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Claremont offers Rug Connoisseurs Glimpse at Threefold Collections
03
Dec '08
Jan David Winitz, internationally recognized rug connoisseur and president of Claremont Rug Company, announced the availability of a 32-page brochure highlighting some of his gallery's latest acquisitions of significant art-level 19th century Oriental carpets.

For more than a quarter-century, Claremont Rug Company's catalogs have offered one of the very few opportunities retail customers have to study extraordinary examples of this art form. “The catalog consistently receives considerable praise from clients and collectors alike,” Winitz said. “Actually, rare book dealers seek out and sell our older catalogs, a further affirmation of the serious global interest in major antique Oriental rugs.”

Among the highlights of the current edition are rugs from three notable collections that Winitz recently acquired and is featuring in a special event called “The Threefold Collections.” These include “an absolutely drop-dead” 150-year-old Persian Kermanshah on the cover that he calls “the crown jewel of a long-established collection from Charlottesville, VA.” Rugs in these collections range in value from $20,000 into six figures.

“This gratifying response from rug lovers underlines what I have been stressing for some time,” said Winitz. “For generations, the best art-level rugs have remained in private hands. In today's market, they are extremely seldom available for viewing. We have been fortunate to have attained a stature that when substantial private collections becomes available, they are offered to us exclusively.”

The catalogs, produced semi-annually, contain photos and descriptions of rare carpets from Claremont's inventory. “We are incredibly meticulous in how we produce our images,” said Winitz, noting that the Company maintains its own full-time art photographer, Michael Irwin; two color-specialists, and an archivist. The Fall 2008 catalog contains photographs of 34 rugs.

Irwin recently explained his photographic process: ”Our photos require significant effort to produce because of the rugs' amazing amount of detail and myriad subtleties of color. It is much more challenging to render an antique carpet than other art forms because it is hand-woven using literally millions of individually hued knots.” He emphasized that capturing the patina the wool takes on has been “our crowning achievement.”

By having his own team of specialists of rug photography, Winitz is assured those clients who purchase directly from his catalog or website are seeing the carpets “as they are.” He said, “This commitment has paid off, as the number of satisfied clients who purchase from our images grows every year.

“Oriental rugs at the highest levels are a phenomenal artistic medium. Our clients include many serious art collectors who tell me their antique carpets are their most beloved art form.” Winitz is known for building family collections for clients with several estate-level homes, including 30 members Forbes 400 list of the wealthiest Americans.

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