A collection of artifacts signed by the late-South African leader Nelson Mandela (pictured) was auctioned Thursday on the eve of what would have been his 96th birthday. The items featured included a chess set with figures that depicted the Apartheid struggle and salt and pepper shakers owned by Mandela and former President F.W. De Klerk.
The auction benefited a charity, raising around $160,000. According to organizers, that was much lower than expected. Mandela passed last December at age 95, after fighting a respiratory infection for much of last year. The BBC has more on the auction of the items.
BBC News writes:
About 60% of the 202 lots were sold, mostly to collectors, according to Savo Tufegdzic, one of the organisers.
The chess set has pieces depicting Mr. Mandela, his former wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu facing off against apartheid leaders.
The set, which has some pieces missing, was sold for $750 (£430).
“It is not about making money on this auction. It is actually to encourage collecting. I don’t want to go and encourage people to sell Mandela items. I want to encourage them to keep them,” Mr. Tufegdzic was quoted as saying before the auction.
Along with the aforementioned items, photographs, ostrich eggs, medals, books, and other artifacts were also presented. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Foundation for Rural Development run by Mandela’s granddaughter, Ndileka Mandela.
On Friday, the world is celebrating Nelson Mandela International Day, which is also the anti-Apartheid icon’s birthday.