A pair of iconic eyeglasses worn by Indian independence hero Mahatma Gandhi is set to go under the hammer at a British auction house soon.

The gold-plated, circular rimmed glasses is expected to be auctioned off for a fortune as the online pre-bidding for it has already passed a whopping 50,000 pounds (RM274,000).

However, it seems like the owner did not realise the true value of the item, as it was casually put in a white envelope and stuffed through the letterbox of the East Bristol Auctions in Southwest England last Friday, where it spent the weekend "dangling" out of the mailbox, said reports.

The glasses were only found when the auction house reopened for business on Monday, attached with a note reading "these glasses belonged to Gandhi, give me a call."

After some research, auctioneer Andrew Stowe found that the item was genuine and called back the man who had dropped it off.

"I phoned the gentleman back... his exact words were 'if they're no good, just throw them away'.

"I told him I thought they were worth 15,000 [pounds] ($19,500) (guide price), and I think he nearly fell off his chair," Stowe was quoted telling Sky News.

Stowe said the find is probably the "most important" for the auction house.

According to reports, the glasses were given as an impromptu gift to the seller's uncle, who was working for British Petroleum in South Africa, by the champion of the non-violent resistance, during a tour there between 1910 and 1930.

The sale date is August 21, but pre-bidding has started online - attracting interest from all over the world, particularly India.

So, if you have some spare cash lying around and are considering splurging it on a piece of "history", perhaps you can start bidding for the glasses.

Photo source: East Bristol Auctions LTD, New Indian Express