Little did LT know, his Navajo blanket was one of only about 50 in existence!
Family heirlooms can mean so much to one person, but nothing to another. That’s kind of the whole premise around “Antiques Roadshow.”
Several years ago, the PBS program was filming a segment in Tucson, Arizona, when a man dropped by with what he believed was an old Navajo blanket. He’d inherited it from an aunt and wasn’t sure how much it was worth. You can imagine his surprise when the appraiser told him it was valued between $350,000 and $500,000! But he wasn’t the only one who was taken aback…
LT happened to be watching that episode and the blanket caught his eye. He’d also inherited a strikingly similar looking blanket. He wondered: Could it possibly be worth anywhere near that much?
If so, and he was able to sell it, it’d be an incredible windfall: LT had lost the lower part of his leg in an accident and had been struggling for years to support himself on a $839 disability check. So LT did some research and eventually brought the blanket to an appraiser with California-based John Moran Antique & Fine Arts Auctioneers.
When he brought it into the appraiser they unfurled “it onto the ground and I almost fell over,” the professional recalled. “If this is what we think it is, it’s truly an amazing Navajo weaving. And I think the hair on the back of our necks stood up.”
Little did LT know, his Navajo blanket was one of only about 50 in existence! The one he owned, and others like it, were only worn by chiefs and the wealthy. According to the appraiser, the blankets were only made until about 1865, and LT’s was probably woven sometime in the 1840s or 1850s.
LT was shocked when the blanket’s worth was pegged at about $50,000, but that initial estimate soon went up to $100,000… then $200,000!
At a June 2012 auction, the blanket was auctioned off at a whopping $1.5 million!
LT had been down on his luck for so long if anyone was deserving of a miracle like this, it was him!
Watch the video below to hear more about this incredibly heartwarming story, and be sure to share to brighten someone’s day.