Navajo Woman's Wearing-Blanket-Style Rug

Value (2013) | $2,500 Auction$3,500 Auction
Watch  

GUEST:
I was on my way to the grocery store one Saturday and I saw a sign for an auction and I decided to stop. Didn't see anything really unusual and I was planning to leave, and I saw a bit of this peeking out on the linens table, so I decided to stay. I stayed and I did win the auction.

APPRAISER:
And so what did you pay for it?

GUEST:
I ended up paying $100.

APPRAISER:
What sort of auction did you buy it at? Where was it located?

GUEST:
This was an estate auction that was actually being held in a boat storage facility here in Kansas.

APPRAISER:
So now you tell me what you think this is.

GUEST:
Well, from what I have been able to learn, I believe it's a Navajo weaving or blanket. I have no idea of the age because there are so many reproductions, new ones, old ones, patterns, and I don't know what to look for.

APPRAISER:
In the 19th century, the Navajo used weavings like this as wearing blankets. Then as we move into the 20th century, there was a transitional period where they were using the wearing blankets, but then they also were taking them back east and they were serving as rugs. This piece is from the early 20th century and it's probably something that could have either been a rug on the floor or a wearing blanket. The design is something that's very interesting on this one. It is a woman's wearing blanket design, and we know that because it's a little bit shorter than the ones that we see for the men that have similar patterns. I want you to see this line that goes up like this.

GUEST:
I did see that, is that a repair?

APPRAISER:
It's an upright loom. Navajo women, they weaved from the bottom up. When they'd stop, they'd tie it off and it makes that line, and so that's diagnostic for a Navajo weaving.

GUEST:
Oh, okay.

APPRAISER:
There are some issues with this that we have to talk about.

GUEST:
Certainly.

APPRAISER:
You'll notice over here, we have a couple of stains. They may come out. Probably, they're doggie stains.

GUEST:
Oh.

APPRAISER:
But the overall condition is not bad. The absolute worst thing for these is the sun. The sun can fade this out. This is a hand-spun, aniline-dyed red here, and you can see down at the bottom over there, it's a little bit faded. So what do you think the value would be on this?

GUEST:
I really haven't got any idea. I thought maybe $1,500 or $2,000.

APPRAISER:
I'll tell you what: we're going to do better. We're going to assume that the doggie stain will come out, but for your $100 investment, in a gallery or in a good auction, what we're looking at is $2,500 to $3,500.

GUEST:
Good!

APPRAISER:
It's just a great size and for the amount of money, it's a lot of bang for the art buck.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
None
Dallas, TX
Appraised value (2013)
$2,500 Auction$3,500 Auction
Event
Kansas City, MO (August 10, 2013)
Category
Tribal Arts

Executive producer Marsha Bemko shares her tips for getting the most out of ANTIQUES ROADSHOW.

Value can change: The value of an item is dependent upon many things, including the condition of the object itself, trends in the market for that kind of object, and the location where the item will be sold. These are just some of the reasons why the answer to the question "What's it worth?" is so often "It depends."

Note the date: Take note of the date the appraisal was recorded. This information appears in the upper left corner of the page, with the label "Appraised On." Values change over time according to market forces, so the current value of the item could be higher, lower, or the same as when our expert first appraised it.

Context is key: Listen carefully. Most of our experts will give appraisal values in context. For example, you'll often hear them say what an item is worth "at auction," or "retail," or "for insurance purposes" (replacement value). Retail prices are different from wholesale prices. Often an auctioneer will talk about what she knows best: the auction market. A shop owner will usually talk about what he knows best: the retail price he'd place on the object in his shop. And though there are no hard and fast rules, an object's auction price can often be half its retail value; yet for other objects, an auction price could be higher than retail. As a rule, however, retail and insurance/replacement values are about the same.

Verbal approximations: The values given by the experts on ANTIQUES ROADSHOW are considered "verbal approximations of value." Technically, an "appraisal" is a legal document, generally for insurance purposes, written by a qualified expert and paid for by the owner of the item. An appraisal usually involves an extensive amount of research to establish authenticity, provenance, composition, method of construction, and other important attributes of a particular object.

Opinion of value: As with all appraisals, the verbal approximations of value given at ROADSHOW events are our experts' opinions formed from their knowledge of antiques and collectibles, market trends, and other factors. Although our valuations are based on research and experience, opinions can, and sometimes do, vary among experts.

Appraiser affiliations: Finally, the affiliation of the appraiser may have changed since the appraisal was recorded. To see current contact information for an appraiser in the ROADSHOW Archive, click on the link below the appraiser's picture. Our Appraiser Index also contains a complete list of active ROADSHOW appraisers and their contact details and biographies.