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Claremont Rug enhances 'Bounty of Major Pieces'

07
Jan '09
Jan David Winitz, founder and president of Claremont Rug Company, announced the acquisition of a 70-piece lot of 19th century Oriental carpets which he described as “one of Europe's premier collections of art level antique rugs.”

This purchase will be incorporated into Claremont's ongoing Threefold Collection event, which opened October 11, 2008 and was termed at that time by Reuters “A bounty of major pieces.” These new acquisitions stem from the Tuscany home of one of the three original contributors based in London. Other rugs in the event come from purchases Claremont made from collectors in Boston and Charlottesville, VA.

Winitz said, “I am elated to extend the Threefold Collection event with this awe-inspiring group of area size and room size carpets from the most beloved tribal and classical weaving traditions of Persia and the Near East.” The rugs will be available for viewing and purchase, starting Friday on-line (www.claremontrug.com) and at Claremont's Oakland gallery on Saturday.

Winitz said that customer response to the Threefold Collection event indicates “the strong appetite that continues to exist whenever the rare opportunity arises to acquire the finest art-level antique rugs.”

He revealed that he has completed three full-home projects and numerous multiple-piece sales to American and European collectors during the event. A dealer and connoisseur for three decades, Winitz said, “I am able to provide my clients a unique level of expertise and perspective into both collecting and decorating with antique rugs.”

The market for art-level 19th century carpets in 2008 was characterized by aficionados who concur with Winitz's view that connoisseur-level rugs are as he terms them, “undiscovered art” whose impact is akin to the best art and antiquities of the Western World. “My clients who collect other art forms are typically astonished that prices for significant antique rugs are often in the area of between low five figures and low six figures,” he said.

Winitz reports, “The demographics of my clientele paint a broad spectrum, but a decidedly higher percentage of buyers at this event are from families of long-established wealth, those who have retired, sold companies or are otherwise 'out of the fray.'”

He added, “These are people who are keenly interested in conserving their wealth. They can sense they are somewhat ahead of the curve, as top caliber antique carpets can never be produced again and their supply is in the process of dwindling to next to nothing.”

Winitz emphasized, “First and foremost, my clients relish how the rugs enrich their homes.” He told of one recent client who said, “The pleasure of enjoying these carpets every day certainly offsets the expense.”

Winitz said that antique Oriental carpets have “historically held a place as a long-term asset class.” But he stressed, “The rugs' deepest lure is that they represent art in the pure form, unaffected by pop culture trends or by the 'names' of the artists or purchasers. Great weavers often worked on projects for years and most never signed their works. This is anonymous art that literally enraptures those whose eyes have been trained to recognize its great depth of harmony and balance.”

Among the highlights of the Tuscany additions to Claremont's Threefold Collection is a 175-year-old Bakshaish carpet, measuring 7x11, with a prized undyed camelhair field and an abstracted all-over pattern that Winitz said, “could have been the inspiration for a Cubist painting.” Another is a 4x6 Laver Kirman from the second half of the 18th century, which Winitz called, “an incredibly rare, museum-level example of early classical Persian weaving.”

Claremont Rug Company


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