The three most common styles of the highly collectible blankets are: Navajo wearing blankets, Pendleton trade blankets, and Beacon cotton blankets.

 

Click Here

Chatelaine's Antiques & Appraisals MagazineTribal Art > Feature: Native American Blankets
 


Native American Jewelry

Object ID Checklist

FBI & Interpol Fight Art Theft

FBI foils the sale of Geronimo's feathered headdress

SHOPPING

For Native American Beads, Try BeadRoom.com

Connect with 1,700 unique world artisans and select from over 8,500 handcrafted works of art!

Selection of Native American Art

GETTING STARTED AS A COLLECTOR

WORKS OF PURPOSE & POWER
Some people consider ethnographic art to be primitive. With a few authentic exceptions, I feel this is a misnomer that borders on a slur.

MARKET OVERVIEW: NORTH AMERICAN NATIVE TRIBES

MARKET OVERVIEW: OTHER REGIONS

Important Ethnographic Art on the Block at Butterfields


 
Wrapped in History: Native American Blankets
Unfurl an intricate weave of cultures and customs
 
 The three most common styles of the highly collectible blankets are: Navajo wearing blankets, Pendleton trade blankets, and Beacon cotton blankets.

 Navajo
Handmade by Navajo women on upright looms, Navajo blankets can take a year to complete. Pieces from the Classic Period (1850-1875), woven for personal use, made skilful use of available dyes and sheep's wool. A striped chief's blanket from this era is worth in the six figures.
 


Navajo blanket c. 1868

After the Navajo were sent to a reservation, the Transitional Period (1875-1890) saw yarns supplied by traders, especially brightly-colored yarns from Germantown, Pennsylvania. Many of these pieces were produced for sale (originally $5.00-$20.00).

 Navajo weavings after 1890, produced primarily for the tourist trade, vary significantly in quality some current weavers are highly sought after.

 Pendleton
Around 1896, Pendleton Woolen Mills began making machine-made wool blankets with Indian designs, produced for sale to traders on reservations.


Pendleton blanket with fringe c. 1920s

 These brightly colored blankets, prized by both Native Americans and Anglos, became known as trade blankets. Trade blankets are categorized as "shawls" (with fringe, for women) or "blankets" (without fringe, for men).

Beacon
From 1910 through the 1950s, the Beacon Blanket Company of Massachusetts produced machine-made cotton blankets with Indian patterns. Intended for camping and picnics, they became known as camp blankets. The colors of these washable blankets have held up remarkably over the years. Some later art deco patterns are often grouped in with the Indian patterns.

Old blankets have memories and the uniquely American Indian blanket invokes our romance with the old west. 

Here are some points from an expert to consider when collecting Indian blankets:



The Four Winds Guide to Indian Trade Goods & Replicas:
Including Stone Relics, Beads, Photographs, Indian Wars, and Frontier Goods
- by Preston Miller

Field Guide to Flint Arrowheads & Knives of the North American Indian: Identification & Values
by Lawrence Tully, et al

 

 


 

Marie Buchfink - Bear Shield (Signed)
Bear Shield (Signed)
Marie Buchfink
Buy This Art Print At AllPosters.com

Rifles, Blankets, and Beads:
Identity, History, and the Northern Athapaskan Potlatch

by William Simeone

Weaving a Navajo Blanket
by Gladys Amanda Reichard

A Guide to Navajo Weavings
by Kent McManis, Robert Jeffries

Navajo Textiles : The William Randolph Hearst Collection
by Nancy Blomberg


Pendleton Woolen Mills
by Pendleton

The Chief's Blanket
by Michael Chanin, Kim Howard

Language of the Robe:
American Indian Trade Blankets

by Robert Kapoun, Charles Lohrmann -
Limited Availability

Navajo Weaving Way: The Path from Fleece to Rug
by Noel Bennett

Indian Basket Weaving
by Navajo School of Indian Basketry

Navaho Weaving:
Its Technic and History

by Charles Avery Amsden

Deerskins & Duffels:
The Creek Indian Trade With Anglo-America, 1685-1815

by Kathryn Holland Braund

The Cheyenne in Plains Indian Trade Relations 1795-1840
by Joseph Jablow, Morris Foster

Under Sacred Ground:
A History of Navajo Oil, 1922-1982

by Kathleen Chamberlain

Chiefs & Chief Traders:
Indian Relations at Fort Nez Perces, 1818-1855

by Theodore Stern

White Man's Wicked Water:
The Alcohol Trade and Prohibition in Indian Country, 1802-1892

by William Unrau

Indian Trade Goods
by Arthur Woodward