Jan David Winitz, founder and president of Claremont Rug Company
, today revealed that because of the continually increasing demand for the best 19th century art-level antique rugs that he has recently added eight new members to the buying, restoration and services departments of his internationally-recognized gallery.
At the same time, Winitz said response to his recent purchases of two significant private collections has resulted in what he calls an extremely gratifying number of sales. It has also added to a waiting list situation among his clients, who were increasingly furnishing their homes with art-level rugs.
The weaving skills, raw dye materials and associated crafts to create art-level rugs virtually disappeared by the end of the 19th century. He said, When rugs of this quality come to market, the word spreads quickly among aficionados. The world of collectors and connoisseurs has long recognized that the finest 19th century carpets share the majesty of other fine art, but at market value levels well below comparable paintings, sculptures or furniture.
Winitz said that art-level rugs range in value from $20,000 to the mid six figures. Frequently clients tell me that they cant believe the relatively reasonable pricing for investment-level pieces, compared to other art and antiques that they also collect.
To work with his global clientele, Winitz reports that he continues to make staff additions, recently having added three buyers based in Europe as well as two restorers, working in the U.S.
Winitz also recently announced the acquisition of 150 art-level rugs from connoisseurs in Illinois and Washington who had displayed the carpets in a total of five grand homes. The range of style is incredibly broad because the rugs were amassed by three generations and the response was immediate and gratifying, both at our gallery and on our website
, he said. The site now contains high resolution jpegs of more than 700 art-level carpets, including 35 from the new collections.
Because our clientele comes from around the world and many dont have the opportunity to visit our gallery, viewing and purchasing carpets on-line affords them access to our vast inventory, Winitz said.
At the other end of the selection process are whole home projects for clients who are furnishing a primary home or a second residence, he said.
We are involved in several projects of this type currently, including clients who have indicated that they are moving from the furnishing phase to the serious collecting stage with rugs. Our two latest collection acquisitions have created significant interest at this level.
Whole projects generally involve 20-50 rugs individually selected for an estate-level residence and can take several days to install. Winitz, who works either directly with clients or with their interior designers, personally guides every whole home project.
Winitz, a noted antique rug authority, lecturer and author, founded Claremont Rug Company in 1980. He acquires the vast majority of the rugs in his inventory from private collections and estates around the globe. The Claremont Rug Company inventory consists of more than 3500 pieces, almost exclusively from the 19th century Second Golden Age of Persian Weaving.
The Gallery, which numbers as clients nearly three dozen members of the Forbes Magazine list of global billionaires, was recently cited by The Robb Report Best of the Best (2009) in the antique dealer category. It was the only Oriental rug firm selected.
Additionally, Winitz has recently published an essay (Art-Level Antique Rugs & How to Recognize Them) in a publication that is provided to policyholders by the Chubb Group of Insurance Companies. Chubb is the worlds leading insurer of private-owned fine art, jewelry and antiques.
Said Winitz, Last year, our three-part acquisition of the Hudson River Valley collection (450 collectible, 19th century rugs) was the largest activity at the high end of the antique carpet world in more than a decade, and most of that inventory went directly to the collections of other aficionados whom we have been consulting for decades.
While our clients are highly affluent, he said, they are also value-conscious. They recognize that as well as being incredibly beautiful, art-level antique rugs are true art investments that have stood the test of time and are solid depositories of wealth.
Claremont Rug Company provides a Lifetime Full Exchange Policy. For one collector this meant exchanging a large collection for a more limited group of world-class pieces, Winitz said. His intention is ultimately to donate the rugs to a museum.