Book Details

Author  Maximillien de Lafayette
Publisher  Times Square Press. New York. Berlin. Paris
Publication Date   November 7, 2012
Pages  206


ARMENIA’S TREASURES AND EXQUISITE ART: Ceramics, Tiles, Pottery, Coinage, Janyag and Metal Work
First published in 1963. Revised in 2012. Published by Times Square Press, New York, Berlin. Available at , , and worldwide.

From the Table of Contents:
•The exquisite Armenian ceramics from the 7th century B.C. to the present day
•The Urartian Jars of the 7th century B.C.
•Polychrome bowls of the 11th and 12th centuries, Dvin, Ani, Erevan
•Ceramics and tiles of Jerusalem
•Kutahya ceramic incense burners and egg-shaped pottery
•Safavid porcelaine
•The first & earliest Cilicia, Tarsus & Armenia coins
•Coins of Tigranes II, Hetum I, Korykos, 1st century B.C., Sasanian kings, Ardaxsir I, Mithradates III, King Levon I & II
•Urartian metal work, 8th B.C.

The Armenian art and mass production of ceramics saw the light for the first time in the 9th century B.C.
It was a rudimentary art that lacked refined motifs and ornamentation, nevertheless, the pre-historic Hyksos ceramics art offered an astonishing variety of products, objects and wares such as: vases, bowls, urns, jars, jugs, etc. But, in the 11th century A.D., a refined style and a distinctive art of ceramics developed rapidly due to the travels and migration of several Armenians potters and artists, despite of the reign of the Seljuks which spread terror and fear over the Armenian territories.
Many Armenian artists feared the Turks.
Consequently, they regrouped in the concentrated area of Cotyaeum (Today, Kutahya in modern Turkey) which relatively in a short period of time was transformed into Asia’s most important ceramics, tiles and pottery production and industry center.
Thus, Kutahya became the major competitor of Iznik, the famous and principal production source of most Islamic ceramics, vessels and tiles of the Ottoman Empire.
The early Armenian ceramics art flourished between the 11th century and the 14th centuries, and was characterized by very distinctive patterns and designs borrowed from or influenced by the Illuminated Manuscripts paintings. In the 15th century, the Turks gave support to Armenian artists, a sign of generosity and tolerance never given before by any Ottoman ruler.
This new assistance and support through the patronage and the protection of the Turkish court were an enormous boost for the Armenian art of ceramics & pottery. Yet, the Ottomans remained very suspicious of the Armenian artists & kept a vigilant “eye watch” over their whereabouts, travels and centers of ceramic production. In the 17th century, Armenian artists began to decorate their urns, jars, incense holders, oil & water containers with various Christian symbols, crosses & religious motifs.
Many of the Armenian potters & ceramics makers began to incorporate Turkish & Greek motifs as well.
This innovation helped them to broaden their market and to extend their business. Many mosques and Muslims centers of worship were among their customers. A great number of Masajeds and Jawamehs (Mosques) in Turkish cities such as Istanbul, Konya, Ankara, Adana and Kutahya were decorated with Armenian ceramics and tiles.

The first Armenian coins minted in bronze were issued by the Armenian kings of Sophene. They appeared for the first time in ancient Armenia during the 3rd century B.C. They included series of coins depicting on one side, Armenian kings such as Abdissares, Charaspes, Xerxes and Arsames and on the other side, they had Greek signs & characters representing a variety of animals & birds pertaining to Greek cults and mythology. The Armenians adopted a new monetary system from the Greeks who invented the “metal currency” in the 7th century B.C. century. This explains the reasons for having Greek symbols & characters on one side of the Armenian coins. In addition, the Greek coins were considered and used as “monetary standards” for centuries in Asia Minor and Armenia. The beauty of the ancient Armenian coins rivaled its Greek & Roman counterparts.

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