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Christie’s Antique Rug Auction Results Reflect High Level of Interest in Rare Collectible Oriental Carpets

May 6, 2019

OAKLAND, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 6, 2019--Jan David Winitz, internationally recognized Oriental rug expert and founder of Claremont Rug Company, today pointed to prices paid for two carpets at Christie’s London “Art of the Islamic and Indian Worlds” auction on May 2 as further evidence that the high-level antique rug market is increasingly attracting seasoned art collectors and aficionados.

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The top lot was an important Safavid silk and metal-thread ‘Polonaise’ carpet from Isfahan, central Persia, This first quarter of the 17th century, which fetched £3,895,000 ($5.1 million USD), setting a new world record price for a ‘Polonaise’ carpet at auction. (Photo: Business Wire)

The rugs that Winitz singled out “had incredible provenance and are rarely available even on the auction market. The prices realized further demonstrate the strength of the antique Oriental rug market at the high-collectible and museum-level niche.”

The rugs, which are now among the Top 10 (by price) ever sold, are:

  • An important Safavid silk and metal-thread “Polonaise” Isfahan, (6ft.7in. x 4ft.6in. [205cm. x 141cm.]) woven in Central Persia in the first quarter of the 17 th century, estimated at GBP 600,000 - GBP 800,000, which sold for GBP 3,895,000, approximately $5.14 million.
  • A second Safavid silk and metal-thread “Polonaise” Isfahan (6ft.5in. x 4ft.7in. [201cm. x 145cm.]) from the same time period, estimated for GBP 550,000 - GBP 750,000, which sold for GBP 3,724,750, approximately $4.92 million

“One of the remarkable qualities of art/investment levels antique Oriental rugs,” said Winitz, “is that each is a singular, hand-woven piece of art. They reflect the artistry of the weavers and the skills of master dye makers who would work from a year to a half-decade to create masterpieces that could never be duplicated today.

“For collectors, it is important to note that each sold for more than five times their highest estimates, and for good reason. Carpets in this category, the rarest of the rare, are seldom available and, when they arise, the interest among collectors is immediate and tremendously enthusiastic.

“I also noticed that the best 19th century rugs in the auction, including Caucasians, Mohtasham Kashan and Serapis all consistently sold well above the high estimates,” he said.

Winitz’s Claremont Rug Company, which he opened in 1980, specializes in rugs from the 19 th century through circa 1910. with clients on six continents. “In the last decade, we have been privileged to acquire and to make available to our clientele exceptional major collections of art-level pieces from the Second Golden Age.

“As I have previously commented,” said Winitz, “there is a thirst for the great woven art created in the Near East. Collectors recognize two periods, the First (ca. 1500 to ca. 1700) and Second Golden Ages of Persian Weaving, as the eras when the artistic skills and cultural traditions existed to produce art at its most profound level.

“Frankly, there are virtually no important rugs from the First Golden Age available except in the auction setting,” he said. “And the number of high-collectible Persian rugs from the Second Golden Age is rapidly diminishing as they are being purchased by enthusiasts and placed into private collections.

“These auction prices are an acknowledgement of strength and tremendously increased interest among art collectors for the finest antique Oriental rugs,” said Winitz, the author of “The Guide to Purchasing an Oriental Rug.” Winitz has created a proprietary Oriental Rug Pyramid ™, which divides the rugs into a six-level schema, ranging from museum-level to reproductions as an educational tool for his clients. The rugs at the Christie’s auction are in Level 1, the caliber that is owned primarily by museums and royal families. Levels 2 through 3 are the prime segments for today’s collectors and connoisseurs.

The world record price for an antique Oriental rug is $33.7 million paid for what Winitz termed a “remarkably crafted, miraculously preserved and awe-inspiringly beautiful 17th century ‘Sickle Leaf’ Persian Kirman,8’9” x 6’5”, at Sotheby’s auction in 2013

About Claremont Rug Company

Founded by Winitz in 1980, Claremont Rug Company maintains a collection entirely comprised of art-level antique Oriental rugs acquired privately by the Gallery from the Second Golden Age of Persian Weaving (ca. 1800 to ca. 1910). Claremont offers a collective inventory of over 2500 one-of-a-kind antique Oriental carpets. There are 1000 rugs on display on the website ( www.claremontrug.com ). Additional information is available at 1-800-441-1332.

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CONTACT: Gary P. Tobin

For Claremont Rug Company





SOURCE: Claremont Rug Company

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PUB: 05/06/2019 09:00 AM/DISC: 05/06/2019 09:01 AM