Behzad Ardalan, a Persian dream
Behzad Ardalan tells stories as he lives them, with vigor and wisdom. Very attached to the values of his profession, this antique dealer never stopped opening his eye to emerging trends, nevertheless preserving his integrity in cultivating his passion for old carpets. Behzad's recipe to inspire the most curious among you is a touch of classic furniture, an anthology of twentieth decoration and a few zest of old textiles.
Tell us about your backgroung
Of Iranian origin, I left my country in 1979 for France. The fierce desire for a better future made me flee the Iranian revolution to come to do my higher studies in a more serene climate. First of all, I decided to learn French at the Alliance Française and subsequently obtained my diploma in science, mechanics and mathematics at Paris VI.
At the same time, I worked as a salesman at Paul Bert Serpette in the 80s. It was this job found by pure chance that finally introduced me to the world of antiques. The profession of antique dealer gradually conquered me and I moved with my brother to Paul Bert Serpette in 1992, on booth 192 allée 5.
Why did you turn to the profession of antique dealer?
30 years ago, I got caught up in the game. I realized that I took as much pleasure in buying as in selling and the relational aspect of the profession enthused me every morning. The aspect researcher of stories is also fascinating. To be an antique dealer requires, in my sense, taste and spirit. The art of finding the piece that can surprise or please and the rigor of finding its origin. Digging and scouring the archives to find the time, the author, the technique used is an integral part of the daily life of an antique dealer and stimulates our thirst for learning.
For carpets, it is very difficult to know how long a carpet has lived, with whom has it lived, how many hands have worked on its development ... We must analyze its color and the weaving technique known as "knot of carpet "to try to find its source. It is necessary to multiply research. I think I have sharpened my eye over the years and enriched my knowledge. Concerning the tapestry, finding the workshop is easier. As for the iconic pieces of the 20th century , I work identically, I do not sell an object until I have the certainty of the designer who designed it. It is a kind of pact of trust with the customer.
What is your speciality ?
Faithful to our origins, we started with my brother by offering textiles, tapestries and old carpets, from the 16th to the 19th century. I also offered beautiful objects from the 18th or 19th century. Today, the textile remains dear to my heart, but like fashion, my taste has changed. I feel that customers are also less demanding. Trends turning more towards design, I try to adapt my merchandise while respecting a very clear line of conduct: love what I buy above all. I still offer some pieces of classic furniture but am very sensitive to the beautiful decoration of the 20th century. We have to believe in what we buy. In decoration, taste matters, you have to love the object, take an eye inspired above and feel the curiosity of the object. I can not buy if the object does not please me. I happened to sometimes keep some, I admit it ... The old ones used to say "Sell and regret after". Selling allows us to have the money to buy new pieces, the very basis of our activity. But once the money arrives, the rarity of the object sold remains in our mind, even when we do not know what we will find. Regrets are part of the game, the beauty or the rarity of a piece accompanies us…
What does Paul Bert Serpette represent for you?
I have been established at Paul Bert Serpette for thirty years and I will remain faithful to it. I would not go for anything in the world to settle in another market. The opportunities to go elsewhere have however already arisen but it is important to me to stay there, on my Paul Bert booths. I deeply love the spirit that reigns in the alleys since my arrival, "Paul Bert Serpette spirit" This market is authentic, it's indisputable.
Tell us about a piece you care about
A very beautiful carpet comes to my mind, unfortunately sold ... It is an Aubusson carpet dating from the 19th century with an imposing size of 5 meters by 6, in perfect condition. The shimmering colors had caught my eye and the design had greatly pleased, floral, bright, joyful. With wear and sunlight, the colors can however be tarnished, but this model had preserved all its liveliness and its contrasts. I sold it to a Belgian decorator who wanted it absolutely for its decor.