Two Grey Hills? Vintage Rug

Am relying on my memory for this, which is not the best.
Purchased at a yard sale in Flagstaff, AZ in the 1980’s. Sellers showed us an Arizona Highways Magazine from the 1970’s that featured this rug and another one they also were selling. Both had moth damage, this less than the other one. Both were attributed to specific weavers and from 1900-1920’s. Purchase price of $75.00.
One of the Navajo “Grandma’s” where I worked repaired the moth damage for $50.00.

The other rug featured a very unique pattern in bright colors with “people” performing everyday tasks of the time. Lots of yellows, reds and some blues in this one, in addition to traditional colors. Unfortunately, moths had destroyed about 40% of it.

Size is 70” by 50”. Photo of hung on the sandstone colored wall shows only the upper half. This one shows the true colors. Other photos were taken in my very dark house today.

Now that I am more knowledgeable about this style of rug, I do have some concerns. The weft is only about 20 strands per inch. Understand that most vintage Two Gray Hills have a weft count much higher. The only comparison I have, also has about 20 strands per inch. The second rug pictured was made by a Navajo co-worker of mine in 1986. Her first rug, ever made, under the guidance of her Mother. I purchased this for $40.00 as a present for my Mother.

I am also concerned that the weft pattern has an extra strand on the outer edges of the Two Grey Hills pattern rug. This would indicate a rug made in Mexico.

Any ID help would be appreciated. Also any current values for each. If the Two Grey Hills one is valuable, I need to increase my insurance.

Thank you.


Hello, beautiful rugs. The first rug has Two Grey Hills colors, but the pattern is referred to as a storm. A Two Grey Hills will have a diamond pattern. This is a very nice piece and is definitely worth more than your $75 purchase price. It is always difficult to give a value with a picture, due to not being able to feel the rug and see the damage. The rug is large and would guess this piece to be somewhere around $1200 - $1500 if you found it in a gallery. I wouldn’t have guessed the piece to from the 1900 - 1920s. The other rug I would call a Chinle Pattern and would value around $400. Hope this helps.


Thank you so much. Is there any way to positively identify if is from Mexico or US Native American? I was going off a 1970;s book on identifying authentic “Indian” art. Also any info an dating appreciated. I was going off what the owners said and what was printed in the article. Considering attributed age, it is in great condition. The repairs are a little rough.

Most of the yarn is about the same thickness as the Chinle patterned one. Some is a little heavier.
Overall, this is a very heavy rug. Can try to weigh it if that helps.

Very surprised to learn value on the Chinle one.

Thanks again.

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These are Navajo rugs.

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I know I am beyond late to this post, but it was particularly interesting to me because my hubby and I got to visit Toadlena Trading Post this summer on our way to Mesa Verde. I had always wanted a Two Grey Hills rug. I’m glad I waited to do it at the actual trading Post, because it was an amazing experience. And we did buy a rug! I got a smaller one because I really don’t have any place on my walls left to hang it, but it’s beautiful. Our Two Grey Hills rug definitely has the finest weaving of all the rugs we have.

Since I am now responding years after your post, I imagine you’ve learned a lot more about your rugs. But yes, your first one is a storm pattern rug; we have two of those. I treasure those also. And I love your second rug! You really did get a good deal. I don’t know piles about rugs, but have tried to read up on them, because we have a quite a few. Aside from the fact I’ve always bought them at actual reservation trading posts or reputable shops, one thing I look at is the corners. We have one Mexican rug, which has fringe along the entire ends. The Navajo rugs seem to mostly have hanging yarn only at the corners.

The other rug that you mentioned that was so destroyed, sounds like a pictorial rug. We have one of those, and it’s my favorite rug of all. Too bad the one you saw was so damaged. My mom had bought a nice Navajo rug on a trip west in '69 that she kept on the floor, and our German Shepherd chewed the ends of it! :tired_face:

Visiting Toadlena Trading Post is special. We stopped by in the middle of the week, and only two other people were there besides us. It’s in a beautiful setting. The Navajo lady working there spent a lot of time showing and educating us about the rugs. I ended up buying one her sister-in-law had made. Being there has become one of my best memories.


oh hell,might as well…add a little brag.

snagged a hudson bay blanket at a re-sale place up the lakeshore rd.-wool,tag still on,3 1/2 point,red w/black stripe,very good condition-for $30.
seein’ em sell for $300 & cut up & sewn into a capote for $500.

just did a capote,using an old jc penney “reproduction” in white wool w/yellow,red & blue stripes. think I gave $25 ish?


Oh snap, you got a DEAL! love Hudson Bay! I have a Hudson Bay coat I got in Ontario in ninth grade that’s red with a black stripe (4 point) which I can still wear (barely).

In case some readers don’t know; the points are little black lines in the wool at the hem. Each line represents a beaver belt. So 3 lines meant it traded for 3 beaver pelts.


I’m guessing you live near the (awesome) Great Lakes maybe?

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that story about the points…is just that-a story. they’re size markers,so you didn’t have to unfold & measure every time a customer asked.


Hmmm… don’t totally agree with you. But clearly there is a debate. Found legitimate sources stating both things are true.

interesting how stories stay around better than reality.
“Mother Rodd” was a real person but no,she didn’t pole-vault back & forth across the river to canada.
I always heard “we” didn’t have black squirrels here until after the blue water bridge went up…1935-ish?, but the neutrals were known for their black squirrel robes? huh

never did hear any facts about the “cannibalism” supposed to have happened at pine grove park,though saw a couple of articles printed… w/the addition of a question mark :slight_smile:

tom edison DID live here lol

walpole island(just downriver) is said to mis-named - should be WAR-pole,from the warning flags set up.

crap,forgot to mention…town’s called port huron
sorry,should have made another coffee while I was filling the steam iron

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Love Port Huron. Still somewhat agree to disagree on this one.

Out of curiosity, I checked the weft thread count per inch on our 1970, 3’ x 5’, Two Gray Hill and it varies between 28 and 30.

Here’s a quick read on Two Gray Hills, copyright 1963. The last paragraph talks about Daisy Togelchee, who averaged 100 threads per inch and even up to 115! I believe 80 threads per inch qualifies a rug as tapestry.


Thank you for the info. Yours is amazing! The lady at the post showed us some that qualified as tapestry. They were incredible. And incredibly OUT of my price range.


sheeeeesh…I’m way not into that micro work! even thinking of stringing liquid silver makes me want to …oh,take a hatchet to a watermelon?
but I hand-stitched the capote…duh? & seriously considering doing blanket stitch all around the edges. this sure is the season for it. not much interested in going outside to play


So I’m curious. I wasn’t sure how to spell Two Grey Hills. The article spells it gray, but I googled the trading post and they spell it grey. Do you know if the spelling changed somewhere along the way? Reminds me of the Mackinaw, MI area being spelled Mackinac Island and Mackinaw City, but they are pronounced the same way.

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@Ziacat That’s a good question. I have seen it spelled both ways, as well.

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Both are correct. Gray is the Americanized version of the British word grey, I would think gray would be more appropriate being Native American.


yes, grey is the traditional spelling.

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