1880s Navajo Germantown Blanket
Appraised Value: $6,000 - $8,000 (2008)
IMAGE: 1 of 0
Appraisal Video: (8:20)
Director, American Indian and Ethnographic Art
APPRAISER: Can you tell me how long you've owned your weaving?
GUEST: About 40 years. It was handed down to me by my aunt, who lived in California.
APPRAISER: Well, it was made by the Navajo Indians in Arizona and New Mexico, probably in the early 1880s, when the trains started coming out by the reservation. It's woven with what we call Germantown yarns that were produced in Germantown, Pennsylvania. They were commercially spun and commercially dyed yarns, and as soon as the trains made their way out, these yarns became available to the Navajo. They'd always been great weavers, and when they got Germantown yarns, they started weaving some real tour-de-forces. Now, these were made for the commercial market. They were woven specifically to sell to tourists. But it says nothing about the quality. They were still absolutely beautiful, like their traditionally made weavings. This one, I particularly like the overall pattern. You've got a slight rip and badly done repair here, and you actually are missing the white border at the bottom. Now, that takes away from its value. The values of these have changed over the last few years. I'm sorry to say that they've gone down. A lot of them have come on the market. I don't think that affects this one too much, because it's such a beautiful weaving. I would, however, recommend getting the border fixed and getting the rip fixed. If you were to sell this at auction as is, it'd bring about $6,000 to $8,000. I think if you restored the border and the rip, you'd probably get about $8,000 to $12,000.
APPRAISER: Well worth doing.
GUEST: Thank you!
APPRAISER: You're welcome.
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