Rugs to Riches · March 2010
Grow Wealth Management
Rugs to Riches
Investors turn into collectors as art-grade
rugs become the hot new tangible asset
17TH CENTURY PERSIAN PRAYER RUG (5’ 4” X 3’ 7”) SOLD FOR $4.33 MILLION
Count art-grade rugs in that category. Plus, they’re a pleasure to own. “There’s a huge emotional, almost physical yield an investor gets from these kinds of things,” says Duffy, whose firm launched a fund in November that covers carpets and 14 other art and collectible categories including vintage watches, ancient coins and photography. Sixty percent of the assets are in a fund of funds structure created by EAMR; the remaining 40 percent go directly into the items themselves until there is a strong exit opportunity. The EAMR fund marks the first time investors have been exposed to a range of “emotional assets” via a single vehicle.
“People just want to enjoy their investments and have some confidence they will increase in value over time – rugs will do that.”
For Winitz, the growing financial opportunities for investing in art-grade rugs make perfect sense. “People aren’t sure where to put their money anymore,” he says. “They just want to enjoy their investments and have some confidence they will increase in value over time-rugs will do that.”
Not all rugs, however. Whatever their age the carpets must be rare and artful. The wool should be the highest grade, the dyes natural and the weaving done with hand-tied knots. Winitz recommends that collectors educate themselves through museum classes and by talking to other collectors.
Jan David Winitz (inset) urges collectors to buy only those carpets they fall in love with, as he did with the 8’ x 12’ Bakshaish rug woven around 1800 (above) that hangs behind his desk. He bought it for $3,500, and isn’t contemplating selling it – even though it would likely bring a minimum of $600,000.