable spinning wheel.

GUEST:
Right.

APPRAISER:
Because of the scarcity of items related to Mahatma Gandhi, if this would come up to auction, we would give a reasonable auction estimate at $50,000 to $75,000.

GUEST:
Wow. Wait till I tell my kids that. It might make them appreciate it a little bit more, right?

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Coronado Trading Co.
Tucson, AZ
Update (2016)
$50,000 Auction$75,000 Auction
Appraised value (2014)
$50,000 Auction$75,000 Auction
Event
Austin, TX (June 28, 2014)

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