Jan David Winitz, President and Founder

Jan David Winitz is president/founder of Claremont Rug Company, a California-based art dealer that specializes in high-decorative to museum-caliber 19th century Oriental rugs. He is the author of The Guide to Purchasing an Oriental Rug. In the collecting world, the California antique rug dealer is credited with elevating the status of rugs from the “Second Golden Age of Persian Weaving” (ca 1800 to ca 1910) from a decorative craft to an art form whose impact and value is on a level with the finest and most sought after paintings, sculpture and antique furniture.

Inspired by a family member’s collection of Near Eastern rugs, he acquired his first antique carpet at age 16.  Later, during the three years that he spent as a high-school English teacher, he sold rugs privately. Then, in 1980 at the age of 25, he left teaching to found Claremont Rug Company in a small storefront building in Oakland with his wife Christine Hunt Winitz. With the goal of presenting antique carpets to the public as, “works of art comparable to those usually displayed on the wall,” he chose to build his business around an educational model with the client service as its basis. Dubbed “Client First,” Winitz has written and been published extensively on the subject (articles about the topic can be found below). Winitz has been credited with raising the critical opinion about antique Oriental carpets from that of a craft to a collectible art form, investment and tangible asset. Among his clients are Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, entertainment industry and international business executives, rock music stars, classical musicians, and Nobel Prize winners. His clients, who reside on five continents, also include over 75 Forbes 400 List billionaires.  In 2009, The Robb Report named Winitz and his gallery as the “Best of the Best,” in its Antiques category.  It was the first and only time that a rug purveyor has been selected for the accolade.

Over the years, Claremont and Winitz have contributed articles and has been written about by publications ranging from Art Daily and Arts & Antiques magazine to Robb Report, the Financial Times of London, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. He has also been a regular contributor to publications produced by AXA and Chubb insurance companies.

Such is his reputation and standing in the art world that when an antique Oriental rug sold for a record $33.7 million at an auction in 2013, he was widely quoted about the significance of the price.

His “Client First” business philosophy where customer service begins at the first interaction with a potential client has been published in Wealth Management, Money Inc. and Luxury Daily, all publications designed to highlight innovative thinking and best practices to businesses who work with wealthy individuals and families.

“I firmly believe that providing education, valuing integrity, being tremendously responsive to our customer’s needs and having deep expertise are the core attributes that have built trust and allowed us to maintain relationships with many clients for decades,” he says.


Amidst The Pandemic, An Oakland Antique Rug Gallery Not Only Survived, It Prospered

  • Claremont Rug Company’s President & Founder Jan Winitz describes how he adapted and thrived at many pivotal points of his 43-year odyssey as a gallery owner.

How to Look at an Antique Rug

  • Learning how to look at antique carpets is a satisfying pursuit that brings even greater enjoyment of the carpets we live with.

Preeminent Antique Carpet Gallery Reaches Out to Clientele with Message of Inspiration

  • Read feature article on artdaily.com where Claremont Rug Company’s President & Founder, Jan David Winitz discusses efforts to reach out to clientele with a message of inspiration.

Reinventing a Luxury Business in the Midst of a Pandemic

  • In this article from Luxury Daily,  Jan David Winitz discusses how COVID-19 hasn’t slowed down Claremont Rug Company’s business in 2020.

My Way: Claremont Rug Co.’s Jan David Winitz on why customer efficiency is not customer service

  • In this feature article in Luxury Daily Magazine, Claremont Rug Company’s Jan David Winitz discusses why customer efficiency is not customer service.

Claremont Rug Company’s Jan David Winitz Discusses Building Lasting Relationships With Clients

  • In this feature article in Luxury Daily Magazine, Claremont Rug Company’s Jan David Winitz discusses building lasting relationships with clients.

“Client First”: The Foundation for Long-term Customer Relationships

  • In this article for Money Inc., Claremont’s Jan David Winitz discusses how he has successfully built and sustained client relationships for nearly four decades.

Developing Lifelong Relationships With Clients

  • In this op-ed Claremont’s Jan David Winitz discusses how he has successfully built and maintained relationships with his wealthy clients

A Basic Primer for Buying an Oriental Rug (AXA Art)

  • In this article, Claremont Rug Company’s Jan David Winitz explains what to look for when purchasing Persian antique rugs and Caucasian tribal rugs.

