Fervor Heightens for Top 19th Century Rugs To Live With
and to Accumulate As Investments

Dear Friends,

In 2022, in the face of a fluctuating stock market and growing economic instability, demand increased significantly for the High-Collectible and Connoisseur-Caliber 19th century rugs that occupy Level 2 and Level 3 on Claremont’s “Oriental Rug Market Pyramid” and comprise the bulk of our inventory.


Read more about our Oriental Rug Market Pyramid here.

Our access to many long-held private collections has uncovered umpteen spectacular pieces in excellent floor condition. In the general market, rugs of this rare caliber only occasionally arise and are usually in a compromised state. Thankfully, the extensive, first-source buying network from homes and private collections we have fostered since our gallery’s opening in 1980 kept pace with this burgeoning interest.

Last year, sales of High-Decorative antique rugs (Level 4 on our attached Oriental Rug Market Pyramid) held steady. This category of antique Oriental rug woven at the end of the 1800s through the early 20th century is what many of our clients buy initially for heavy-trafficked spaces.

We attest this dramatic bump in demand for the best 19th century rugs to the maturation of our clientele. They honed their eyes both through exposure to the carpets they already own and substantially increased the number and length of visits they made to our website and our online rug gallery. They also avidly read the many articles in our Education section and studied the images of 200 rooms we furnished worldwide in “Client Homes.” As one client wrote, “I do spend a long time, practically every day, browsing your site, and I usually discover new aspects of beauty and interest in rugs that I hadn’t seen before.” – I., Israel.

To gain a sense of the great success we experienced in sourcing and placing 19th century rugs of a magnitude not seen outside of early rug literature, I invite you to view our annual retrospective, “60 Best-of-Their-Type Rugs Sold in 2022,” which you can access from the home page.

As Seen on 9/8/22 In Wall Street Journal – Article discusses rugs as a hedge against economic uncertainty.


The article “19th Century Oriental Rugs Emerge As An Art Asset “appeared in The Wall Street Journal last September and featured various quotes from me. It reiterated what financial pundits are seeing in fine art’s ascension as a stable investment and exposed the vibrant interest worldwide in our niche.

Persian Ferahan Rug | 4’3” x 6’2” | circa 1825 
Part of “Best-Of-Their-Type Sold in 2022” online event, viewable until 3/15/23.

Its author expresses, “Some less-prominent forms of fine art also represent ideal investment opportunities, especially because they offer more attractive—i.e., significantly less costly—entry points for new collectors. Take High-Collectible and Connoisseur-Caliber antique Oriental rugs as a case in point. The best 19th-century examples often sell between five figures and low six figures…and have the potential to appreciate exponentially.”

The article quotes me as confirming this. “As financial markets grow increasingly unstable, more and more ultra-high-net-worth individuals are becoming deeply attracted to the best 19th century rugs. They see them as tangible assets—precious objects that they can surround themselves with and enjoy while they increase in rarity. What has been shocking is how long it’s taken for great rugs to be recognized. Rugs are historically one of the world’s premier art forms, but they’re still undiscovered.”

Our collector clients generally purchased area-size rugs (3′ x 4′ to 5′ x 8′) about 2/3 of the time but also acquired room sizes, oversizes, and runners when the art was remarkable. While many of these trophies found places in their homes, a substantial number are held in storage and rotated according to each family’s rhythm of display changing.


I spent substantially more time on the phone and on Zoom calls to acquire rare pieces for resale through the network of longtime collecting families I have nurtured since we opened our doors in 1980. Especially against the backdrop of dramatically increased scarcity, to behold pieces of such soaring artistic prowess that we thankfully are acquiring from these contacts is a source of tremendous excitement.

This private event offered a monumental cache of 140- to 200-year-old rugs.

Most notably, last January, we offered to our clientele “The Gold Coasts Collections,” an assemblage of over 200 extremely rare pieces that graced the Connecticut and Florida homes of two generations of impassioned collectors to tremendous response.

In 2022, our collection expanded significantly and matured on several fronts. Our inventory of oft-requested Bakshaish and Caucasian rugs was enhanced by early and remarkably inventive examples. In both styles, we were privileged to acquire and place pieces of a magnitude I haven’t witnessed since very early in my 43-year career, including works possessing aesthetics about which even rug scholars know very little.

Thankfully, we successfully replenished our inventory of earlier Serapi carpets, woven circa 1875 and before, especially of the most revered examples with softer tonalities and spacious irregular designs. Not surprisingly, they proved to be extremely popular.

Caucasian Lambalo Kazak Rug, circa 1825
Part of “Best-Of-Their-Type Sold in 2022” online event, viewable until 3/15/23.

