Claremont Rug Company founder Jan David Winitz reveals major shifts in high-end antique Oriental rug market

January 15th, 2019

OAKLAND, CA.- In his annual letter sent to clients, Claremont Rug Company founder/president Jan David Winitz, highlighted the mix of technology, artistic/investment value and the appreciation of specific Oriental rug types from the “Second Golden Age of Persian Weaving,” ca. 1800 to ca. 1910, as the primary factors that influencing acquisitions decision by connoisseurs.

He told clients that “Last year, we worked with a record number of clients who are investing strategically in a vital sector of the precious tangible asset class and building substantial collections of High-Collectible and Connoisseur-Caliber antique Persian and tribal rugs as defined by our ‘Oriental Rug Market Pyramid™.’”

He pointed to overwhelming response to the 140-piece “London Vault of Antique Carpets,” a mid-year invitational private collection sale presenting the Gallery’s “perhaps…most wide-ranging, selection ever and which attracted ardent clients from a total of five continents.”

Winitz, who founded the Gallery in 1980, singled out the combination of “marshaling of website technology, social media and today’s transportation systems, that allowed our worldwide clientele to pursue extremely hard-to-find antique art rugs even more easily” as primary factors in Claremont’s “tremendously successful year. The internet played a role in our transactions with a record 75% of our clients.” Claremont was introduced to the internet in the late 90’s by a client, John Warnock, who was Adobe System’s co-founder and Chairman at the time.

During the year, Winitz contributed first-person articles to online and print publications, emphasizing the Gallery’s “Client First” business model. “Our approach, long acknowledged by clients, is now being recognized in the field of marketing to ultrahigh net worth clients (UHNW) as a market differentiator. From Day One, we have committed the Gallery to providing access to an unmatched inventory paired with bespoke client service. It is an invaluable asset for us and for our clients, for whom time and trust are valuable commodities and our bond.”

Previously named the “Best Antique Gallery” by The Robb Report (, Claremont also revealed that in 2018, “rare geometric 19th century Bakshaishs were favored for room and oversized rugs. followed by refined Ferahan Sarouk, the No. 2 selling style for 2018. In smaller sizes Caucasian tribal rugs and Mohtasham Kashans were top sellers

Another perennial favorite, antique Serapis, jumped a staggering 220% in sales, he wrote. “As I predicted in my 2017 letter, Hadji Jallili Tabrizs with their earthen hues and complex floral motifs are becoming a room-size carpet of choice for contemporary decors, rising from sixth place to third place among the larger rugs our clients bought.”

He also revealed that last year, Claremont completed 32 Whole Home Rug Displays. These included:

• A 24-piece rare rug purchase for a new Atlantic coast client “who we have yet to meet;”

• A three-home project here on the West Coast where we visited the sites several times;

• A 20-piece display on Cape Cod that included a complex display of runners and small rugs for three connecting hallways, and

• A project furnishing a massive estate in Italy.

Winitz predicted that top-tier examples of central rug styles such as Persian Bakshaish, Hadji Jallili Tabriz, Serapi, Ferahan Sarouk, Laver Kirmans and Caucasian tribal rugs will continue as a central emphasis of clients in 2019.

“As I reflect on 2018, I can definitively say that the high-end of the antique Oriental Rug Market is more vibrant than ever,” he said.