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© Erlangen Universitätsbibliothek, Photographer: Unknown,

Opening decoration: The opening section of the scroll is composed of foliate and floral ornaments that are inhabited by the "Four animals" - i.e. a lion, an eagle, a leopard, and a stag. They have no direct relationship with the text of the Megillah or the feast of Purim, but they allude to a quotation from Pirkei Avot - "Ethics of the Fathers" (5:20). At the center, there is a flower supported by two rampant lions with split tails. Below two dolphins' masks are visible. A leopard is depicted above the flower in the center and an eagle with outstretched wings in the upper-right corner is shown. Two other animals in the lower part of the decoration are represented.

Frame 1 (text panel 1 - upper margin): At the center, within the scenery of the palace gardens, the crowned and bearded King Ahasuerus sits on the throne under a high canopy at a round laid table. He is flanked by three men on the right and four men on the left, all of whom wear turbans and long gowns (Es. 1:3-8). On either side, there are arcaded buildings in which two groups of four figures sit at a table.

Frame 2 (text panel 1 - lower margin): The crowned Vashti, within the scenery of the palace gardens, sits under a high canopy at a round laid table. She is flanked by three women on either side (Es. 1:9). On the right, a group of servants, all wearing turbans, enter the garden through a gate on the right; the first of them addresses the queen. Probably, they come with the king's order that Vashti should appear before him and his guests (Es. 1:10-11). The scene of the left can depict the moment when the queen, after her refusal, is taken from the palace by two men (alluding to Es. 1:19).

Name/Title
UB Erlangen Klagsbald Type Esther Scroll | Unknown
Object Detail
opening decoration and text panel 1
Date
Second half of the 17th century
Synagogue active dates
Reconstruction dates
Artist/ Maker
Unknown (Unknown)
Origin
Italy | Veneto | Venice
| (?)
Historical Origin
Unknown
Community
Unknown |
Site
Unknown
School/Style
Klagsbald scrolls|
The family of Italian Esther scrolls from the second half of the 17th century named by Mendel Metzger after Judaica collector, Victor Klagsbald, of whose collections an exemplar of this manuscript formed a part (see M. Metzger, “The Earliest Engraved Italian Megilloth”, Bulletin of the John Rylands Library 48:2 (1966), 381‒432, esp. 390). It includes Esther scrolls produced in mixed technique in which decorative border is printed and colored by hand while the Hebrew text of the Book of Esther is penned by a scribe. The opening and final section of the scrolls are filled with a rich decoration formed from tendrils, flowers, and animals (the latter contains no animal figures). The upper and lower margins are adorned with repeating endless knot motifs framed in rectangles alternating with rectangular frames enclosing more than thirty scenes chronicling the Book of Esther. The text panels including two text columns (the last panel includes a single text column) are interspersed by floral decoration. The same scheme repeats on all four sheets forming each exemplar. Is shows many common details with Gaster I scrolls.
Period
Unknown
Period Detail
Material/Technique
Ink and paints on parchment (the text is copied by hand, the border is printed and colored by hand)
Material Stucture
Material Decoration
Material Bonding
Material Inscription
Material Additions
Material Cloth
Material Lining
Tesserae Arrangement
Density
Colors
Construction material
Measurements
The scroll: 175 x ca. 1570 mm.

The length of the membranes in the scroll: 1) ca. 530 mm, 2) ca. 390 mm, 3) ca. 395 mm, 4) ca. 255 mm.

An average letter is higher than 2 mm.
Height
Length
Width
Depth
Circumference
Thickness
Diameter
Weight
Axis
Panel Measurements
Condition
In general, the scroll is well preserved, however, its state of preservation varies depending on the sheet. The differences concern especially the state of preservation of the text and the coloring of the background on the upper and lower margins. The second sheet shows diagonal stripes of faded or erased text that in these places is difficult to decipher. On the third membrane, the text is almost illegible (cols. 13-16) and it contrasts very strongly with the column on the fourth sheet that has been preserved in almost perfect condition (the same is true about its decoration). The edges of the sheets are straight, but there are some stains on them, e.g. on the third sheet at the top, there is a large wax (?) stain.
Extant
Documented by CJA
Surveyed by CJA
Present Usage
Present Usage Details
Condition of Building Fabric
Architectural Significance type
Historical significance: Event/Period
Historical significance: Collective Memory/Folklore
Historical significance: Person
Architectural Significance: Style
Architectural Significance: Artistic Decoration
Urban significance
Significance Rating
0–  Coordinates: 45.445393, 12.326778
Ornamentation
Custom
Contents
The Book of Esther in Hebrew
Codicology

The scroll is formed of 4 membranes containing 19 text columns with 23 lines, except for col. 16 with 11 lines divided into two parts. Sheets nos. 1-3 contain 3 double text columns and the last sheet contains a single panel.

The text is inscribed in a small Italian square Hebrew script, in black ink on the flesh side of the parchment membranes.

