Issue Date: 2018 FEBRUARY, Posted On: 2/22/2018

02222018 Art Resources Acquires Renowned Abadjian Collection
Carol Tisch

A traditional design from The Abadjian Collection recently purchased by Art Resources in Los Angeles showcases colors and weaving techniques in sync with current fashion.

LOS ANGELES -- Art Resources has acquired 1,100 area rugs from the renowned Abadjian Collection, all designed and produced in Romania by the late Berdj M. Abadjian.

Abadjian, a legendary expert and dealer of antique carpets who died in 2008, created the collection to service the interior design community. Romanian born and of Armenian descent, Abadjian, who was based in New York, is the only carpet dealer ever to have a rug named after him -- the Abadjian Star Kazak rug [1860-70s, approximate size 5x7], which Sotheby's New York sold in 1990 for $291,500, at the time a record price for a Caucasian rug.

The antique "Abadjian Star Kazak" rug named for New York dealer Berdj M. Abadjian, was sold in 1990 at a Sotheby's New York auction.

"Berdj Abadjian had, without exaggeration, the best eye I have ever seen," Eddie Simantob, Art Resources principal, told RugNews.com in an exclusive interview. "As far as old rugs go, he had the best of the best of the best -- always. He was talented, gifted." 

The new Romanian inventory was sold by Abadjian's estate to Art Resources late last year, and the Los Angeles-based company is in the process of uploading photos to its website. "They offered us everything he had, and we just bought the whole thing," Simantob said.

Indeed, the Art Resources rugs are all hand knotted of wool and fairly equally divided between The Abadjian Collection's three style categories as originally developed: High-Low, Cuenca and Traditional/Regular.

Hand knotted of wool in Romania, this Abadjian Collection rug from the Cuenca series is now available through Art Resources.

Asked why the rugs are relevant to consumers today, Simantob said, "He created designs and weaves 10 years ago that people are thinking about right now. He did modern rugs. Ten years ago modern wasn't anything. The guy was a genius in rugs -- he had an eye for color, and the techniques of weaving. 

"He really knew everything there is about all the different techniques and weaves. Unless something is very different about a rug, I am not impressed at all. But, these were so technically well-made and so different from anything on the market even today."

From Art Resources, this wool hand-knotted High Low area rug is part of the Abadjian Collection designed and produced by Berdj M. Abadjian.

Interestingly, The Abadjian Collection was made in Romania where Berdj Abadjian was born and began his illustrious career. Before leaving Bucharest, Romania, to escape Communism, he had been president of the largest exporter of Romanian carpets -- a company that employed 1,800 weavers.

Arriving in Chicago in 1963, he was penniless. His talent and drive motivated a move to New York, where he maintained a showroom at 6 West 32d Street. According to Abadjian's website: "The final phase of this great career, ironically enough, came full circle in Romania. The political changes that liberated Romania in the Christmas of 1989 helped inspire his new vision. This was the perfect stage for Abadjian to help his people to rebuild on the ashes of Communism.

"In the spring of 1994, Abadjian returned to his birthplace to create the great carpets of his imagination; to create great carpets again at the end of the 20th century; carpets that could no longer be found and some that have never been imagined."

Legendary carpet expert and dealer Berdj M. Abadjian at one of his looms in Romania.

Abadjian's artistic sensibility for balance and design, and his unerring eye for color, are hallmarks of the collection. Carpets now available through Art Resources feature designs he conceptualized and production he personally supervised from the selection of the wool, to the dyeing and the actual weaving on the loom.

He is quoted on literature for the collection: "I paint with wool. I prepare the palette of colors for each carpet I make. Our carpets are like chamber music, not rock music. Our audience is very sophisticated. They'll hear the off colors. They'll see the wrong notes."

In Eddie Simantob's assessment, Abadjian's carpets hit all the right notes for today's discerning consumers.

Now available through Art Resources, this hand-knotted wool carpet designed by Berdj Abadjian features pink, lavender and yellow currently in vogue with interior designers. Shown, High Low 599E.

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