Lot 48 of 222:
Handwritten signed letter from Mohandas Gandhi, 1934  

Click image to enlarge
Lot closed - Sold For (Includes Buyers Premium):$3,000
$3,000 - $5,000

Letter from Mohandas Gandhi to Professor Samuel "Sam" Higginbottom at the Agricultural Institute, Allahabad, asking for advice and aid in recovery efforts following the 1934 Nepal-Bihar earthquake

Gandhi, Mohandas

Patna, India


26 March 1934


Autograph letter signed by Mohandas Gandhi (as "M. Gandhi"). 38 lines, in blue ink, on both sides of single sheet, with a portion of the original envelope, addressed in Gandhi's hand and with canceled stamp, affixed to the bottom of the letter. Together, the letter and envelope measure 29.5x16.5 cm (11¾x6½"). Set along with a typed transcription, an early photostatic copy, and related items in modern folding cloth case.

Significant letter from Mohandas Gandhi, written at the height of the independence movement in India, in response to the devastation of the Nepal-Bihar earthquake, and requesting help from a British friend. The 8.0 magnitude earthquake which struck on January 15, 1934, was one of the worst in the history of Nepal and the northern Indian state of Bihar, and over two months later the situation was still dire. Gandhi writes to Sam Higginbottom in response to an offer of aid: "Dear Friend: Your letter has given me great joy. I take you at your word. Come, see the afflicted area and tell us (1) how best and cheaply we can clean our choked wells, (2) how we can house the homeless, (3) how drain water-clogged areas, (4) how remove the sand which covers our fair fields. These are but samples of the work in front of us. Of course the gov't and the people are working in unison. But you know my regards for your expert knowledge. Even if you do not show us anything new, I personally will have the satisfaction of knowing that you have seen the area... I leave tomorrow morning with Rajendra Babu to visit balance of the area yet unseen by me. But you may come independently of me... I return to Patna on 4th prox. evening and leave for Purnea and thence for Assam on the 7th proximo... Very sincerely(?), M. Gandhi." Sam Higginbottom, to whom the letter is written, was an English-born Christian missionary in Allahabad, India, where he founded the Allahabad Agricultural Institute. While in India, he developed close friendships with Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru. The letter was given by Professor Higginbottom to Ernst Gundlach at some juncture, and it has descended in the Gundlach family until the present time.

Lot Amendments

There is some discoloration from the tape used to connect the letter to the envelope, and this is close to the signature, which in addition is faint in places; the writing itself is a little faint in places, old folds; overall very good.

Item number:
Shipping info:

We have a full service shipping department to ensure proper packing and safe delivery of purchases at reasonable cost. We are specialists at packing and shipping books and works on paper.   All lots purchased by the same client are combined for shipping in order to keep the cost as economical as possible.  Our preferred method for domestic shipments is UPS Ground but we can also ship via FedEx or USPS Priority Mail. We do NOT ship USPS Media Mail under any circumstances.For international orders we select the most appropriate carrier depending on the value and weight of the items purchased.  We are happy to accommodate special arrangements by request.

Invoices are sent out the day following the auction and include a minimum $10 handling fee plus actual shipping and insurance charges.

Shipping estimates can be obtained  by contacting [email protected] prior to the auction.


Terms and conditions


All accepted bids are contracts and are considered final and non withdrawable.


A buyer's premium of 20% will be applied to all purchases.


The person posting the bids online has to be the person who has registered for the auction.