140-year-old Chilkat blanket bought at auction to return to Atlin, B.C.

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To the auction house, it’s a “masterwork of technical and aesthetic achievement.”

To Wayne Carlick of the Taku River Tlingit, it’s “part of a puzzle to help us heal” — and bringing it home to Atlin, B.C., was essential.   

The elaborate, braided Chilkat blanket, estimated to be from the 1880s, was sold on Friday by the prestigious auction house Waddington’s. And after a down-to-the-wire bidding war, Carlick had reason to celebrate.

The blanket would be coming home to Atlin — for $38,000.

“[It] gives our culture a much-needed boost,” said Carlick, a renowned carver and cultural coordinator for the Taku River Tlingit First Nation, based in Atlin. 

The blanket had been held in an unknown private collection in Ontario before coming up for auction.

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