Andy Williams' Navajo blankets to auction for $1m+

As well as singing hits such as Moon River and White Christmas, Andy Williams also had a passion for Native American artefacts - and now Sotheby's has announced that it will offer his collection of Navajo blankets in 2013.

Andy Williams Navajo textiles auction
Williams was a renowned connoisseur of Navajo blankets, with his collection among the finest known

Selling in May, the collection is expected to sell in excess of $1m, with a Navajo first phase chief's wearing blanket estimated at $200,000-300,000 to lead the sale. A similar first phase blanket currently holds the world record for any Navajo textile, after selling for $1.8m in June.

The world record for any Native American artefact is held by a rare Tlingit helmet, which sold for $2.2m in 2008.

The term "first phase" refers to the system with which textile scholars categorise Navajo weaving, dividing it into three groups. The first phase is characterised by the addition of fine red stripes, with the example at auction a "Bayeta First Phase" - the rarest type of Navajo blanket of which only 10 have been recorded.  

Sotheby's David Roche commented: "There are few groups of Navajo blankets in private hands that have the depth and quality of The Andy Williams Collection. The striking palette and remarkable detail as well as the skill and craftsmanship required of the weavers has placed Navajo blankets among the very finest and most sought after areas of all American art."

Paul Fraser Collectibles is currently offering a brilliantly presented authentic strand of hair from Geronimo, the great Apache leader. Sign up to our free weekly newsletter to see the results of this sale and more of the latest from across the auction world.

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