Yvette N. Tajarian
Antoine Sevruguine lived in the Armenian diaspora in Tehran in Iran. Vasil de Sevruguine, Antoine’s father, studied Oriental languages at the famous Lazarev School in Moscow, after which he entered the Russian civil service, working as a diplomat at the Russian Embassy in Tehran. Vasil de Sevruguine met an untimely end in a riding accident. Achin returned to her hometown of Tbilisi and later moved to the Akuli. Antoine instead opted for a career as an artist, and went to Tbilisi to became a painter. He soon discovered the then fledgling art of photography, studying under the famous Russian photographer Dmitri Ivanovich Yermakov. In 1870s, Antoine and his brothers decided to devote themselves exclusivery to photography and founded a family buisness in Iran. In 1883, Antoine founded his photo studio in the city of Tabriz and then he went to Tehran to open a photo studio on the second floor of a house in Ala ed-Downla street. Thanks to his exceptional skill, Antoine soon became so well-known as a photographer that members of the upper class in Tehran visited his studio to be photographed. Soon his reputation was such that he became official court photographer to Naser ed-Din Shah. With time he was even allowed to photograph the royal harem, so close was his relationship with Naser ed-Din shah, who gave him the title of “Khan” and later the Medal of the Sun and the Lion, (Shirokhorshid). But the found recognition not only at court: his artistic work was honored with medals and awards in international photo exhibitions in Brussels in 1897, and Paris in 1900. In 1933, Antoine “Khan” Sevruguin died of kidney failure in Tehran at the age of 82. He was buried on the Russian cemetery in Tehran in the family grave.