Antiques don’t just provide a décor aesthetic; they remind us that everything has a history—and a price. It can be surprising to learn the value of seemingly ordinary items that we often overlook.

So it’s no wonder why so many people enjoy watching PBS’s Antiques Roadshow, whose appraisers help the owners of rare and precious items to identify the history and value behind some of their belongings. Most of the time, it’s the owner who’s delighted to learn the backstory behind their items.

But for one particular antique—an old blanket with a storied past—it wasn’t just the owner who was blown away. The appraiser could immediately tell when the man walked in that it was going to be an exciting conversation.

When a man brought in this blanket to be appraised on PBS’s Antiques Roadshow, he didn’t know much about it, except that 19th-century Wild West legend Kit Carson had gifted it to his mother’s foster father.  

blanket1YouTube / Antiques Roadshow

As it turned out, it was a Navajo First Phase Chief’s blanket made between 1840 and 1860. Appraiser Donald Ellis, who owns a gallery of North American Indian Art in Ontario, called it “Navajo weaving in its purest form” that was in “unbelievable” condition.

blanket2YouTube / Antiques Roadshow PBS

But it was when Donald told the man what the blanket was worth that had him tearing up…

Could you imagine if your grandmother’s old throw blanket was actually worth that much money? Those stripes have seen more of this country than any one person could experience in a lifetime.

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