Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Turquoise and Silver and an Old, Ratty Blanket

I was researching a book and needed to find something that could be laying around unnoticed in an old house, but still be worth enough to buy a ranch.

The book is set in the Southwest, so naturally I began looking at vintage Native American jewelry. There are some stunning examples by well-known artists like Tim Kee Whiteman and John Hartman.

This bracelet is by Tim Kee Whiteman and is the inspiration for the bracelet Reed gives to Catie at the beginning of Silver Dreams...On A Tin Can Budget. It is valued at 2250.00

This pendant is by John Hartman. The stone is from the famous Lavendar Pit in Brisbee, Arizona, and is valued at 7800.00.

As you can see, both are beautiful, but neither is worth enough to buy a ranch, even a small one.

I was really getting frustrated when I came across a story about a Navajo (Dinè) First-phase Chief's Wearing Blanket. Navajo Chief's blankets come in four phases.

Until about the 1820's, the Navajo made simple striped blankets identical to the Pueblo. That's when Navajo weavers began making the First-phase blankets. There are probably no more than 100 of the First-phase blankets left in existence. Prized even then, they cost from 100 to 150 dollars when wages were about 5 dollars a week.

Further research revealed a story that couldn't be made up. No one would believe it.

When Loren Krytzer lost his leg in a car wreck, he was unable to work. Because of that, he also lost his home and business. After his grandmother died, the rest of the family went through her house and took almost everything.

The only thing they allowed him to have was a dirty, worn old blanket. They didn't seen any value in it, and neither did he at the time, but it was a remembrance of his grandmother. He was at home watching Antiques Roadshow when he saw a similar blanket appraised at half a million dollars.

After contacting an appraiser, Krytzer's blanket sold for one and a half million dollars. See, if an author wrote that storyline in a book, readers would shout, "Unbelievable!"

My hero, Reed McCoy's story isn't quite as dramatic, but his involves a First-phase Blanket, too. If you'd like more information on Loren Krytzer's story, check out this link, Man sells blanket.

Silver Dreams...On A Tin Can Budget and the other Novellas in the Copper Mills World are available on Amazon.

Have you ever found something you thought was worthless, and it turned out to be valuable?


Julie Lence said...

Hi Stephanie: The jewelry is pretty. But the story about the blanket--wow! You're right, readers would never buy into it. So happy for that man. I think I would've had a heart attack upon learning the value.

Stephanie said...

Julie, you're right. It makes me smile to think of that man. Karma was watching out for him.

Paty Jager said...

This is a great book for those who haven't read it. I knew you had researched this but, Wow! truth can be stranger than fiction. Good luck with sales!