We continue to the story of our ‘Family Relics’ with 'new' different old objects. In the first article we shared information about 'Fez of Liborio Sanzoni’ , ‘Lace Pattern Book of Ashen’, ‘Baptism Cross of Sofia’, ‘The Pen Set’, ‘Brooch of Ashen’, and the Chinese vase plate which we call ‘ The Survivor’. Now it’s time to tell the stories of other special objects in our ‘Family Relics: The Gallery’: Souvenirs from Nice, Concert Program and Playing Cards.
Souvenirs from Nice : Bracelet & Trinkets
Before 6-7 September 1955 and after 1942 ‘The Wealth Tax’ , Vafiadis Family decided to go on a roadtrip to Europe, to travel, ease and visit their relatives in France and Greece. You can also read this story in ‘The Vafiadis: Roadtrip to Europe, 1950s’. During this roadtrip, they bought many souvenirs which we still save them. It’s a natural feeling to buy a souvenir from a different country, to remember those days. People still buy magnets, trinkets or cards during their travels, which means that this behavior is something not changed for over years.
Here you see a souvenir from Nice, from 1950s. During the roadtrip in France Ashen bought a bracelet for herself . As you will see on this bracelet, there are landmarks of France such as Notre-Dame, Bastille, Eiffel...In some sources we’ve learnt that production of this bracelet could be dated to 1940s. After it has been used by Ashen for a long time, Stavros Vafiadis gave this bracelet to her fiancé Theodora Koulurgioti as a gift. So it has been taken its place as a family relic in our family museum.
Here is another souvenir from Nice, from 1940s. Those souvenirs belonged to Sofia Cakiroglu, and most probably has been sent by her Aunt Anasto in France. Two small vases as trinkets, with flower designs and ‘Violettes De Nice’ writing on it…It seems like violets are still famous in Nice, as there are many souvenirs with violet drawings on them. As we’ve checked, we learnt that for decades, violets were covering the terraced gardens of 'Tourrettes sur Loup' and this small village produces more violets than anywhere else in France, most of which end up in perfume. So why Nice, instead of Tourrettes sur Loup...Here we have a question mark, but maybe the violets were all over the region as those cities are very closer to each other.
Those trinkets were kept in the house of Sofia for over 30 years and then they came to the house of Theodora Koulurgioti and saved until now.
The Music : Concert Program & Arpine Herliyan
Music was always a passion for our family, and the love of the music passes from ancestors to generations. The brother of Ashen, Mıgırdic, was a violinist and also he was a music master who trained many people in the past. Stavros Vafiadis was a pianist, and he was trained by two important Armenian music masters: Noemi Merdinyan & Arpine Herliyan.
The first teacher of Stavros was Noemi Merdinyan, but after her tragic death he continued his training together with Arpine Herliyan.
Let’s continue with another family relic, which takes us back to 1970s to the concert that Stavros Vafiadis played Scarlatti, Mozart and Chopin classics. As a student of Arpine Herliyan, Stavros Vafiadis had the chance to play in the concert of Getronagan High School. Here in this brochure you see his name as Ruli Davranoglu on 3rd. You may surprise with the name ‘Ruli Davranoglu’. 'Ruli' is an abbreviation of Stavro and 'Davranoglu' is the surname which family had to change during Surname Law in 1934, Turkey. The surname first became Davranoglu and then changed to Daravanoglu, but the ancestors used both Vafiadis and Daravanoglu for a long time.
As we’ve spoke of Arpine Herliyan, let’s share some information about her. Arpine Herliyan was an artist, pianist and poet. She was born in 1913, and spent her life for art and literature. She was trained by pianist Prof. Stepan Papelyan and she trained many musicians. She died in 1989.
Here below you see her card, with a special note beside. This card was not one of our family relics, it has been found in an auction and bought for her memories in our family.
The note beside the card is in Armenian and dated to 12.04.1952, written and signed by Arpine Herliyan. It's a response and thanks to someone who celebrated the Easter and send money to Arpine's father as a gift.
Briefly it says ‘ Happy Easter and thanks a lot for the money that you sent for my father ‘…
The Playing Cards of Ashen :
There are some objects in our family relics archives that don’t have a tangible value but the memories that they witnessed made them precious than many thing. The playing cards of Ashen are a perfect example for that. Those playing cards are smaller than regular cards, maybe half of them. Before television and internet, people played a lot of game with such playing cards. They created their own games, and spent time. As we know Ashen was playing with those cards a game like solitaire when she was alone and in 1960s she was playing together with her grandson Stavros.
We have dated those cards to 1930s but could be earlier. The wool bag of cards were knitted by Ashen.
Unfortunately the cards didn’t have any joker cards which could be a part of our ‘Joker Cards Collection’ but they are unique with their design.
The family relics gallery of 2mi3museum grows everyday with different objects. As we are searching for more heirlooms, family members share with us the wares that they have and sometimes we find them in the forgotten depths of attic, wardrobes...etc. On next articles of 'Saving Family Relics' we will share with you the stories of other heirlooms in our archive.
For the first article of Saving Family Relics, please click here.
Written by : 2mi3, January 2020