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Benguiat, Vitall and Leopold


V. and L. Benguiat


Vitall and Leopold Benguiat were dealers in antiques. A native of Egypt, Vitall was a dealer in oriental rugs and other textiles. He came to America in 1890 as an authority in ancient rugs, to assist Stanford White in makeing selections for J. Pierpont Morgan, William C. Whitney, and other private collectors. Queen Victoria was reputed to be one of his clients. In 1924, Vitall and his brother Leopold purchased the Davanzati Palace in Florence and its contents, including many fine examples of Italian Renaissance art. Vitall was active in the Antique and Decorative Arts League, an association of dealers in antiques, paintings, and objects d'art. He helped draft the code of ethics for the antique trade in 1927. The firm of V. & L. Benguiat operated in New York. Two other brothers were antiquarians, David, in New York, and Benjamin, in London.


XV-XVIII Century Rugs: The Private Collection of Messrs. Vitall and Leopold Benguiat. Exh. Cat. American Art Association, New York, 1925
"Benguiat Auction Realizes Grand Total of $245,775." Art News 30 April 1932:5+
"Death of Vitall Benguiat." Art News. 27 March 1937: 23
"Vitall Benguiat, Art Expert, Dead." The New York Times. 18 March 1937:25 [obituary]

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