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Claremont Rug Company names Best of the Best antique rugs sold in 2015 with online gallery exhibition
Mohtasham Kashan, 4’6” x 6’4”, early 19th century.

OAKLAND, CA.- For the fifth consecutive year eminent art dealer Jan David Winitz, whose Claremont Rug Company gallery specializes in art-level Oriental carpets from the “Second Golden Age of Persian Weaving,” is providing a glimpse at the most elite rugs that were sold by the Gallery during 2015.

A total of 40 high-collectible “best of the best” 19th century rugs in a variety of Persian and Caucasian weaving styles will be displayed on the Gallery’s website ( through April 10, 2016.

“Because many of these carpets were offered only to specific clients,” said Winitz, author of The Guide to Purchasing an Oriental Rug, “this exhibition is the only time that anyone other than the acquirer will likely ever see the rug. Many of the pieces are now included in private collections and will never return to the market. Our clients understand and often mention that the annual Best of exhibition is one of the year’s highlights for them, the equivalent of an invitation-only museum exhibition.”

Claremont, which has clients on five continents and includes more than 50 Forbes’ List billionaires among its customers, does not appear in off-site exhibitions or shows and only displays its inventory at the Gallery, online or in client residences. Winitz and his unique in-home service were recently featured in the Wall Street Journal.

“We have nearly 1000 high res images displayed on our website,” said Winitz, whose biography is included on Wikipedia and who is listed on Wikipedia as one of the 30 most renowned art experts in any field.

”We have developed our business to meet the requirements of a very select and knowledgeable clientele. We are devoted to obtaining only rugs of a superb level of quality and to exact specifications of each of our connoisseur clients. We continually seek those rare pieces that will satisfy their sensitivities. The Best of exhibition also recognizes that many clients own multiple residences and live on more than one continent, limiting their opportunities to visit the Gallery in person.”

Winitz also noted that all of the rugs in the exhibit are either “museum-level” or “high-collectible,” the first and second tiers of Claremont’s proprietary six-tier Oriental Rug Market Pyramid©, ( which classifies rugs by their rarity and collectability as fine art and antiques.

The “2015 Best of…” online event is highlighted by:

• Rugs from 14 weaving groups, all of which present extremely innovative pattern language and exotic natural dyes, many of whose recipes have now been lost.

• 26 pieces from the period of 1800-1850, the elite period when the rarest 19th century Persian and tribal rugs were woven.

• 11 spectacular Bakshaish rugs and six exquisite Mohtasham Kashans, the styles recognized respectively as the most important Persian village and city weaving groups.

“Interestingly, this year the rugs that stood out were acquired by only six collectors. In past years, the number of clients who acquired truly exceptional rugs was larger,” Winitz said. “Increasingly, there is strong competition among buyers for the rare exceptional rug that come to market. Almost all of the rugs that appear in this year’s list were purchased via individual contact, in our private sales or as soon as they were displayed.”

Founded by Winitz in 1980, Claremont Rug Company has an inventory comprised of more than 3500 art-level Oriental rugs acquired privately by the Gallery through its extensive team of global buyer/collector. “We have unprecedented access to rugs from long-established private rug collections through our global network which seeks out rugs of great beauty and provenance,” he said.

Although all of the rugs in the exhibit would have appeared in rug literature had they not been held in private collections for several generations, Winitz said that rugs of particular note are:

Bakshaish, 11’2” x 18’, second quarter, 19th century
This world-class-caliber, an incredibly artful carpet, is a nearly two centuries old Bakshaish rug and demonstrates the consummate work of master weavers in its extremely impactful composition, perfectly balanced colors and seldom-seen depths of creativity.

Mohtasham Kashan, 4’6” x 6’4”, early 19th century
An extremely sophisticated, highly creative composition with the inimitable patina of artfully combined soft colors powerfully distinguishes this world-class representative of the elite Mohtasham Kashan group. At two centuries of age, it excels in its unfathomably fine knotting and closely shorn pile and boasts one of the most singular, ambitious compositions we have ever come across.

Serapi,10’5” x 12’4”, circa 1850
Radiating a jewel-like quality through its extraordinary skillfully abrashed soft pastel tones, this deeply memorable, very early Serapi embodies the grandeur of this renowned antique village style. Its expansive design and slight asymmetries are indicative of the superb quality work only seen in the most accomplished 19th century pieces.

“One trend that has been establishing itself over the past several years,” he said, “is the pairing Second Golden Age rugs with contemporary art and furnishings, particularly by younger collectors. Increasingly, they are drawn to the use of pieces for display as wall art and as actual ‘room dividers.’

“Because many contemporary homes are characterized by large open spaces, rugs are utilized to create more intimate conversation areas or striking visual separations. Antique Oriental rugs are considered ‘signifiers’ of taste and, interestingly, often appear anonymously in publications devoted to extraordinary architecture and interior design. In our world, we say that these rugs ‘hide in plain sight’ because they are appreciated by art connoisseurs and often overlooked by editors,” Winitz said.

Carpets in the Claremont inventory are valued from $20,000 to more than $500,000 per carpet.

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