After being put on disability for a foot injury and struggling to pay his bills, Loren Krytzer auctioned off a family heirloom and became a millionaire overnight.
In a video of Krytzer’s experience, he explains that he lost his foot after a car crash led to an infection in his bone. Though he received a certain amount per month in disability money, Krytzer noted that he struggled to pay the bills.
Krytzer was watching “Antiques Roadshow” when he saw a blanket similar to a family heirloom auctioned off for up to $500,000. After recovering from the shock of the blanket’s value, Krytzer had his own evaluated by John Moran’s “What’s It Worth” in March.
Moran identified the blanket as a First-Phase chief’s wearing blanket, of which only four are known to exist outside of public collections. In total, less than 100 First-Phase blankets are known to exist in the world.
“The design variant of the 19th century artifacts is considered the holy grail of Navajo textile collectors,” Moran said.
A blanket similar to Krytzer’s can be found in the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian.
On June 19, Krytzer’s blanket went up for auction at the Pasadena Convention Center. After a heated battle between phone and floor bidders, the well-known dealer Donald Ellis of Donald Ellis Gallery in New York and Ontario emerged victorious.
The total price, including the 20 percent buyer’s premium, was $1.8 million.
According to Moran, the sale set a new record for a Navajo blanket, which was previously set at $522,500 in 1989.