A signed vintage photo of Mahatma Gandhi, walking alongside Madan Mohan Malaviya, was sold at a U.S. auction for $41,806 - more than four times the expected amount.
Signed in fountain pen, “M K Gandhi,” the rare photo was taken after the second session of India’s Round Table Conference in London in September 1931.
Reverse of photo bears two Associated Press of Great Britain copyright stamps, as well as collector’s ink notations identifying Malaviya and the date.
The photo dates to a period in which Gandhi, suffering from pain in his right thumb, opted to write with his left hand, a temporary inconvenience that lasted from August 8 to December 19, 1931, according to US-based RR Auction.
The photo was initially expected to fetch $10,000.
“The autographed photo of Gandhi presents him as he is doing his life’s work.We are not surprised that this giant of the 20th century still resonates today,” said Bobby Livingston, Executive VP at RR Auction.
As the delegate acting on behalf of the Indian National Congress, Gandhi attended the second session of the British-organised Round Table Conference, a three-part conference series held in London from 1930 to 1932, with the aim of discussing the ongoing constitutional reforms in India.
Malaviya, who had formerly been president of the Congress and played a significant role in the Gandhi-led non-cooperation movement, joined him as a representative advocating for a free India.