Monday, May 14, 2018

Navajo rugs are my weakness

Ethel loves to help me spend my money, so she timed her annual ranch visit
to accompany me to the monthly Navajo rug auction. 
We went to Friday's auction in search of a large rug for my living room.
(You can read about our first time at the auction here.)

The auctions are held in Crownpoint, New Mexico, and have been happening for 53 years.
The drive from the ranch to Crownpoint is long and hard and one which
I probably would never make on my own. Good thing, because I'd go broke.
Navajo rugs are most definitely my weakness.

We arrived an hour prior to the auction's 7 p.m. start so that I could preview my options
and select which ones to bid on.

There were nine rugs that were roughly 5 feet x 7 feet, 
any one of which I would be thrilled to take home.

I bid on this one but dropped out when it exceeded my budget.
The winning bidder took it home for $1,600.

I also bid on this one and won! I have no idea how long it must have taken the weaver –
Victoria Yazzie from Chinle, Arizona – to create it, but I feel like a got a bargain at $1,400.

I love it, Smooch loves it, and the new puppy will never have an opportunity to love it
until she has been housebroken for a few years.

This post will continue on for 15 more rugs, which I didn't buy 
but am sharing here with their selling prices for anyone who might be curious.

This small-to-medium size rug with many colors and intricate designs
sold for $900.

There's a rug for every budget at the auction.
This tiny one went for $25.

Six colors, relatively simple pattern, approximately 2' x 3', $400.

Gosh, if only I'd win the lottery.

So beautiful.

These two auctioneers have been calling the Crownpoint auction for most of its history.
The guy with the microphone is one of my neighbors and the guy holding the rug
is my mailman's brother. Small world.


The crowd gasped when this rug was presented. It was made by a weaver 
from the Burnham area, which is famous for its pictorial designs.

5' x 7', $1,400.



5' x 7', $1,250.





I want them all.


  1. Wow just WOW! Thank you for this post. We are retiring to Arizona and want an authentic rug so this gives us a good idea of how much we need to squirrel away. Will have to plan on attending the auction at least once.


  2. Wow ... how absolutely beautiful! So many would look SO good in my cabin. LOL.
    Yours is stunning Carson. ❤️

  3. I want them all too. I really like the one you got, and it looks good with Smooch. I don't know how you'll keep the puppy off it.

  4. I agree about 'I want them all' :) :)

    Thanks for all the photos. They are all EYE CATCHERS!

    Here is a link to SouthWest Decoratives. They are in Albuquerque.
    Not that you need another hobby, but you do have a sewing machine and you seem to enjoy fiber arts. Besides quilting they have patterns for rugs to cross stitch / needleopint. I have a few in progress but have had to put them aside to take on some more home responsibilities.

    M in NC

  5. Your rug is stunning! They all are simply amazing pieces of art but yours is particularly fabulous. How long and how hard is the drive? And I don't remember the tufted ottoman. Could we have a look at your living room these days? It seems to change all the time. ;) /Gretchen

    1. Driving from my ranch to Crownpoint takes 3.25 hours. Getting there isn't too bad, but coming home late at night on the twisty reservation road, then the New Mexico autobahn (I-40) is more stress than I can handle. Now that the rug is down in the living room, more changes are on the way. I'll give you a tour once it's done.

    2. Can't wait!! /Gretchen

    3. An American in Tokyo5/15/18, 6:44 PM

      Oooo, me too!!

  6. Wow, just wow. I also love Navajo rugs and have two of them but always want more :)

  7. All of those rugs are stunning. You got a beautiful one and it looks great!

  8. Oh I love the one you got! It makes me wanna drop acid.

    I used to ride at a fancy dressage barn and our dressage trainer had us all riding with navajos under our dressage saddles because she felt they were the best for the horse's backs, could be easily washed, or turned over and refolded to ride a new side. I have no idea what happened, does anyone ride with wool navajos anymore? I had one, and I think you own the very one I had (blue, black, white).

