Navajo Germantown Weaving
Appraised Value: $15,000 - $17,000
IMAGE: 1 of 2
Appraisal Video: (0:00)
Antiques Appraiser and Consultant,, Specialist, American Indian Art and Ethnographica
GUEST: I was 12 and was in my mother's and father's attic, and I came across it amongst trash and things, and decided it looked wonderful and put it in a plastic bag, and stuck it in my toy chest. And then when I got married, I brought it out to move with me, and my father was very surprised at the fact that I had it, but that I kept it in such good condition. And he officially said it was mine.
APPRAISER: How did it come into your family?
GUEST: My great-great uncle, who traveled out west, came back with this. I don't know where out west. All I know is it was from his trips.
APPRAISER: Okay. This is what they refer to as a Germantown weaving. It's aniline-dyed wool. Right after the Civil War, when they started moving the Native Americans off their tribal lands, the Navajo were moved and their sheep herds became decimated. So to keep the weaving tradition alive, three- and four-strand aniline dyed, which is chemically dyed wool, these bright colors, was imported from Germantown, Pennsylvania.
APPRAISER: The factories are approximately about six miles from where we're standing today.
GUEST: Wow. So where do you think it was actually woven?
APPRAISER: They held a large region.
APPRAISER: The four corners region, so where New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Colorado...
APPRAISER: Now, the traditional weaving authorities thought this was a downfall of Navajo weaving. The Navajos loved it. It gave them this wild array of colors to work with. So you ended up rescuing it from obscurity undoubtedly. You know, they'd get them home from the Southwest, they didn't look right in the homes around here. And they'd just, like, fall into disrepair, go to Woodstock. I mean, people used them as beach blankets. You know, they just didn't survive. So you have a lovely one that survived. A rug like this, if it was to come to auction today, would probably sell in the $15,000 to $17,000 range. So you think your dad's still going to be okay?
GUEST: Yeah. He'll want it insured now.
APPRAISER: What about the siblings? Are they going to be okay that they didn't find it in the attic?
GUEST: That's well done. I was 12 and they knew I had it.
APPRAISER: It's over.
GUEST: It's so over. Water under the bridge.
APPRAISER: Okay. Well, thank you very much.
GUEST: Thank you.
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