Jan David Winitz, founder and president of Claremont Rug Company, today announced an exhibition of rare, 19th century art-level rugs created by tribal weaving groups in the Caucasus Mountain region of Asia.
The collection of 150 rugs will be available for viewing at the Gallery, located at 6087 Claremont Avenue in Oakland, starting Thursday, February 11. A selection of 95 of the rugs can also be accessed in a special section on the Claremont website.
Long-noted for his inventory of collectible antique Caucasian rugs, Winitz said there had been “a dramatically increasing interest among collectors who have found them worthy, time-tested art investments.”
Winitz noted that 2010 was shaping up as “The Year of the Rug” in the art collecting world. In 2009, rug values escalated in the international auction environment, with one small (3×5) example having sold for more than $4.3 million at auction.
“While our clients have always had a strong international representation,” Winitz, who founded Claremont Rug Company 30 years ago, “we have had an influx of buyers from Europe over the past year. Many of our inquiries and purchases have come directly over the Internet via our website.”
Antique rugs from the Caucasus region are noted for their panoply of patterns, ranging from powerful medallion designs to delicate imagery. The color palettes are diverse, from the deepest dyed primal shades to gentle, watery hues.
“For those fascinated by the symbolism, there are many profound, life-affirming themes,” said Winitz. “Some of the archetypal motifs stem from time immemorial and have been found drawn on cave walls in the region.”
Winitz said the new exhibition was made possible by the Gallery’s recent purchases of private collections in North and South America and Europe. “We have been able to add a significant number of tremendously exciting pieces from these acquisitions to our existing inventory of Caucasian rugs, which was already quite extensive.”
Among the more notable rugs on display are:
* A Triple Medallion Kazak (5’ 5 x 7’), ca 1875
* A Chi Chi Prayer Rug (4 ’3” x 4’ 8”), circa 1825
* A Cloudband Kazak (4’ x 8’ 5”), ca 1875 and
* A Karabagh Long Rug (6’ 10”’ x 16’ 2”), circa 1875
Rugs in the exhibit are valued from $7,000 to in excess of $75,000 per carpet. The Gallery is open Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Antique Caucasian rugs will also be on display at Claremont II, 1813 4th St in Berkeley. Special arrangements for viewing at both stores may be made by calling 510-654-0816.