Img. ID: 334889
The first membrane of the scroll includes 7 columns of the text and 6 cartouches containing the images (in the image two of them are partly visible) separated by the endless knot motifs. In the spaces between the text panels, repeating floral motifs are placed.
Cartouche 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.
Cartouche 2 (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. 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).
Cartouche 3 (upper margin): On the right, the bearded Ahasuerus sits on the throne and is accompanied by the seven princes of Persia and Media. He holds a scepter in his left hand and his other hand points to a man, probably Memucan, who stands before him. Six other men stand behind Memucan (?) and a soldier holding a shield stands behind the king's throne. The scene shows the moment when the king asks his advisers for a piece of advice as to the further fate of Vashti (Es. 1:13-20). On the left, two king's messengers ride on horseback towards a city in the background (Es. 1:21-23).
Cartouche 4 (lower margin): At the center, a group of women is brought to the king's court (Es. 2:1-4). They are lead by a man wearing a turban (most likely Hegai) who holds the first one's hand (Es. 2:8). A carriage drawn by two horses can be seen in the background on the left.
Cartouche 5 (upper margin; partly visible): In the center, the bearded Ahasuerus wearing a turban is seated on the throne with a canopy and is flanked by eight men in turbans who sit on benches. Both hands of the king are outstretched and in one of them, he holds a crown which he is about to place on the head of the kneeling Esther. Behind her, four women stand (Es. 2:17).
Cartouche 6 (lower margin; partly visible): On the right, Mordecai wearing a turban stands within a gate in the wall and looks at two men who are probably Bigthan and Teresh (Es. 2:21). On the left, Haman is approaching Ahasuerus who is sitting on a raised throne with a canopy. The king holds a scepter in one hand and in another he has a ring that gives to Haman (Es. 3:10). A man, possibly a guard, stands behind the throne. There is a fountain in the center of the cartouche.
The meaning of the remaining illustrations in the scroll is the same as in Gaster I scrolls.
| Inv. X - 15258
The length of the sheets in the scroll: 1) ca. 570 mm, 2) ca. 610 mm, 3) ca. 520 mm.
Dimensions of the selected details in the scroll:
- an average text column: ca. 65x80 mm;
- floral pattern: 80x12 mm;
- cartouche: 30x100 mm;
- an average letter: 2 mm (height).
The case: 185 mm (height).
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Vashti's banquet (Es. 1:9)
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Ahasuerus and the seven princes of Persia and Media (Es. 1:13-15)
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Memucan advises the king regarding the fate of Vashti (Es. 1:19)
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Ahasuerus sending letters (Es. 1:22)
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Hegai taking Esther and the maiden(s) to the palace (Es. 2:8)
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Coronation of Esther (Es. 2:17)
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Mordecai at the king's gate (Es. 2:19 and/or 2:21)
O | Ornamentation: | Endless knot
O | Ornamentation: | Foliate and floral ornaments | Floral motif
O | Ornamentation: | Foliate and floral ornaments
The Book of Esther in Hebrew
The scroll is formed of 3 sheets containing 22 columns of the text with 22 lines except for col. 19 which has 11 lines divided into two parts.
The number of columns per sheet: no. 1 - 7, no. 2 - 8, no. 3 - 7.
The text is written in Hebrew Ashkenazi square script with tagim on selected letters, in black and shiny ink, on the flesh side of parchment sheets.
The letters ח (Es. 1:6) and ת (Es. 9:29) are enlarged and bolded. Other enlarged and diminished letters are included in col. 19.
Every word המלך appearing at the head of the columns of text is decorated with an ornament that is attached to the flag of ל letters. The same ornament is added to the word המלכה referring to Esther. Additionally, to the letters ה in the words המלך tagim are added.
The letters of the Tetragrammaton are marked (cols. 11, 12, and 14).
Three letters are highlighted in the text: ו and ע in the last line of the column listing the sons of Haman and ע in the final word of the Megillah.
In col. 14 there are words written in larger letters.
The ruling is made with a hardpoint; the lines are only inside the text panels.
The membranes in the scroll are glued together.
The ornamentation is based on Gaster I scrolls, but the scroll is longer than the prototype.
On the upper and lower margins, there are 20 cartouches in total.
The floral pattern appears 24 times in the scroll.
Every panel includes a single column, whereas in Gaster I type scrolls, there are two columns per panel.
Some details were originally painted gold; at present, those parts are rather brown.
Sketches in pencil are still noticeable. In some places, the original drawing is not colored.
The background is painted in two different shades of pink color.
No two endless knot patterns in the scroll are identical.
The restoration took place in 2004.
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.
Monumenta Judaica. 2000 Jahre Geschichte und Kultur der Juden am Rhein; eine Ausstellung im Kölnischen Stadtmuseum 15.10.1963 – 15.03.1964, ed. M. Garding, Köln 1964, object no. E 671.
Synagoga. Jüdische Altertümer Handschriften und Kultgeräte. Historisches Museum Frankfurt am Main, 17. Mai – 16. Juli 1961, Frankfurt am Main 1961, object no. 137.
Dagmara Budzioch, Dekorowane zwoje Estery z Żydowskiego Instytutu Historycznego w Warszawie na tle tradycji dekorowania megillot Ester w XVII i XVIII wieku. Zarys problematyki [The Decorated Esther Scrolls from the Museum of the Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw and the Tradition of Megillot Esther Decoration in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries – An Outline], Warszawa 2019, 1:151-152.