Friday, February 5, 2016

The Eye Dazzler

Years ago, my father in law (Gramps) found a beat up Navajo blanket at a yard sale. It had some water damage and the lady sold it to him for $10.00. He loved the Navajo people and spent his life working as a teacher in reservation schools. Gramps was pretty sure he knew what this rug was and he was thrilled to have found it. I got to spend some time with it before we left Albuquerque today.
Between 130 and 140 years old, this Navajo blanket is a real treasure.  I love to look at it closely and see bits of the story of the weaver who made it.  
Before his death, Gramps had a Native American arts appraiser look at it, and I got to be there.  The man nearly fell down as we unrolled the dust cover to show it to him. When he could recover his composure, he told us it was an old Germantown blanket, made in the 1880s.  Even with the water damage, the value was quite high. This is called a "Germantown" because that was where the yarn came from- Germantown, PA.  The Navajo ladies loved the bright colors and the blankets made from these yarns are called "Eye Dazzlers."  The dyes they had been accustomed to making from the plants that grew around them were softer in hue and these color intensities must have been exciting to them.  Our family has had the rug restored and today no water damage remains.  The weavers in the middle east who did the repairs are no longer accessible and we feel lucky to have been able to get it repaired by those artists when we did. They did an amazing job.   

Of course, now I scan every thrift store and yard sale I come across for just such a deal! I feel lucky to have been able to be part of this story.  

Thanks for stopping by! Alice

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