OAKLAND, CA.- Claremont Rug Company today announced the availability of a new, 28-page brochure which features 29 important, art-level 19th century Oriental rugs available at the Gallery.
“This brochure comes at a particularly significant time,” said Jan David Winitz, president/founder, “as we have seen continuing high interest levels among collectors and connoisseurs for art level, 19th century rugs. The combination of the astonishing artistry and the limited opportunities for acquisition are the undercurrents in the market.”
Since opening in 1980, Claremont Rug Company has built an inventory of more than 4000 art-level pieces over the decades. “We have a global reputation and an ongoing commitment to acquire groups of great rugs wherever they arise through our full-time buying staff of collector/buyers,” said Winitz, author of The Guide to Purchasing an Oriental Rug. “This unique combination has provided us with access to pieces possessing great beauty and rarity as well as to entire private connoisseur collections of momentous rugs.”
Seen by art collectors as both under-valued and important tangible assets, rugs from the Second Golden Age of Persian Weaving (circa 1800 to 1910) have also been elevated by the recognition that available inventory of the “best of the best” is increasingly moving into private collections.
“Connoisseurs and collectors know that true art-level/investment caliber rugs are seldom obtainable,” said Winitz. “The vast majority of the pieces, which are commercially available, fall into the ‘decorative’ category and, while pleasant to look at, are neither deeply moving nor truly investment worthy.
Among the distinguishing characteristics of rugs from the Golden Ages of Weaving are their exclusive use of rare, exotic naturally dyed hues not found in later rugs as well as more fluid and fascinating pattern language. ”Until commercialism took hold in Persia and the other rug weaving regions there was a thriving culture that encouraged the creation of true art,” Winitz said. Scholars and academicians agree that these conditions ceased to exist by the early 20th century.
The new brochure, the 60th from Claremont, was produced by Winitz’s wife and Claremont senior vice president Christine Hunt Winitz, who has directed the creation of each catalog since they were introduced in 1988. “Each time we begin the process I keep in mind that this is the way that many clients and collectors ‘visit’ the Gallery. As such, the brochures are so coveted,” she said, “that I am told that in the book-selling world there is a resale market for them. While we have more than 1000 rugs available for viewing on our website, the carpets that we highlight in the brochure are among the most stunning examples to be seen outside of the museum world.”
The publication contains pieces dating as early as to 1825 and includes smaller area rugs, runners and palace size carpets as large as 15×24.
“I am particularly satisfied with this brochure, not only for its scope of styles shown, but also for the accurate capture of the myriad antique rug colors,” she said.
The brochure, in an oversize format in full color, contains with informative text about each piece.
Highlighted are first-rate Hadji Jallili Tabriz, Sultanabad and Indian Amritsar room size and oversize carpets and a selection of smaller rugs from connoisseurs and for display on the wall. Top-tier collectible rugs include two from the tribal tradition: Memling Gul Kazak from the Caucasus Mountains and a South Persian Qashqai rug. A uniquely hued well-preserved Mohtasham Kashan is among the brochure’s representatives of Claremont’s collectible carpets woven in the Persian Court tradition.
Rugs at CRC are valued in the $20,000 to more than $500,000 per piece range.
Because of the brochures and the extensive Claremont website, the Gallery now conducts a significant amount of its transactions via the Internet. “The fact is that many collectors are acquiring rugs for their own private collections which they intend to donate to museums ultimately,” said Winitz. “In practical terms, this means that many of the rugs available today will never be commercially available again. Our clients are knowledgeable and recognize what this implies for the market.”
As result, Claremont continues to see increases in its “whole home projects,” which involve 15 to 70 carpets each, and a burgeoning interest in the use of rugs as “wall art” and in private museums.
The brochure can be obtained by calling 1-800-441-1332 or through the Gallery’s website: www.claremontrug.com.