Img. ID: 332888
Sheet no. 4
The eighth text panel is surrounded by six depictions; three of them on the right are common with the seventh text panel.
1. A city, perhaps Shushan. The Star of David atop one building suggests a synagogue.
2. A couple clothed in fashionable costumes.
3. Two eight-leg camels.
4. The scene depicts a midrashic addition to the story found not in the Book of Esther but in the tractate Megillah 16a. According to this tale, after Esther disclosed Haman's wicked intentions during her second banquet (Es. 7:1), the furious king left the chamber for the palace gardens, where he saw the trees of his garden being chopped down. Depending on the version of the story, the trees were chopped down either by the sons of Haman or by angels disguised as his sons; in all artistic representations, the figures are always depicted as wingless.
5. Depiction of a man holding a tray full of fruits, alluding to the verses about sending portions to friends and poor (Es. 9:22).
6. A Jewish man in a long coat, most likely Mordecai as a viceroy (Es. 10:3).
B | Buildings
E | Evronot, Book of (listed according to the types of illustration) | Illustrations of unclear link to the text | Aristocratic couple
J | Jewish couple
H | Human Figure
C | Camel
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Angels cutting down trees in the palace garden (based on Bab. Talmud, Megillah 16a)
P | Purim | Purim gifts
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Sending gifts to the poor (Es. 9:22)
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | *Esther's Story Characters (depicted not in narrative scenes): | Mordecai, the Jew
G | Garland
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Mordecai as viceroy to the king (Es. 10:3)
S | Synagogue
O | Ornamentation: | Main text framed
The opening section of the scroll is damaged and the membrane is crumpled here.
Some parts of the decorations are faded but still, the general condition of the manuscript is good.
The Book of Esther in Hebrew
The scroll is formed of 4 sheets, in total containing 8 columns of text with 41 or 42 lines each, except for col. 7 which has 11 lines divided into two half-columns.
Every membrane contains two columns of text; 7 of them are framed in octagons of various sizes and one is not framed.
The text is written in Hebrew square Ashkenazi script with tagin in brown ink on parchment membranes.
The letters ח (Es. 1:6) and ת (Es. 9:29) and the letters of the name of God are enlarged and bolded. Other enlarged and diminished letters are included in col. 7.
There are some corrections and erasures in the text.
The ruling is made with a hard point, along with the sheets, but only be seen only in the decorations between the panels.
The pricking on the membranes' edges can be seen.
The membranes of the scroll are glued together.
In the depiction of the feast by the king and the queen, the name "Esther" in pencil is written.
It seems the frames of the panels were originally painted with gold paint.
No comprehensive discussion on the scroll is available but the fragments are reproduced in numerous publications, e.g.:
Marc Michael Epstein, Skies of Parchment, Seas of Ink: Jewish Illuminated Manuscripts, Princeton, New Jersey 2015, pp. 15, 191, 219.