native american blanket

An Optical Navajo Rug

This is one of my earliest Navajo weaving purchases and remains one of my most favorite. The rug is fine and thin, almost a blanket weight, and measures 87″ x 52″.  The simple border is an un-dyed natural brown color with wonderful variations.  The background white is a soft creamy white.  Bands of arrows are all done in natural dyes and natural wool tones, often brown and white carded together.  The abrash is beautiful as the dyes vary in how they hold to the wool.

I never tire of the optical pattern in this rug.  While the eyes first settle on the horizontal banding of the arrows, it’s the vertical banding that begins to appear to the eye that I find most seductive.  The effect is almost hypnotic and if I stare too long, I begin to drift off into another world.   The shapes morph in and out of message, and just when I get a hold of one pattern, another one begins to take over.  I love getting lost in it.

This rug was likely woven in the Newcomb area of Northwestern New Mexico.  It was woven in the early part of the 20th century, likely around 1910 – 1920.  One can see a relationship of this weaving with the Two Grey Hills weavings.  The meeting of the weft interlacing the warp makes a tooth like pattern.  This creates an even deeper quality to the optical effect.

This rug is priced at $6,500 and is available for viewing in my gallery at 28 Burro Alley in Santa Fe, NM.  Feel free to call 505 699-0323 or email jamie@jamescomptongallery.com for further information.

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