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Excerpts from articles reporting on our “Artistic Visions” Collection event

Heirloom Rugs

New York Times – September 5, 2009

The gene for collecting sometimes persists in families for several generations before petering out. Which is how Jan David Winitz, a rug gallery owner in Oakland, Calif., just acquired several households’ stashes of 19th-century rugs from one unidentified family that has shuttled among homes in Manhattan, Long Island and Cape Cod.

Between the 1910s and the 1980s, two generations of the family’s forebears collected Near Eastern and Central Asian rugs and maintained a rug storeroom at each home. The current heirs, Mr. Winitz said, “kept enough rugs to furnish their own homes” and sold him about 150 others. He declined to disclose the price.

On Wednesday his gallery, Claremont Rug Company, will post images of the collection on its Web site ( From Sept. 12 through late November, the rugs, which cost from $20,000 to $400,000 each, will be displayed at a Claremont exhibition called “Artistic Visions of the Refined to the Elemental.” That enigmatic title is meant to convey the rug collecting family’s taste for formal, realistically floral wool weavings called “court carpets,” as well as tribal rugs with naive images of livestock, sunbursts and trees, sometimes loosely knotted from camelhair…

Original Article


Claremont Rug Company Offers “Epic Purchase”
of Art-Level Oriental Carpets in Major Gallery Event – September 9, 2009

OAKLAND, Calif., Sep 09, 2009 — Jan David Winitz, founder and president of Claremont Rug Company, today announced that 150 art-level 19th century Oriental rugs acquired from a private collection would be available for purchase, starting on Saturday, September 12, at his Claremont Rug Company gallery.

The collection, entitled “Artistic Visions of the Refined to the Elemental: A Momentous New Collection of Antique Carpets,” will be available for viewing on line ( starting today.

Winitz, who founded Claremont Rug Company in 1980, said, “This is an epic purchase. The collection was started at the turn of the 20th century, when the availability of rare, early rugs was infinitely greater than it is today. Some of the oldest, most precious pieces were purchased at the source in Persia, the Caucasus and Turkey.”

The collection was acquired from the third generation of the family of an entrepreneur who retired at a young age and spent the last 30 years of his life traveling and acquiring art-level rugs, according to the family…

“Any well-preserved 19th century rug is rare,” said Winitz, “But those of connoisseur to museum quality are the rarest of the rare. Less than one percent of all the rugs produced in the 19th century were of this magnitude and very few survive today.”

Winitz said he had been approached by the current generation of the family, who held the rugs for two decades. “The collection was offered to us exclusively. It contains many pieces that are true gems, including extraordinary examples from most of the major weaving styles. It is a privilege to be able to present this rich treasury to our clients.”

A wide selection of the pieces will be displayed throughout Claremont’s three-showroom gallery…

“A number of these rugs have been off the market for a century. The Hudson River Valley Collection, which we acquired in 2008, and this new cache are two of the most significant private inventories we have encountered in our nearly 30 years of business.” Rugs from the collection are valued in the $18,000 to $400,000 per piece range.