The Maktabi carpet trading business is established in Isfahan after 300 years of commercial and scholastic activities in the city, having moved there during the reign of Shah Abbas (1588-1629).
The Maktabi firm moves its international base of operations to Beirut, capital of the French mandate for Lebanon and Syria. The retail space is located on Rue Allenby in Beirut’s central district. Operations expand to Egypt and Persian Gulf countries.
With Lebanon rapidly becoming an intercontinental hub, Haj Hassan Maktabi expands into the Free Zone of Beirut Sea Port. 3 large warehouses cater to the company’s wholesale and retail businesses which grow into the region’s largest and now serve the Mediterranean basin.
The Shah of Iran visits Lebanon and pays a special visit to Haj Hassan Maktabi’s showrooms and presents him with the Royal Order of the Lion and The Sun.
Youssef Maktabi joins his father’s business and handles international operations. Carpets are exported to Europe and the Americas on a weekly basis. Youssef Sr starts building up the family collection of antique carpets to museum grade levels.
Retail shops are opened in Jeddah and Riyadh in Saudi Arabia. The bulk of the Kingdom’s royal palaces are furnished with Maktabi carpets.
Hadi Maktabi joins the family business as the 4th generation dealer in fine and rare carpets, specialising in antiques. He and his father Haj Youssef are regular participants in London’s Hali Fairs.
Hadi completes his PhD in Islamic Art and Carpet Studies at the University of Oxford, under the tutelage of Professors James Allan & Jon Thompson.
As an academic lecturer, Hadi presents talks on carpet history at ICOC Istanbul (2007), Stockholm (2011), the V&A Nowruz Lecture (2017), Dar Al Athar Kuwait (2017), Baku (2017) and numerous lectures in Beirut.
Dr. Hadi Maktabi starts teaching Art Appreciation & Art History at the American University of Beirut, an academic position he maintains until 2017.
Hadi becomes a consultant for various museums like the Victoria & Albert (London), the Imam Reza Shrine (Mashhad) and the Carpet Museum of Iran (Tehran), as well as Christie’s (London & New York).
Time to go online! Hadi is one of the first art dealers to establish a powerful presence on Facebook & Instagram.
The Hadi Maktabi Art Gallery for Rare Carpets & Antiques is formally opened in Beirut, catering to a global clientele.
The Grendizer Sci-Fi rugs serve as the backdrop to a live concert in the Gallery by famous Lebanese rock n roller Sammy Clark, as part of the annual exhibition and reception during Beirut Design Week.
Hadi receives the inaugural Carpet Star Award for Exemplary Antique Carpet Retailer at Domotex Trade Fair in Germany. The prize is presented by Carpet Collector Magazine.
The first international exhibition of Qajar Arts is inaugurated at the Louvre Museum under the title L’Empire Des Roses. Hadi is responsible for curating the 18th/19th century carpets and authoring the catalog chapter on the topic. The Louvre also borrow four Royal Qajar Carpets from Hadi’s personal collection for the show.
The Musee Quai Branly Jacques Chirac in Paris commissions Hadi to buy the legendary “Chicago World Exposition” carpet for them. Formerly in the collection of the Nizam of Hyderabad and Heinz Kettler, it is one of a remarkable pair that were woven as a testament to the strength of Perso-American relations in the 19th century.
“The Persian Carpet: The Forgotten Years 1722-1872” is published by HPL in London. It is the first academic book on the topic and the first on Persian Carpets in almost 70 years. Book signings in London and Beirut take place.