Important Artifacts From the Life of Nelson Mandela Highlight Guernsey’s Upcoming January Sale
Nelson Mandela delivered his famous “Speech from the Dock” while facing his death penalty on April 20, 1964. He concluded the speech by saying, “I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.” These words immortalized Mandela and symbolized his life-long dedication to the fight for equality, as well as the eradication of the South African racist system of apartheid.
Years of unjust imprisonment and a Nobel Peace Prize later, Nelson Mandela voted for the first time in 1994. In the same year, he became the first democratically elected President of South Africa.
Guernsey’s will honor the revolutionary life of the South African activist and philanthropist during its upcoming auction of historical and important artifacts from the life of Nelson Mandela. Items as iconic as the man himself highlight the event. Top lots range from Nelson Mandela’s Robben Island cell key and his iconic “Madiba” shirt to gifts he received from important senders like Barack Obama, George W. Bush, and the United Nations.
Nelson Mandela spent 18 of his first 27 years in captivity at the infamous Robben Island. Even from the inside of a prison known for its brutal treatment and inhumane living conditions, Mandela managed to contribute to his reforms outside. Prison inmates were prohibited from writing or sending letters except once every six months. With the help of his fellow inmates and visitors, Mandela managed to smuggle out statements and letters that continued his anti-apartheid movement. The key to his tiny Robben Island cell is available for sale in the upcoming auction. This key played an essential role in his freedom and his control of the President’s office.
Even during his time in prison, Nelson Mandela fought for inmates’ rights and better treatment. As a result of his reforms, he was offered a tennis racket and an exercise bicycle. Both of these items are available for sale in the upcoming auction. Christo Brand, Mandela’s former jailer who later became his close friend, provided these items.
A crucial part of Mandela’s reforms targeted the eradication of the racist system of apartheid. A South African Constitution drafted and signed by the late leader is also available in the event.
Other significant lots include a bronze cast of his fist and drawings created and signed by Mandela. Since the items comprise original and one-of-a-kind artifacts from the life of a celebrated man who once walked the face of Earth, it is an important event for the auction world.
To participate in this online-only auction by Guernsey’s, register by visiting LiveAuctioneers or Invaluable. The auction will take place on January 28, 2022. The full catalog will be posted one month before the event date.
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