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Claremont Rug Company turns to digital for carpet collecting education


BAKSHAISH-best-of-17
Claremont Rug Company is seeing an increasing portion of sales and research taking place online.

Claremont Rug Company is responding to the growing online audience for its rare Oriental carpets by hosting an ecommerce exhibit.

The 50 rugs featured in the digital showcase are considered museum-level or high-collectible, dating from the 19th century. With a single physical gallery in Oakland, CA, this online event provides an international audience with a chance to view highlights, and last year’s exhibition drew visitors from 55 different countries.

Global gallery

Claremont’s exhibition features pieces that were sold to clients in 2017 that represent the best of their type.

Included are a number of rugs from the “Toronto Treasury II Collection,” which was sold during a private online event for Claremont customers. Interested buyers viewed the pieces in a closed gallery on Claremont’s website.

Also featured are 10 early Caucasian rugs made by weaving groups Karagashli, Baku and Bidjov Shivran.

While the pieces in the exhibit are no longer available, the gallery serves as an educational tool for consumers looking to make their own investment, allowing them to understand various rug styles and gain an appreciation for artistry that makes a piece more collectible. Both Persian and tribal carpets are featured in the exhibit, providing an understanding of both styles.

Rare Laver Kirman Antique Rugs compliment a beautiful modern living room with industrial beams
Claremont’s clients are increasingly using online tools to view its wares.

“Last year’s exhibition was viewed online by visitors from 55 countries,” said Jan David Winitz, founder of Claremont Rug Company and author of “The Guide to Purchasing an Oriental Rug,” in a statement.

“That is nearly a 60 percent increase over past years,” he said. “Our website, which contains more than 900 high-res images, has become a primary method for clients to view our inventory.

“Overall, in 2017, we saw an increase of 41 percent in sales generated over the Internet. Many of our clients own multiple residences internationally, limiting their occasions to visit our gallery in person.

“To accommodate them, we have recently completed a two-year revamping of our website and devoted much of it to client education.”

Collecting artwork has long been a popular pastime among affluent consumers, but art dealers are noticing a trend emerge as many collectors are purchasing high-quality Oriental rugs that double as hanging wall art, according to Mr. Winitz (see story).

Additionally, clients will use Claremont’s rugs, which have a starting price of $10,000, to separate spaces in their homes.

The exhibition will be up through Feb. 28.