Antiques Roadshow guest breaks down in tears as hes told hes going to be rich
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A man was reduced to joyful tears when his "blanket on a chair" turned out to be a rare national treasure.
Ted Kuntz brought a blue, white and black striped blanket on PBS's Antiques Roadshow in 2001 and was hoping to find out the value of it.
He talked to expert Don Ellis, who said he "just about died" seeing the blanket, which he called it "Navajo wearing in its purest form".
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The guest thought it was just a chief's blanket that his grandmother used to throw it over him to keep warm when he was a kid.
Don shared: "These were made in about 1840 to 1860 and it's called a Ute, first-phase wearing blanket. But it's Navajo made, they were made for Ute chiefs and they were very, very valuable at the time.
"This is the beginning of Navajo weaving and the condition of this is unbelievable, unbelievable.
"This is the most important thing that's coming to the roadshow that I've seen."
Although it's slightly damaged on the side, the hand-woven wool were weaved beautifully that the blanket almost felt like silk.
Before they moved onto the value, Don asked the guest if he is a wealthy man.
Ted quickly replied: "No!"
Don then dived in and said: "On a really bad day, this textile would be worth $350,000 (£282,000).
"On a good day, it's about a half a million dollars (£403,000)."
Ted said: "Oh my God! I had no idea. It was laying on the back of a chair. Gee!"
The expert said if they could prove without a reasonable doubt that frontiersman Kit Carson did own the blanket, the value would increase by another 20%.
Ted was flooded with tears and explained his grandmother and the family were poor farmers and there was no wealth in the family at all.
In an interview in 2020, he remembered thinking the blanket probably worth at most around $6,000 (£4,840).
"I knew we couldn't afford to keep it and it would be better served to be someplace where it can be preserved properly so I contacted Don Ellis to see if he would be interested in buying it," he told PBS.
"He gave us $300,000 with the idea that we would split whatever he was able to sell it for about $300,000."
But due to the 9/11 attack that happened later in the year, a potential deal fell through.
A few years later, Don managed to sell it for around $450,000 (£363,000) to an anonymous buyer who donated it to Detroit Institute of the Arts.
Don's colleague, John Buxton, said the current Navajo weaving market is "crazy" and he could see the blanket getting sold at over $1 million (£807,000).
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