9-Point Methodology for Evaluating Antique Oriental Rugs

  • In this article, Jan David Winitz explains in depth his 9-point method for evaluating antique rugs

A View From San Francisco (Financial Times)

  • Jan David Winitz sits down with Financial Times discusses his favorite spots in San Francisco

The Sum of the Parts (Private Air, Luxury Homes)

  • In this interview with Private Air Luxury Homes, Jan David Winitz discusses what to look for when purchasing antique Persian rugs and Caucasian rugs

The Rug Pyramid: A Practical Guide to Determining the Right Oriental Rugs for You (Private Air, Luxury Homes)

  • Jan David Winitz of Claremont Rug Company shares his Rug Pyramid, a way to understand the Oriental rug market and find everyone the right Persian rug

Passion and Practicality: The Many Faces of the Modern Collector (Chubb Collectors)

  • Claremont Rug Company President Jan David Winitz discusses the types of collectors interested in art-level Oriental rugs in this Chubb Collectors article

Subtle Elegance- Exquisite Art Carpets in Understated Tones

  • In this article, Jan David Winitz discusses Claremont’s extensive collection of collector caliber antique rugs in subtle, understated hues

Building a Collection of Antique Art Rugs

  • This piece by Jan David Winitz discusses the types of collectors of antique art rugs and varying collecting styles

Increasing Appreciation of Antique Oriental Rugs in the Art World

  • In this article, Claremont President Jan David Winitz discusses the increasing demand for antique Oriental rugs as their profile rises as works of fine art

Antique Oriental Rugs: The Writing is on the Wall (Chubb Collectors)

  • Jan David Winitz looks at the increasing use of antique rugs as wall art and art investment pieces in this article from Chubb Collectors

Knowing Your Art Deeply and the Fruits That it Yields (Chubb Collectors)

  • In this article from Chubb Collectors Claremont’s Jan David Winitz looks at the connection collectors and connoisseurs build with their art rug collections and how it enriches the way they interact with their pieces

President Jan David Winitz on Claremont Rug Company’s Mission (Art Daily)

  • Jan David Winitz discusses rug market trends and Claremont Rug Company with Art Daily

The Oriental Rug Pyramid (Chubb Collectors)

  • Jan David Winitz introduces the reader to his proprietary Oriental Rug Market in this article from Chubb Collectors

Grand 19th Century Oriental Rugs Find a Home in 21st Century Art Collections (Chubb Collectors)

  • In this piece from Chubb Collectors, Jan David Winitz explores the role of antique rugs in the homes and collections of modern art collectors

Antique Persian and Tribal Rugs as an Art Investment

  • Jan David Winitz explains the rising trend of antique Persian rugs and Caucasian Tribal rugs as art investments and the characteristics connoisseurs look for when purchasing investment pieces

How to Look at an Antique Rug

  • Claremont Founder Jan David Winitz explains what to look for when examining an antique rug, highlighting the features that make an antique rug a work of art

Using Catalogs to Educate and Inspire (Carpet XL)

  • Jan David Winitz discusses the importance of a high quality catalog as an educational tool and the process of creating one at Claremont Rug Company

The Heart and Mind of the Collector (AXA Art)

  • In this article from Axa, Jan David Wintiz looks at the psyche of the dedicated collectors of antique Persian rugs

Art Level Antique Rugs & How to Recognize Them (Chubb Collectors)

  • Jan Winitz discusses what sets art-level rugs apart from the rest in this insightful article and looks at several regions known for producing these rare works in this article from Chubb Collectors

World Record Shattered by Historic Kirman Vase Rug

  • Jan David weighs in on Sotheby’s record-breaking sale of the Sickle-Leaf carpet

Symbolism and Tribal Cosmology in Antique Caucasian Rugs (Carpet Collector)

  • A write-up in Carpet Collector Magazine that takes an in-depth look at the symbolism of motifs found in 19th century Caucasian rugs.

Q & A with President Jan David Winitz (Art Daily)

  • A two-part interview with Claremont Rug Company’s President, Jan David Winitz, about antique Oriental rugs & antique Persian carpets.