The unusually spacious design of this 150-year-old Serapi highlights the immediately recognizable interest in connoisseurship reflected in this distinctive sitting room. This spectacular carpet harmonizes the Pre-Columbian artifacts, Napoleonic mantle and mirror and elegant designer chairs.
OAKLAND, CA.- While Jan David Winitz’s clients are diverse in their backgrounds and reside on six continents, they share a passion for great art and understand how their tastes can be melded into complementary matching of paintings, sculpture and furniture with antique Oriental rugs from the Second Golden Age of Persian Weaving.
In the first segment of this two-part series, the president and founder of Claremont Rug Company related anecdotes of how his clients asked him to place rugs that would highlight and complement other collections of their art to create a personal ethos in their residences. In this segment, he describes how he helps guide the process of selecting art-level Second Golden Age rugs for his clients.
“Many of the residences where I have placed substantial numbers of antique rugs are of contemporary design,” he says. “One which particularly stands out is a major whole home project where the interior designer initially said, ‘Oriental rugs would not work.’ Eighteen rugs later, the gentleman is now a great advocate and the designer has a better understanding of Oriental rugs.
“Coincidentally, Claremont’s collection of antique art rugs has been primarily built through the acquisition of entire private collections,” says Winitz, “some of which have been held by families for three to even five generations. Often the residences in which were they initially displayed also had extensive collections of classical antiques, sculpture, paintings and furniture at their root. But the rugs work equally well with the exotic woods and stone of contemporary homes.
“I find it both fascinating and gratifying when I look at publications that celebrate other forms of art in a room setting,” he says, “because more often than not I will see antique Oriental rugs pictured, serving as an integral aspect of graciousness of the residence.”
When Winitz opened Claremont nearly four decades ago, it was based on the concept that the finest examples of antique Oriental rugs from the Second Golden Age, ca. 1800 to ca. 1910, deserved to be recognized as great art as precious tangible assets. What has occurred over time has proved has validated his thesis. From an inventory of 40 rugs with a small set of clients in the San Francisco Bay Area, he has built a Gallery with a collection of more than 2500 Second Golden Age pieces and with clients on six continents.
”In the milieu of global art collectors,” he says, “great antique Oriental rugs are very much on the list what they seek to acquire and to relish living with.”