Claremont Rug Company Reports Unprecedented Growth in 2021

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Claremont Rug Company Reports Unprecedented Growth in 2021
Leading Elite Level Antique Oriental Rug Dealer Cites Increases in International Business, Online Transactions.

OAKLAND, CA.- Claremont Rug Company today announced unprecedented international growth in 2021 as well as robust gains in overall sales for the most elite 19th-century antique Oriental pieces woven during the Second Golden Age of Persian Weaving (ca. 1800 to ca 1910).

President/founder Jan David Winitz cited the burgeoning interest in art as a vital portion of personal investment portfolios as a major factor.

Key results from 2021 included:

• A dynamic reinvention of Claremont’s brick-and-mortar business into an 80% online shopping

• A new international client surge of 50%.

• An overall sales increase of more than 25% over 2020’s extremely robust performance

• A 30% increase in sales of High-Collectible and Connoisseur-Caliber antique rugs (rated on the Oriental Rug Market Pyramid®)

• A record number of return clients

In his annual letter to clients, Winitz, who founded the Gallery in 1980, pointed to a year-end Art and Finance study by Deloitte that said: “In 2014, only 53% of wealth managers believed art should be included as part of a wealth management service…with 85% of wealth managers saying so in 2021.” Citigroup’s Global Art Market almost simultaneously wrote that contemporary artwork outperformed the S&P by 174%.

“Today, the finest antique rugs are definitively included in this ever-strengthening interest in art investment, as shown by the rapidly growing number of Claremont clients who are putting their surplus rug inventories in dedicated in-home rug vaults. The number of rugs our clients purchased and arranged for us to hold at our unit in an art storage facility doubled in 2021,” he observed.

Reflecting on the comments by the financial community about art investment, Winitz said the Claremont experience in 2021 confirmed the conclusions. “Much of the growth in our sales came from what we term as High Collectible and Connoisseur Quality pieces,” he said. “These are the levels that are most often acquired from investment and private collection purposes. They are substantially less available and increasing in value.”

Winitz also highlighted the “much-accelerated pace of acquisition from clients in Australia, Hong Kong, and Lebanon.

Effects of the Global Pandemic

The author of “A Guide to Purchasing Antique Oriental Rugs,” Winitz noted that “the ongoing global pandemic has led to the ascension of the home as a sanctuary. Clients are increasingly using antique area-size art rugs throughout their residences, with wall displays being emphasized.”

Claremont continues to source elite-level rugs for its inventory which consists of approximately 2500 pieces. Over the decades, Winitz has developed an exclusive international coterie of buyer/collectors who seek out rugs for the Gallery exclusively. “It allows us to offer a widely stocked inventory of Level 2 through 4 rugs in the most important Persian and tribal styles,” he says. In contrast, the major U.S. and European auction houses continue to demonstrate significantly diminished inventories of elite-level rugs.”

2021 Sales Reflect Tastes in Antique Rugs

Sales in 2021 of antique tribal rugs rose 40% over the previous year. Major weaving groups continued to be 19th-century pieces from the Caucasus Mountains and South Persian tribal traditions, especially intricately woven Qashqais. Among area-size floral rugs, antique Hadji Jallili and other Tabriz styles were the clear front-runners, up over 50% over 2020, while sales in other Persian city rug styles, such as Mohtasham Kashans and Tehrans, increased significantly as well.

Of all room-size styles, extremely hard-to-find early Bakshaish carpets again topped the “most sold” list. Clients also purchased Level 2 and 3 room-size Tabrizs, Serapis, and Ferahan Sarouks at a notably increased rate.

Winitz’s 2021 Prediction Affirmed

With an accelerated response in 2020 and an even more pronounced growth in 2021, he told clients, “I believe my longtime prediction that we will be the last generation to have access to high-level 19th-century rugs will fully come to fruition in 2022.” In last year’s letter, “my comments have borne out that there will be intensified acquisition by both US and international collectors and art lovers for both Level 2 and Level 3 rugs.

“Like the scant availability of Renaissance paintings today, access to all artistic traditions has a finite lifespan. I remain confident that our extensive buying resources will continue to afford us a sizable number of Connoisseur-Caliber, High-Collectible, and occasional Museum-Level rugs that satisfy the tastes of our clientele,” he concluded.

Claremont Rug Company

Jan David Winitz’s 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). Rugs at Claremont are valued in the $7,000 to more than $500,000 per piece range.

The Gallery, located in Oakland, CA does not participate in off-site exhibitions, shows, or auctions. Widely written about, Winitz has been featured in publications including Apollo, Art & Antiques, Art Daily, CEO Today, Financial Times, Luxury Daily, New York Times, Private Air/Luxury Homes,, Robb Report, San Francisco Business Times, San Francisco Chronicle, and Wall Street Journal.

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