The Collector’s Guide to Point Blankets

Point blankets are perhaps the Witney industry’s most famous product. They were traded mainly with North America, where they came to have a cultural significance far beyond that of mere bed coverings. The origins of points Three and a half point blanket showing detail of the points. Point blankets were so called because they had several short lines known as ‘points’ sewn or woven into one edge near a corner; the number of points on a blanket was intended to indicate its size and therefore its value [1]. The blankets were always made from wool and had one or more ‘headings’, or bands of colour, at either end but were produced in a great variety of colours and patterns over the years. Three and a half point Witney blanket made by Early’s. Points were first used on blankets made for the domestic market in France during the 16th century; indeed the term ‘point’ is thought to come from the French verb ’empointer’, meaning to make stitches on cloth. French traders had introduced the system to their blanket trade with North America by the s. Blankets typically of one to four points, in half-point steps and other goods were traded with Native American peoples in exchange for a set number of beaver pelts, a fur in huge demand in Europe for the hat and clothing trade [2].

Point Blankets … a.k.a. “Hudson Bay Company Blankets”…

A few years ago I ran across an amazing guy called Harold Tichenor. And he has a wicked fetish for Point blankets. Adney, There are few objects more quintessentially Canadian. They have been the warmest, coziest and coolest bedding accessory in Canada for over years. The Blanket by Harold Tichenor …….

The Collector’s Guide to Point Blankets presents never-before published research into the dating and valuation of many types of point blankets manufactured for.

If the blanket does not have a label the task is considerably more difficult and involves developing the skills to determine the style of weave, the differences between hand and machine weaving and analyzing the colours and types of dyes used to make them. Are point blankets valuable? Generally older point blankets are more valuable than regular wool blankets of the same age. Some unusual patterns, like the Coronation blanket, and particularly old point blankets may bring up to a thousand or more dollars at auction.

However, the collecting of point blankets is a rather new field and it is expected as more information becomes available to collectors that even higher prices will be reached. I have yet to confirm the rumour, apparently circulated on the Antiques Road Show, that certain point blankets are worth tens of thousands of dollars. Part of the fun of collecting point blankets is that most antique and second hand dealers don’t know what they have and the astute collector armed with solid information can find particularly old or unusual point blankets at a “steal”.

In my second book, The Collector’s Guide to Point Blankets , I have prepared a pricing guide that will help the new collector determine the current value of most point blankets from the late 19th century to the present. Two examples of the many labels used by HBC over the past years. The “Trademark A” label above was used by Hudson’s Bay Company on its blankets around and the “Stacked” label below was used from around How can I tell how old my blanket is?

There are a number of clues to dating the manufacture of various point blankets. If the blanket has a label the task is fairly easy. I have identified and dated some two-dozen styles of labels used by the Hudson’s Bay Company since

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The possibilities are endless! Get into it. Another interior above with the patterned blankets.

Boy reading in bed with HBC multistripe Point Blanket, from HBC Blanket Book, circa · Read More.

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For textile-lovers who browse antique shops and flea markets for good finds, this latest Harold Tichenor book is a valuable resource. The Collector’s Guide to Point Blankets presents never-before published research into the dating and valuation of many types of point blankets manufactured for the fur trade and for modern homes. The broad variety of patterns and colours featured in this book will astonish even avid trade blanket collectors, who all too often believe that the popular multi-stripe was the only patter ever available.

Hudson’s Bay point blanket

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But the same blanket is chilling to some Indigenous people for reasons dating back just as far. To kick off the second season of The Secret Life.

Western Horse Review. Source, Pinterest. Recently I had the opportunity to bring my mother a gift. Was there anything more Canadian? Growing up, I was always familiar with the multi-stripe pattern of this iconic blanket. One of my most treasured possessions now is a baby picture of my husband crawling around on one. As part of his service of employment to HBC, he offered several suggestions for improving the growing inland trade from Fort Albany along the west coast of James Bay.

