BACKGROUND TO THE SILICON VALLEY COLLECTION
This private collection is unique to us because we knew its creators well. Claremont president, Jan David Winitz, remembers first meeting the high tech investor and his wife at a lecture he gave in San Francisco in 1983. When they subsequently attended a talk Winitz gave at The Commonwealth Club, they had their first lengthy chat.
With a lively sense of humor and an astute appreciation of art, the gentleman clearly enjoyed the young speaker and his perspective on Oriental rugs. For his part, Winitz was impressed with the man’s knowledge of various rug styles and the woman’s enthusiasm for incorporating different art forms in their home decor. He discovered that the couple had started to display carpets in their South Bay residence, including pieces inherited by the gentleman’s oil executive father.
Before meeting Jan, their knowledge of antique Oriental rugs was primarily self-taught: reading rug books and visiting a number of the American and European Oriental carpet galleries. They owned about 35 carpets at the time they visited Claremont.
From the beginning, the gentleman was an ardent listener and bold purchaser, and the lady had a developed sense of beauty and originality. Over the period we worked with him, they completely furnished their Silicon Valley home, a family compound in the Northern Rockies, and a home near Harvard, his alma mater. They had inventory in special cedar lined closets, which they rotated with the rugs in use. They also collected European paintings and statues, and enjoyed synchronizing the placement of their collections throughout their homes.
The Silicon Valley Collection is extremely wide ranging in type and size. It includes astutely chosen tribal, village and city rugs. Some of the focal points are highly unique Caucasian rugs and outstanding smaller rugs in beloved styles including Ferahan and Motasham Kashan. With three significant homes, this discerning couple acquired numerous high decorative to high-collectible room size and oversize carpets of rare beauty, including Serapi, Bijar, Hadji Jallili Tabriz and highly prized Bakshaishs.