Armenian Church Staff

Below is a selection of some beautiful ancient Armenian church staffs found on the Internet.

Armenian Church Staff (1700-1825): A silver-gilt staff for priests, consisting of a head and three buds; a spiral in the form of a snake’s neck and head, covered in enameled scales.

The snake’s jaws are wide open, displaying rows of teeth and a long tongue. The lower part of the staff’s head features filigree work, and the three buds are divided into four compartments, adorned with synchronously arranged floral patterns, shaped in the same way as scales.

An Armenian bishop or priest who holds a doctoral degree in theology has the right to carry a pastoral staff. Such a staff may have either a single or a double snake, symbolizing wisdom. The length of such a staff is about 1.5 meters and ends with a tau cross, like the letter T.

Armenian pastoral staff (1700-1825)

Armenian Pastoral Staff (1700-1825): An Armenian pastor’s staff (1600-1850) is made from black wood with a tau-shaped head and silver trimmings. Eight one-sided silver stripes are inlaid with grape designs. The tau head consists of two twisted dragon/snake heads with ornamentation.

Armenian Church Staff (1600-1850): Silver-gilt

Armenian Church Staff (17th Century): Carved set made from ivory with uncut precious stones. It is the head of a carved tau cross from the 17th century made of ivory. This head comprises two half-stars, their bodies connected in the center, their heads twisted underneath. On both sides, in the middle, under a round arch, there are figures of a bishop with a staff and a saint holding a book.
Medieval Armenian Church Staff, Ivory.

Medieval Armenian church staff, ivory.

Armenian Church Staff (17th Century): Ivory tau belongs to an unknown Armenian artist from the 17th century. A two-headed dragon with ruby eyes in gold patterns. Floral scrolls are engraved on the shaft, and protruding parts of the hands were inlaid partly with gold, partly with a black compound.

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