A Transitional First Phase Chief’s Blanket, Navajo, circa 1885.
57" x 78"
Textile, The grey / blue yarns and the beige / brown yarns are handspun Merino fleece dyed in the yarn with synthetic dyes. The deep brown yarns and the white yarns are un-dyed handspun Merino fleece.
Prior to 1860, Navajo first phase chief’s blankets were popular among Plains and Pueblo buyers. After 1865, the demand side of the market for Navajo blankets became 100% Anglo-American. Due to their simplicity—especially relative to the more decorative Navajo serapes and third phases—first phase chief’s blankets were not popular with Anglo-American buyers, and were not produced in significant quantities. By 1880, Navajo weavers had for the most part stopped weaving first phases. As a result, transitional Navajo first phases are between five and ten times more rare than classic Navajo first phases woven prior to 1865.
Condition is excellent with less than 1% restoration. Corner tassels, side selvages, and top and bottom edge cords are 95% original.