For the past decade, I have undertaken, with my staff, an annual review of all the rugs that my gallery, Claremont Rug Company
, has placed with our clients during the previous year. And each year, I marvel at what we have been able to present and the educated eyes that our clients have developed.
The year 2020 was exceptional in this regard. While all of the rugs in The-Best-of-Their-Type trove were elite-level and distinguished, among the most outstanding were:
A High Collectible 43 x 610 Ferahan Sarouk Vase Rug, from the third quarter of the 19th century
A Museum-Quality 511 x 510 Bakshaish Lion Rug from the turn of the 19th century and
A Museum-Quality 78 x 98 Laver Kirman ca. 1800.
The 2020 Best of Their Type event included three museum quality rugs, a magnitude that private galleries never have access to. We classify antique Oriental rugs on our proprietary, six-tier Antique Rug Pyramid . At Claremont, Level 1 rugs are primarily held in museums, royal families, or generationally built private collections. Level 2 pieces are designated High-Collectible and Level 3 are Connoisseur-Caliber. Level 1 rugs were woven during the First Golden Age (ca. 1300 to ca. 1800) while the bulk of the available rugs that are considered precious tangible assets were produced in the Second Golden Age (ca. 1800 to ca. 1910).
Other weaving groups that had high representation in The Best-of-Their-Type event included:
Parenthetically, during 2020, I saw dramatically increased interest in several specific weaving groups with correspondingly large increases in their acquisition by our clients who reside on six continents and more than 40 countries.
Bakshaish remained the most purchased style in room sizes for the fourth consecutive year, and folkloric Caucasian rugs (sales up percent), again the most acquired area size rugs. Exquisite Motasham Kashan saw a 50 percent uptick in sales, majestic Serapis over 60 percent, followed closely by Ferahan Sarouk, Hadji Jallili Tabriz, and Laver Kirman pieces.
Last year, many more clients displayed rugs on their walls, with some even doing so with rugs in sizes up to 11×14. In 2021, I foresee this being an entirely common occurrence, with the more adventurous embracing the trend of placing small rugs over furniture or even under glass on dining tables.
I am now thoroughly convinced that the current generation of buyers will be the last with access to a selection of art-caliber, 19th-century pieces. Further evidence of this is that in 2020 major auction houses only occasionally offered High-Collectible or Connoisseur-Caliber rugs and filled out their sales with primarily Level 5 Decorative pieces that have no intrinsic collectible value.
In 2021, I believe that recognizing that the finest 19th-century rugs are in notably diminished supply, a substantially greater number of clients will purchase rugs to create Whole Home Rug Displays, and also to keep them in our art storage facility or in rug cellars they have constructed in their residences. This year, I am confident that there will be intensified acquisition by both US and international collectors for both Level 2 and Level 3 rugs. Their intrinsic artistic merit and limited availability will also continue to increase our clients attraction to the upper echelon of 19th- century, one-of-kind High Decorative carpets.
Claremont Rug Company
Jan David Winitzs Claremont Rug Company
, founded in 1980, is an international art gallery with an inventory of 2500 Oriental rugs woven during the Second Golden Age of Persian Weaving, (ca. 1800 to ca. 1910). The Gallery, located in Oakland, CA does not participate in off-site exhibitions, shows, or auctions.
Among its client-focused services are its Whole Home design consultations, a long-term trade-in policy, and its educational focus. Widely written about, Winitz has been featured in publications including Apollo, Art & Antiques, the Financial Times, Luxury Daily, the New York Times, moneyinc.com, Private Air/Luxury Homes, PrivateWealth.com, Robb Report, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Wall Street Journal, and Worth magazine. Rugs at Claremont are valued in the $7,000 to more than $500,000 per piece range.