Historic Navajo German Town Weaving, Ca 1875 #1068
Description: #1068: Native American Historic Navajo German Town Weaving, Ca 1875. Finely woven with commercial GermanTown yarn in a diagonal strip pattern of Red, Green, Purple, Gray and Beige colors.
Dimensions: 34" x 53"
Condition" Very good condition for age
Provenance: David Cook Gallery to Tom Seymour Estate.
Some background on German Town Rugs from Charles Avery Amsden, Navaho Weaving Its Technic and History, 1949.
"Germantown is the American aniline dyed successor to the European vegital dyed yarns, named for its seat of manufacture, Germantown, Pennsylvania. It came into use among the Navajo about 1880 and for perhaps thirty years was highly popular. It has a strong association with cotton warp, the ordinary wrapping twine for the trading post, which the Navajo liked to use because it saved so much trouble in spinning and gave so fine a warp string. Traders and dealers stamped out the use of cotton warp as detrimental to the wearing quality of the blanket, but the best old Germantown pieces have it."
"Germantown too has died out of favor, and few textiles of modern make embody it. It was expensive, costing ten times more to the pound than native wool. Its brilliant coloring's proved a temptation the color starved weaver could not always resist, and blankets of Germantown are often too flamboyant for most tastes, and finally, it merely added to the problem of disposing of the annual Navajo wool clip by diverting a corresponding quantity of native wool from the loom."
Thanks to Bruce Bernstein, former director, Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, Museum of New Mexico, Santa Fe, and
originally appeared in The Collector’s Guide to Santa Fe and Taos - Volume 11
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