CONDITION: Bought at Bonham's Islamic auction in April of 2008.
ITEM ID: 426
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Armenian “Gavazan Vardapetakan” from India

DATE
Year: 1740
Decade: 1740s
Century: 18th (1701-1800)

The head of a clerical staff found in India,which belonged to an unmarried Armenian Priest (in Armenian they are called ‘Vartabets’). The importance of the serpent comes from the tale in the Old Testament of Moses turning the serpent into a staff. The heads of the two serpents or dragons folding inwards in a confronting position are typical of Armenian “Vardapetakan Gavazan,” which are used by priests with doctoral rank, or by Bishops. They are made of metal or wood and are mounted on rods or metal or wood about 5 ft. 6 in. tall. The dragon or serpent is a symbol of wisdom

They are made of metal or wood and are mounted on rods or metal or wood about 5 ft. 6 in. tall. The dragon or serpent is a symbol of wisdom.