Originally established in the royal Safavid capital of Isfahan in the Qajar era (1785-1925), the Maktabi enterprise took on its modern form in 1911.  It gradually expanded to Baghdad, Aleppo, Damascus and finally Beirut by 1920, when premises were acquired in fashionable Rue Allenby in the old city centre.  By the 1940s, huge warehouses were established in the harbour free-zone and in 1970 a retail showroom was inaugurated on the famed seaside Rawshé Corniche.  It catered to the discerning taste of a local and regional clientele.
Business activities expanded in the 1990s to Europe and the Americas, with a marked shift in focus towards antique rugs.  In the 2000s we participated in international fairs and exhibitions such as the HALI fair and the International Conference on Oriental Carpets (ICOC).

The collections currently may be divided along three broad headings. The backbone is the collection of rare old carpets that are meticulously sourced from homes, private collections, the bazars of the east, and the markets of the west.  There are many old rugs about but our mission is to compile a harmonious collection of authentic and unusual items representing the major weaving centres of the 18th and 19th centuries.  All antique objects are sourced with an uncompromising emphasis on uniqueness, condition and, above all, beauty.


Secondly, there is our private collection of art works from the Islamic world and the wider Asian continent.  These include woodwork, bronze, glassware, ceramics and above all textiles from Mount Lebanon, the Ottoman world, Persia and India.


Finally, we maintain a selected collection of high end silk carpets produced by contemporary Master Artists and Weavers today.  These are exclusive and luxurious weavings that we believe will be judged as antique objects of value with the passage of time, due to their remarkable level of artistry and execution.

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