Lovers of 19th-century Persian floral styles were not to be outdone, enhancing their collections with exquisite, rarely found Mohtasham Kashans, Ferahan Sarouks, Hadji Jallili Tabrizs, and Isfahans. Many of these Levels 2 and 3 pieces remained in astonishing condition, having been used primarily as wall displays or held as investments.

Various private sources also provided us with incredible representatives of two lesser known but highly admirable floral genres, i.e., Tehran and Dorasht, noted for their complex botanical designs replete with exotic animals. Phenomenal 150- to 200-year-old silk Herizs, Tabrizs, and Kashans came through our hands and into the caches of our clients.

Our international clientele grew markedly. Long-established European clients bought heavily, and our growing Asian market notably added new clients in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and Hong Kong. We also began to sell seldom-found rugs back to the Near East, adding new collectors in Dubai, Lebanon, and Qatar.


Whether furnishing their public spaces or embarking on Whole Home Projects, clients are ascribing to an eclectic direction in assembling the interior of their homes, and antique art carpets are filling the need for depth and timeless beauty in their decors.

Contemporary furnishings & 170-year-old Persian Bakshaish carpet complement each other’s originality.

Particularly in the second half of 2022 and already escalating this year, clients finishing new residential projects or remodels are contacting us in much greater numbers than in the last three years. We are elated to note that a significant number of these folks are in their 30s and 40s furnishing their first major homes.

Decorating with a mixture of items from antique to modern and every period in between is a central design trend that top professionals are expounding. In a Fall 2022 webinar, interior design luminary Bunny Williams emphasized that mixing items from different periods don’t date a room. She said, “It’s a little bit of yin and yang – a complement. It’s not that exactly one-half of the room has to be modern or vice versa. It’s about trying to find the quality that mixes together well.” In Veranda magazine, Angela Free emphasizes choosing art and decoration that is personal, saying, “It’s a mistake to include pieces that are not compelling in some way.”

Persian Heriz Silk, 1st Half of 19th Century
Part of “Best-Of-Their-Type Sold in 2022” online event, viewable until 3/15/23.


Just as we are sourcing significant private collections assembled in the 1950s to 1990s to pass spectacular rugs to a new generation of connoisseurs, many other clients are using their antique rug caches as a means of passing down wealth generationally. Storing significant pieces long-term in in-home vaults or our art storage facility allows for these treasures to continue to accrue until there is interest in selling them, renting them out for exhibitions, or donating them to museums.

Unlike paintings, carpets do not require periodic cleaning and other maintenance if prepared and wrapped properly. If long-term storage resonates with you, please read our “Guidelines for Antique Rug Care” here.


I am fully confident that we can meet the expectations and requests of our ardent collectors even as this group continues to expand. With the continually subsiding supply of preeminent examples of antique Oriental carpets, we are once again re-doubling our acquisition efforts in response.

Persian “Dragon & Phoenix” Bakshaish carpet, circa 1860
Part of “Best-Of-Their-Type Sold in 2022” online event, viewable until 3/15/23.

We are experiencing the benefits of a yet more substantial digital presence and expect our collection of High-Collectible and Connoisseur-Caliber carpets to increasingly draw in clients from across the globe. Despite the great scarcity of high-level 19th century rugs worldwide, we are assured that with our vast, expanded reach, we can keep up with the demand.

The eclectic approach to residential interior design opens up the idea of using rugs in all the different styles of homes. I see clients, connoisseurs, and interior designers increasing their commitment to unique personal environments with scope and dimension, inclusiveness and discernment in the elements they contain. Because art-caliber antique carpets exude these qualities, I expect 2023 will see even greater use of them curatorially.


The joy of living with antique art rugs grants us a unique, up close & personal interaction with weaver artists who lived in daily communion with nature 140 to 200 years ago and strove to express through their artworks the universal beauty and the timeless connection of all things.

Facilitating our clients to experience the palpable, deeply harmonious atmosphere of art-level antique rugs is at the heart of the 43-year-long labor of love that is Claremont Rug Company.

Jan David Winitz, President and Founder

(If you have not visited our website lately, you will find we have redesigned its extensive Education sections to better support your appreciation.)

Continuing to offer our clients the incredibly nurturing quality of Claremont’s antique art carpets made in a milieu where the weavers stood in awe at the forces of the Universe is well worth the great challenge of uncovering the surviving exemplary representatives.

We are thoroughly committed to upholding what two clients recently wrote to me,

“Your company has the most fantastic collection of antique carpets that I have seen anywhere in one place, outside of a museum. “— M., Phoenix, AZ

“The more I understand about rugs, the more I see that your curated collections are unparalleled on this Earth!” — J., Northern CA