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As Interest in Oriental Carpets Continues to Grow, Claremont Rug Company Releases New Brochure
Entering its fourth decade, Claremont Rug Company (CRC) has an inventory of more than 3500 art-level pieces.

OAKLAND, CA.- Claremont Rug Company today announced the availability of a 22-page brochure which highlights a broad range of collectible 19th century antique Oriental carpets available at the Gallery.

Entering its fourth decade, Claremont Rug Company (CRC) has an inventory of more than 3500 art-level pieces, primarily built by the acquisition of globally-based private collections. With clients across the United States and in a dozen foreign countries, the Gallery displays more than 900 rugs on its website.

“But our brochure is the way that many clients ‘experience’ the Gallery,” said Christine Hunt Winitz, Claremont senior vice president responsible for all aspects of the brochure. The first brochure was produced in 1988 and appears two-to-four times annually.

“I am particularly happy 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. “Over the years, our clients have expressed how much they look forward to the brochure. Ironically, we have also recently learned that book dealers are selling our older catalogs, which we provide without charge, so we know that we must be doing a good job.”

Created in 1980 by Jan David Winitz, Christine’s husband, the Gallery has received wide acclaim in art, collecting and investment publications for the quality and depth of its inventory. Rugs at CRC are valued in the $20,000 to more than $500,000 per piece range.

The current brochure provides a broad diversity of rug examples with 18 types of antique Persian styles represented, including four museum-level pieces which are 160-180 years old.

Despite uneasiness in some segments of the art and antiques market, interest in art level Oriental rugs reached new highs in 2010. Midway through the year, a historic rug sold for $9.5 million at a London auction. For Claremont, 2010 was one of its best year’s in its history and the month of December was the best December in the Gallery’s history.

“The recognition of 19th century Oriental rugs as an undervalued collectible art form is something that I have been stressing for some time,” said Jan David Winitz., “The desire among aficionados for 19th century, connoisseur-level pieces, which are seldom available for purchase in today’s market, is virtually insatiable.”

He cites two important trends:

• Clients furnishing entire homes with 19th century pieces (what he terms as whole home projects involving 20 to 70 carpets each) and

• Clients “stockpiling” rugs by placing them in their own private museums.

As the New York Times has written, “antique rugs are increasingly rare, connoisseurship is more sophisticated and prices are escalating.” In 2010, Winitz completed 50 whole home projects, nearly double the number from 2009. In 2011, he is on pace to double the project total again.

Winitz said the Internet had contributed to this burgeoning global interest. “Fully 50 percent of our sales are to clients who ‘visit’ the Gallery via our website. We have a substantial number of clients whom we have never met in person.”

For rug collectors, the CRC brochure is a major event. “Clients will email or call us, just to express their excitement over a piece,” said Jan Winitz. “Every year, we are contacted by clients or meet someone who produces a copy of a brochure from many years ago. Apparently, they are hard to throw away. One client even sent me a photo of herself in her library, standing in front of a shelf of Claremont brochures.”

The response to the brochures is another confirmation that interest in art-level rugs has expanded among collectors of other classic art forms and antiquities. “Many of my clients have told me that, compared to their antique furnishings and artwork on the walls, rugs are undervalued,” he said.

He said that “great antique rugs have always been an excellent depository of wealth. There is a clear emphasis among investors on precious tangible assets,” he said, “and on all counts 19th century Oriental rugs qualify.”

The brochure, which contains nearly two dozen examples of what Winitz is describing, can be obtained by calling 1-800-441-1332 or through the Gallery’s website:

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