The state of preservation of the text in col. 16 does not allow to determine if the enlarged and diminished letters are inscribed in it; however, it seems that the letter ו in the last line is enlarged. The letters ח (Es. 1:6) and ת (Es. 9:29) are highlighted.

The parchment is bright, rather thick and stiff. The sheet no. 3 is made of a different type of parchment.

The ruling is visible; the least visible are the lines on the first sheet. On all sheets, vertical lines are more strongly marked.

The membranes are stitched.

Scribes
Script
Number of Lines
Ruling
Pricking
Quires
Catchwords
Hebrew Numeration
Blank Leaves
Direction/Location
Façade (main)
Endivances
Location of Torah Ark
Location of Apse
Location of Niche
Location of Reader's Desk
Location of Platform
Temp: Architecture Axis
Arrangement of Seats
Location of Women's Section
Direction Prayer
Direction Toward Jerusalem
Coin
Coin Series
Coin Ruler
Coin Year
Denomination
Signature
Colophon
None
Scribal Notes
Watermark
Hallmark
Group
Group
Group
Group
Group
Trade Mark
Binding
Decoration Program
Summary and Remarks

At least 5 other scrolls decorated with the same pattern still exist; for their descriptions see IDs: 31, 

The scheme features numerous common details with the scrolls representing Gaster I type. One of the distinctive features is the motif of the endless knot that in Klagsbald type scrolls is not joined together with the illustrations' frames.

The illustrations are the same as in Gaster II type Esther scrolls; for their descriptions see IDs: 5203, 34123.

The hues of blue paint in which the background was colored vary on the subsequent membranes.

The endless knot patterns were originally decorated with gold paint.

On the second and fourth sheets, there are the seals of the Erlangen University Library.

Suggested Reconsdivuction
History/Provenance
The scroll is mentioned by Johann Christoph Wagenseil (1633-1705), a German historian, Orientalist, jurist, and Christian Hebraist in his work "Von Erziehung eines jungen Prinzen..." (see "Bibliography"). This is the oldest historical testimony of its existence and at the same time, the earliest mention of the manuscripts adorned with this pattern that is crucial for their dating. Wagenseil claimed that it is the oldest Hebrew manuscript in the world and that is from Persia ("Von Erziehung eines jungen Prinzen..., 229") that must be considered only a metaphor. The scroll was exhibited on the "Synagoga" exhibition that took place in 1960/1961 in Recklinghausen and in 1961 in Frankfurt am Main (respectively objects B 65 and 128 in the catalogues - see "Bibliography").
Main Surveys & Excavations
Bibliography

The manuscript is mentioned in:

Johann Konrad Irmischer, Handschriften-Katalog der Königlichen Universitäts-Bibliothek zu Erlangen, Frankfurt am Main-Erlangen (Heyder und Zimmer) 1852, 1-2, object 4.

Ernst Roth, Hans Stridl, Lothar Tetzner, Hebräische Handschriften. Teil 2 (Verzeichnis der Orientalischen Handschriften in Deutschland, Bd. VI, 2.) Wiesbaden: Franz Steiner Verlag Gmbh, 1965, object 56.

Synagoga. Kultgeräte und Kunstwerke von der Zeit der Patriarchen bis zur Gegenwart, Städtische Kunsthalle Recklinghausen, 3. November 1960 – 15. Januar 1961, ed. Anneliese Schröder, Recklinghausen 1961, object B 65.

Synagoga. Jüdische Altertümer Handschriften und Kultgeräte. Historisches Museum Frankfurt am Main, 17. Mai – 16. Juli 1961, Frankfurt am Main 1961, object 128.

Mendel Metzger, Eine illustrierte Estherrolle der zweiten Hälfte des 18. Jahrhunderts im Historischen Museum Frankfurt am Main, mit einem Anhang über Megilla-Hülsen, „Schriften des Historischen Museums Frankfurt am Main”, 13 (1972), 95–116.

Theodor Ehrenstein, Das Alte Testament im Bilde: ein Illustrationswerk mit über 2000 Abbildungen, Wien 1923, 911, image 66 (a reproduction of a fragment).

Johann Christoph Wagenseil, Von Erziehung eines jungen Prinzen, der vor allen Studien einen Abscheu hat, daß er dennoch gelehrt und geschickt werde, Leipzig 1705, 229.

The scrolls decorated with the same pattern are discussed in:

Dagmara Budzioch, Dekorowane zwoje Estery z Żydowskiego Instytutu Historycznego w Warszawie na tle tradycji dekorowania megillot Ester w XVII i XVIII wieku. Zarys problematyki, Warszawa 2019, 1:119-128.

For more information on Wagenseil see e.g.

Harry Zohn, M. C. Davis, Johann Christoph Wagenseil, Polymath, Monatshefte, vol. 46, No. 1 (Jan., 1954), 35-40.

Short Name
Full Name
Volume
Page
Type
Documenter
Dagmara Budzioch | 2020
Researcher
Dagmara Budzioch | 2020
Architectural Drawings
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Computer Reconsdivuction
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Section Head
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Language Editor
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Donor
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Negative/Photo. No.
M001527