Born in 1947, Berdj knew since his childhood that he shall be an art dealer. He is born under the Gods of Art. His photographs of his baptem in the Armenian Church of Paris has been realized by Willy Ronis, one of the seven greatest French photographers of the XXth century. After his studies in the Lycee Condorcet with some exceptionnal teachers, as Roger Ikor, Prix Goncourt, in Philosophy Class, and others, after the Ecole du Louvre and a military service in Somalia and Ethiopia, Berdj Achdjian moved to London. In 1971-1972, he stayed in London and established contact with carpet dealers and mainly with Jean Lefevre. Back in Paris, in September 1972, he integrated the family gallery.
Working between Paris and London, Berdj Achdjian went in a kind of partnership with Jean Lefevre. Both, they established a set of world records for antique Oriental rugs. They established the first world record for a Salor juval + for an Ersari prayer rug + for a Yomud main carpet (cover of the catalog), first huge price for a Safavid embroidery
, etc …. Jean Lefevre and Berdj Achdjian
used to talk hours and used to break records and records in auctions.
It is still a great honor for Berdj Achdjian to say that Jean Lefevre has been a mentor for him.
In 1981, Berdj Achdjian married to Artemis Ohanian. Artemis Ohanian is a Barskahay which means that she is from Iran. Berdj understood that Armenian from Iran (or Persia) are educated in a different way than Armenians from Turkey. Armenians from Iran are more sophisticated than Armenians from Turkey. Berdj and Artemis started their own compagny:
Galerie Berdj Achdjian and within few years of success they were able to buy Albert Achdjian’s gallery lease in 1986. With the opening of the French market to international’s one, Berdj and Artemis Achdjian exhibited in London Olympia Hali Fair, in San Francisco Tribal and Textile Fair, in Los Angeles Antique Show, etc … To day, Berdj Achdjian is regarded by some collectors, by spongobongo, by some curators as the leading dealer in France for Antique Oriental and African textiles (including rugs).
In 1996, after his father’s death, Berdj gave a “white card” to Jean Pierre Raynaud to create an installation in his father’s memory and in the 1.500.000 millions of genocided Armenian . Called by Jean Pierre Raynaud the 10 rue de Miromesnil, it was achieved in 2000. To day, Jean Pierre Raynaud is considered as one of the most important conceptual artist, and this installation is considered as one of the masterpieces of Conceptual Art.
Please, more pictures can be seen on this website.
Berdj Achdjian and Artemis are still active. In conjunction with his gallery, Berdj Achdjian is working as expert (consultant) for the Hotel Drouot auctioneers. His greatest record is still the sale of a fragment of Saint Lazare’s suaire. 154.000 euros for a 49 cm² textile sold to Qatar Islamic Museum.
CHILDHOOD / BACKGROUND