OAKLAND—January 23, 2014—Jan David Winitz, an eminent art dealer who specializes in antique Oriental rugs, today announced that his gallery, Claremont Rug Company, has mounted its third annual online exhibition of the “best of the best” 19th century Persian carpets and tribal rugs sold during the previous year. A total of 40 world-class antique rugs in a variety of Persian and Caucasian weaving styles are on display. The exhibition can be accessed via http://www.claremontrug.com/best-antique-oriental-rugs-2013/.
“The response from our clients as well as the art and antique collecting communities to our first two exhibits in 2011 and 2012 was strong, but this year it has been phenomenal,” said Winitz, author of “The Guide to Purchasing an Oriental Rug.” He noted that connoisseurs in 45 countries had viewed the exhibition within the first 24 hours of its online launch.
“In 2013, we were quite fortunate to have acquired the Chappaqua Family Collection as well as several other smaller troves from which the antique rugs in the exhibition were chosen,” he said. The Chappaqua Collection, more than 100 pieces from the Second Golden Age of Persian Weaving, ca. 1800 to ca. 1910, was represented by 19 rugs in the exhibit. Antique rugs from this era are prized by Oriental rug connoisseurs and art collectors as this was the final period before the artistry and quality of Near Eastern rug weaving was irreversibly compromised by commercialism, including the replacement of natural dyes by chemical processes.
“The ‘Best-of-the-Best Rugs Sold in 2013’ online event contains rugs from over a dozen weaving groups that all utilize truly exotic natural dye colors to express extremely unique pattern language,” said Winitz.
Founded by Winitz in 1980, Claremont Rug Company‘s inventory is comprised of art-level Oriental rugs acquired privately by the Gallery through its extensive team of buyers. ”Our unique access to rugs from long-established private rug collections provides us with unprecedented access to pieces of extraordinary quality and provenance.
“The rugs chosen are at the pinnacle of their respective weaving groups,” Winitz said, “and are in superb condition. Many have never been seen outside the private collections where they resided.”
He said that many of the rugs in Claremont’s best-of-the-best web exhibition “would undoubtedly have appeared in the rug literature” had they not been in private collections for up to four generations. Rugs of particular note are:
- A Central Persian Isfahan rug from the second quarter of the 19th century. Woven during the Qajar period that had direct links to the Safavid rug weaving heights of the 16th to 18th centuries, the carpet expresses an earlier artistic sensitivity, and is a one-in-the-world masterwork. Along with its great inventiveness, its colors have maintained their level of saturation over the passage of some 180 years.
An antique Bakshaish rug from Northwest Persia, circa 1850. This early Persian village rug is quite unlike any other piece of its type in its mastery of color shading and the blending of totemic and naturalistic imagery. Its dragon vinery design is a highly original feature that is extremely spacious and continually changing in its exact design, size and placement.
A Seichur Kuba from the Northeast Caucasian region, circa 1825, that is among the most spectacular, rarest antique carpets of this prized Caucasian weaving group we have encountered in our 33 years of business. It vividly depicts the coveted “Seichur Cross” design in an organic format long before this motif became standardized in the second half of the 19th century.
“We have clients on five continents and many have lifestyles that don’t allow them to visit our San Francisco area Gallery in person. As a result, the close to 1000 images of antique rugs that we have on our website and our online exhibitions are a tremendous asset to them,” he said.
The Claremont (www.claremontrug.com) inventory is comprised of nearly 4000 Oriental rugs, all from the Second Golden Age of Persian Weaving. Individual rugs are valued from $20,000 to more than $500,000 per carpet.