Hand made and hand painted old Armenian ceramic plate,
signed Palestine with Karakashian-Balian initials
Antique plate front
This hand painted Armenian plate was painted between 1922 and 1948 in my grandfather's studio and workshop on Nablus Road. The body of the plate is hand made of local red clay, mixed according to a specific formula, learned in Kutahya, Turkey. Since local clay was red in color, it was difficult to decorate and paint on it, as the design would not show, or appear as clearly as possible. So what they did was dip the plate in a white slip, let it dry, and then decorate on it. It was a time consuming process, but necessary to get the highest possible quality decorating.
Antique plate back
The back of the plate is where the important information lies. It shows roughly when the plate was made and painted, and in who's workshop the artwork was executed. The first thing you notice is that the plate is hand signed with "Palestine". This means that the plate was made between 1922 and 1948, with 1948 being the date when the British mandate in Palestine ended. Pottery made after 1948 was signed "Jordan", because Jerusalem was handed to the Jordanians after the British left.
Under the "Palestine", are the Karakashian-Balian family initials signed in Armenian, which means this plate was painted in my grandfather's and his partner's joint workshop on Nablus road.
There are many pieces of old Armenian pottery being sold as antiques in shops and online. Some are owned by individuals who collect old pottery. The information provided here serves as a guide so that people know when and who made the piece of Armenian pottery from Jerusalem.