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A stunning antique ‘Benlian’ Tabriz carpet. During the beginning of the 20th century, the Benlian workshop successfully reinterpreted classic artistic rugs of the 16th/17th century Safavid period and created some of the best quality carpets for the European market. This extravagantly beautiful antique Tabriz was produced in the workshop established in Tabriz by the British-Armenian firm of Benlian, whose distinctive signature is the star we can see visible in the bottom left-hand corner of the inner minor border.
Request a home visit to see this remarkable antique Tabriz carpet in your own home, a free professional service we have offered for over 30 years.
The story of Ovanessoff and Benlian families have been interconnected, since Maral Ovanessoff’s father, Stepan Ovanessoff moved to London from Birmingham and met Edward Benlian when he started attending the Youth Club at newly founded Hay Dun (Armenian House), where the hub of the London’s small Armenian community was then (500 people approximately in the 1950s).
Edward Benlian was born in Istanbul (then Constantinople), whose father moved his very profitable Tabriz carpet business to London in 1889. He was too young to serve during WW1 but has been running his father’s business from a very young age when his father tragically passed away in a railway accident. Edward was very active in the community, founding a society to support the Genocide refugees in 1920s, and becoming one of the founder members and later the director of the Armenian Community Council.
The Benlian firm was active in Tabriz before WWII and wove good quality room size rugs, now attaining antique Persian rug status primarily with close interpretations of classical archetypes. The colors are good, the piles are short and the execution is precise.
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