Censer, Yerznga/Erzincan

Getronagan school - Istanbul, Turkey

Serda Birgül: plate, fes and censer, Yerznga/Erzincan

These items were provided to Houshamadyan in October 2015 by Serda Birgul, one of the students at the Gentonagan School, after a Houshamadyan workshop there. They once belonged her grandmother Nvart Birgül (née Boztash) and her family, who resided in Erzincan/Yerznga. These heirlooms are currently in the possession of the Birgul family in Istanbul.

Copper Plate

Dikris, Daron and Minas Koyuncu: bath set, rock and charcoal iron, Dikranagerd/Diyarbakır

These items were provided by Dikris, Daron, and Minas Koyuncu. The three are cousins, and they all attend the Getronagan School. Their ancestors hailed from Diyarbakir/Dikranagerd. They have inherited several items that were once used in the public baths of Diyarbakir, including towels, sheets, soap dishes, copper tubs, sandals, etc. These items had belonged to their grandmother Janet Koyuncu’s grandmother, Nvart Zor. These items all saw daily use in the household.

Dikris, Daron, and Minas have also provided us with a description of an old tradition, that of bathing a bride. The bride would be bathed by several relatives, including relatives of the groom. These relatives would lead the bride to the Badya (a large tub), and there they would wash her. Afterwards, wrapped in towels, the bride would proceed to the courtyard outside, where she would kiss the hands of her seniors. The bride’s father would roast meat for everyone to enjoy, after which they would conclude the ceremony with coffee and sweets.

Soap dish (kildan), part of the bath set

Bath cloth, part of the bath set (boroda). This white bath cloth was used after the bath was over, they would put it in the courtyard and sit on it while enjoying dried fruits and nuts.

Bath bucket, part of the bath set.

This carving was once part of the Church of Saint Giragos in Diyarbakir, which, for a long time, remained in a dilapidated state. Dikris’s father found this carving in the church’s ruins, and kept it as a souvenir when he relocated to Istanbul, where he has been living for years. Later, Dikris’s father actively supported the renovation of the church, which was eventually reopened in 2011.

This charcoal iron (kildan) belonged to Dikris Koyuncu's great-great grandmother, Nvart Zor. They are currently kept by Dikris in Istanbul.

Arsen Özkalay: Copper scissors

Scissors for cutting copper. These belonged to Arsen Özkalay's great grandfather, Krikor Özkalay in the village of Gumushhajikoy (Gümüşhacıköy), Amasia. They are currently in the possession of Arsen's family, in Istanbul.

Karla Tüzütürk: Ottoman spoon sets and tongs

This collection of spoons was provided to us by Karla Tüzütürk. They had belonged to her maternal grandmother’s great-great-grandmother, Heghanoush Garabedian, who was born and lived in Sepasdia/Sivas. Karla’s great-grandmother, Nvart Karatekeyan (born in 1923, in Sivas) had inherited this collection from her. Karla’s grandmother, Heghanoush Terzian, was also born in Sivas, in 1947. She and her family relocated to Istanbul in 1956, where they still live today. This family heirloom is currently kept by Heghanoush Terzian, in Istanbul.

Dayk Ares Misisoğlu: cutlery, cups and napkin holders, Marash

All these items belonged to the Misisoğlu family from Marash. Dayk Ares Misisoğlu’s father, Khatchig Misisoğlu, was born in Istanbul in 1963, his father, Berdj Misisoğlu was also born in Istanbul in 1932, however, their ancestors were from Marash.

It is assumed that all these items were part of a dowry. Two of the cups are napkin holders, on which there are the initials “A. M.” and “O. M.” which could correspond to the initials of the names of the bride and groom. The other two cups have the letter “A” on them, as for the date on the one of the cups, 27 August 1901, it could correspond to the date of marriage of Dayk's ancestors.

It is assumed that this dowry belonged to Dayk Ares Misisoğlu’s great great-grandfather and his wife (names unknown). Dayk Ares Misisoğlu’s grandmother, Hermine Misisoğlu, was born in Samsun in 1931 and died in Istanbul in 1991.

Napkin holders with the initials “A. M.” and “O. M.” in Armenian. Presumably part of a Misisoğlu family member's dowry from Marash.

Cutlery, Misisoğlu family member's dowry from Marash.

Silver cups (set of two), both cups have the initials "A" on them, one has a date: 27 August 1901, which could correspond to the date of marriage of the Misisoğlu family members.