I have just posted a very exciting Navajo pictorial sampler rug to my website. This textile has descended in a family and is very fresh to the market.
The Navajo wove wearing blankets before the arrival of the railroads. Trading posts and vast commercial trade appeared soon after, triggering a change to the weaving of heavier rugs with bordered designs. A few weavers also began to include pictorial images in their weavings, featuring items seen in their everyday lives. Few earlier blankets had pictorial images and those that did had very small elements such as birds in the design.
The new pictorials sometimes featured large pictorial images. In this Transitional Period, some weavers also began to weave "sampler" rugs, which highlighted designs that the weaver was now incorporating into her textile. Large sampler rugs were and are even more rare.
This Navajo sampler has a large image of a train along with sampler images of new regional rug styles encouraged by the traders along with other images from daily life such as bows and arrows, feathers, birds, American stars, etc. The train had a huge impact on the Navajo style of life and of course, the image of the train steaming across the landscape must have been remarkable.
To see this textile in its entirety, go to our home page at www.marcyburns.com and scroll down to the featured item. You may also click this direct link: www.marcyburns.com/textiles-collection/navajo-sampler-rug