Points were identified by the indigo lines woven into the side of each blanket. A full point measured 4—5. The standard measurements for a pair of 1-point blankets was: 2 feet, 8 inches 81 centimetres wide by 8 feet 2. Points ranged from 1 to 6, increasing by halves depending upon the size and weight of the blanket. Lord knows a system such as that found on Point Blankets would serve my current linen closet well…! The point system was invented by French weavers in the mids since then, as now, blankets were shrunk as part of the manufacturing process.

The number of points on a blanket represents the overall finished size of the blanket — not its value in terms of beaver pelts, as is often thought.

Hudson’s Bay Point Blanket: A Brief History

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PDF | On Mar 20, , Anna Losiak and others published Dating Ilumetsa craters (Estonia) based on charcoal emplaced within their proximal ejecta blankets | Find, read and cite all the research PDFs) have been found up to this point [1].

Indian trade blankets are commercially woven wool blankets with striking geometric patterns. Trade blankets have long been an integral part of Native American culture. However, another weaving tradition began in the 18th century. When the Indian Wars ended in the reservation system began. With all the tribes now wards of the United States government, federally licensed Indian trading posts were established.

The Indian traders promptly invented a new textile — the Navajo rug. It was a much heavier textile than the traditional Navajo wearing blanket and designed specifically for the floors of non-Indian homes. The designs were based on the Oriental rugs popular in the eastern United States.

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They were a very important item in the fur trade. The Native peoples valued them for several reasons — they were warm, durable, light-weight and very useful as clothing. The bright colors were popular, but the white blankets also sold well in the winter when they were useful for camouflage in the hunt. Maugenest was sent to London on the next supply ship. Maugenest made several suggestions for new trade items, including lidded copper kettles, which became a staple trade good, and he also suggested that the HBC start trading blankets similar to those produced for Montreal-based companies.

In , the first HBC point blankets were shipped to Fort Albany on James Bay, where they proved so popular that they became a standard trade item.

Hudson Bay Point Blanket Had these all over my cottage in Canada. HBCo’s is one of (if not the) oldest department store in North American dating back to the.

Signing up enhances your TCE experience with the ability to save items to your personal reading list, and access the interactive map. Though the points on the blankets did not have an inherent value, merchants during the fur trade often priced point blankets according to the number of points on the blanket, with one point assigned for small blankets and four points designated for very large blankets.

By , blankets comprised more than 60 per cent of goods exchanged in the fur trade. The HBC did not commission its very own point blanket until During a job interview with the Hudson Bay House in London, England, that year, Germain Maugenest, an independent and experienced fur trader, offered suggestions to improve the company as part of his service to the HBC. However, the point system made it easy to sell the blankets through fur trading, as the points became a reliable pricing convention.

At first, a one-point blanket was worth one beaver pelt. However, as the HBC moved out into the Pacific Northwest in the early 19th century, there were less beavers around, and therefore beaver pelts started to lose their value as the staple fur. The point blankets then became the standard for measuring every item the HBC was trading.

Point blankets were bought by Indigenous and settler communities alike to use as bedding, clothing , room dividers and fabric for other items. Prior to the European blanket trade, many Indigenous nations wore hand-woven blankets made of animal hides and furs.

Hbc Blanket Labels

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There are references to “point” blankets in early French trade records dating back at least to the very early s. The Hudson’s Bay Company.

English made blankets were marketed by many different firms, including T. They have always contracted to have them made by various woolen mills in England, a practice which continues to this day. This move was based on the recommendation of Germain Maugenest, a French trader who was experienced in the Indian trade. The French were actually the originators of the point blanket system in the late 17th century, and these short hash marks, or points as they are called, represented the size, and thus a value, of the blanket.

Until approximately , it is thought that all blankets purchased by Hudson Bay were made by various mills in and around Witney. The earliest known label bearing the Hudson Bay Company name dates from sometime between and Today, Hudson Bay blankets are manufactured by a large woolen mill in Yorkshire, England. According to company officials at the factory, because of their contractual agreement, they are only able to make point blankets exclusively for Hudson Bay.

Hudson Bay was, and still is primarily a trading company, and although many items were marked with their name or HBC marks, most items were of contract manufacture, much like Sears, Roebuck today. The following items are used in the above-article, or may provide added reference and helpful information.

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