  9. We have two smallish Navajo wall hangings in our home in Tucson. I just love them and yes they are pricey but oh those colors......dreamy. You bought a beauty!

  10. Beautiful rugs!

  11. Love it! Was a bit worried until I read the new puppy would be banned.
    My mother took strips of fabric and crocheted me a large beautiful bedroom rug. It took her months. At three years old our pom-a-poo suddenly decided it needed a hole in the middle!!! She had not chewed anything since she was a puppy. I was shocked. So you may have to supervise the new puppy longer than you think as that is too pretty to get damaged.
    So glad you and Ethel had a fun adventure. Lisa G in TN.

  12. So many beautiful pieces. You did good. And what, puppy won't be allowed in living room for two years? Ha!

  13. Oh, my heart! Love that you found ‘the one’. Beautiful. I managed to limit my purchases to two from the children’s auction segment of the annual Adopt An Elder auction in Park City. All the proceeds go directly to the weaver, such a great organization and another outstanding place to view and purchase authentic rugs. Mine are small enough to hang on the wall away from the requisite dog and cat rug activities. Smooch looks quite regal on the new purchase.

  14. I, currently raising a seven month old puppy, am amazed at your optimism! Been wanting to pull out our ugly, stained, carpet for a couple of years now, and put down rugs on the pine flooring underneath (I've peeked), but decided to wait till puppy is a little older. She actually house trained pretty well, but man! she's a chewer!

  15. Absolutely stunning rugs! All of them! Love your purchase! Love Navajo rugs. I bet Smooch claimed it the minute it hit the floor. :) Thanks for all the great photos and comments on each rug. Would love to attend the sale. What fun!

    NE Oklahoma

  16. On Antique Roadshow, an older gentleman had a First Phase Navajo blanket that they appraised at $500,000. There was also another man who sold his blanket (that had been in his family for generations) for $1.5 million......the work that goes into these is incredible. Love your new's stunning

  17. Your rug is gorgeous and Smooch looks very happy with it also. Hope you and Ethel are having big adventures!

  18. The rug you purchased is beautiful! I own two Navajo rugs. A fairly large one which is a storm pattern and a small one which is a bird pictorial. I solved my 'what do I do about the puppy' problem by hanging both on the wall. :) I asked at Garlands how to do it without damaging the rugs. They still look great after 15 years.

  19. Diane K. Eastern NC5/15/18, 4:51 AM

    Awesome!! Love the rug. Just wondering if you know how long it takes the weaver to make a rug the size of yours?

  20. Stunning rugs, and I do think you got the most beautiful of them! It is just fantastic.

  21. If I was there I would be the crazy Canadian holding up my credit card bidding like crazy on the rugs with blue/turquois pattern and the one with showing people. (yours is very lovely) Mine (in my imagination) would be hanging on the wall so no dog nor cat can shed their hair or put their footie prints on it ;) IMO worth the drive and the $$

  22. How does one hang a Navajo rug without damaging it? Any tips?

    1. I hung the smaller rug I purchased a few years ago following advice I found on a rug gallery site. It suggested using sticky-back velcro all along the edge of the back of the rug that would be at the top, with the other part of the velcro stuck to the wall. That all worked, then I also put a salt cedar stick along the top edge and secured the stick to the wall with a picture-hanging hook. You can sort of see all that in the last two pictures of this post: I took that rug down over the weekend because I had planned to move it to another wall. There was no damage at all to the rug when I removed the stick-back velcro, but I had to patch and repaint the wall where I pulled off the other half of the velcro.

  23. So beautiful! Worth those selling prices too. The Hubbell Trading Post brings rugs to a booth at the Tucson Festival of Books each year. I look, sigh, yearn to buy them all. Then don’t.

  24. An American in Tokyo5/15/18, 6:43 PM

    WOW! Thank you for taking pictures of all the beautiful rugs!
    I don't know how you can use your rug on the floor! I would be scared to spill anything on it or get it even slightly dirty! (But Smoochie-poo makes a wonderful model! hee hee!)