TYPE: Artifact
NOTES: This is an interesting object for it's connection to a very significant Armenian monument.
ITEM ID: 233
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Scribe Pen and Ink Holder with Painted Enamel

DATE
Year: 1830
Decade: 1830s
Century: 19th (1801-1900)

A decorated enamel Scribe Pen and Ink holder, given to Aghtamar Monastery in Van between 1823-43. The inscription reads,”Ohannes Gasparian. Gift to the Monastery of Akhtamar in Van”. One of the Aghtamar catholicoses was called (H)ohannes Gasparian, who held office from 1823-1843.

The Church of Aghtamar is located on the island of the same name along the south bank of Lake Van. It is part of a palatine complex built between 915 and 921 AD by the architect Manuel for the king of Vaspourakan, Gagik Ardsrouni. Later turned into a monastery, it became the seat of the regional Catholicate of Aghtamar from 1113 AD and retained it’s existence until World War I when the Christian Armenians were killed of or expelled in 1915. From the 1920s through the 1970s, the church grounds were exposed to extensive vandalism. Yet in 2005, the Turkish Ministry of Culture gave this church an extensive restoration and it reopened as a secular museum on March 29th of 2007 with the Turkish government allowing one Christian religious ceremony a year.