Img. ID: 340701
The third sheet contains four columns of the text (cols. 9-12) written within the printed border and four frames with illustrations (nos. 9-12):
Frame 9: Mordecai rides a horse followed by several men, and Haman walks before him while blowing a trumpet (Es. 6:11). The scene of Mordecai's triumph is supplemented on the left by the depiction of Haman's daughter who, from a window above, empties a chamber pot on her father's head (Megillah 16a).
Frame 10: On the right, there is a scene that is difficult to interpret. A person (a woman?, Queen Esther?) is seated at a table is accompanied by four men; one of them stands next to the table. The scene on the left depicts the first Purim feast (Es. 9:17-23).
Frame 11: On the right, Haman is hanged on the gallows (Es. 7:10). A ladder leans against it, and at its top sits an executioner who holds his legs on Haman's neck. Next to it, a group of guards with spears is standing. On the left, Ahasuerus sits on the throne and Esther kneels at his feet; she is attended by two maidservants. In the background, there is a figure (Mordecai?) who watches the scene. It might depict either the moment when the king gives Haman's house to Esther (Es. 8:1) or when she pleads with him to annul Haman's decree (Es. 8:3).
Frame 12: On the right, Ahasuerus sits on a throne topped with a canopy and points at the crowned Mordecai (Es. 8:15). The scene is witnessed by three men. On the left, one of the moments when Jews battle their enemies is depicted, but it is difficult to determine which particular verse is illustrated here (Es. 9:5-12).
Length of the sheets in the scroll: 1) 502 mm, 2) 463 mm, 3) 465 mm, 4) ca. 530 mm.
Dimensions of the selected details in the scroll:
- the print: 246x465 mm;
- text panel: ca. 120x83 mm;
- frames with illustrations: ca. 27x72 mm;
- an average letter: 2 mm;
- spaces between the lines of the text: 2 mm;
- the balustrade: ca. 28-30 mm;
- columns between the text panels: ca. 100 mm (height);
- Griselini's signature: 3x12 mm.
Benediction sheet: 170x120 mm.
C | Columns
V | Vase | Vase with flowers
O | Ornamentation: | Foliate and floral ornaments | Flower
O | Ornamentation: | Cartouche
A | Arch
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Mordecai's triumph (Es. 6:11)
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Haman's daughter empties a chamber pot on her father's head (Bab. Talmud, Megillah 16a)
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | First Purim feast (Es. 9:17-23)
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Haman hanged (Es. 7:10)
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Ahasuerus giving Esther the house of Haman (Es. 8:1)
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Esther at Ahasuerus' feet, pleading he annuls Haman's decree (Es. 8:3)
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Mordecai before Ahasuerus in royal apparel (Es. 8:15)
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Jews battle their enemies (Es. 9:5-12)
T | Turkey (bird)
C | Cock (Hen, Rooster)
P | Parrot
B | Bird | Hoopoe
O | Ornamentation: | Main text framed
In general, the manuscript is preserved in very good condition.
A small part of the border on the third sheet is erased or it was not well printed.
The Book of Esther in Hebrew accompanied by a benediction sheet with the blessings recited before and after the Megillah reading.
The scroll is formed of 4 sheets containing 16 columns of text in total with 28 or 29 lines each, except for col. 14 which has 11 lines divided into two half-columns.
The text is inscribed in Hebrew square Italian script, in intense black ink, on the flesh side of the parchment membranes of medium thickness and stiffness. The shades of particular membranes vary but in all cases, the hair side of the membranes is yellower than the side of the text and decorations.
The letters ח (Es. 1:6) and ת (Es. 9:29) are highlighted by their size - they are bigger than an average letter in the scroll. Other enlarged and diminished letters are included in col. 14.
Col. 13 contains numerous extremely elongated letters. The horizontals of the elongated letters are not always straight.
There are hardly any margins around the text columns.
The ruling was made with a hard point along with whole membranes.
The membranes in the scroll are stitched together.
The benediction sheet: every benediction starts with a highlighted word ברוך that is larger than all other words and is written separately. The text includes ligatures of א and ל letters and the Tetragrammaton is replaced by two letters י with a long sloped dash. In one place, the divine name is marked with two letters י only.
Some illustrations bear Arabic numerals:
- sheet no. 2: 6, 7, 9, and 10;
- sheet no. 3 - 11, 18, 13, and 15;
- sheet no. 4 - 16, 17, 14, and 19;
- the illustrations on sheet no. 1 are not numbered.
The letters in the last line of col. 14 are partly written on the printed border.
Around some frames containing the illustrations, blots of black ink are visible.
At the opening blank part of the scroll, there is a tiny letter א.
The final part of the scroll is blank.
The Griselini scrolls consist either of four or five sheets with four text panels each.
The decorative scheme resembles the ornamentation of Gaster II scrolls.
In the Index, megillot Esther confusingly similar to Griselini scrolls, but not printed by Griselini himself, are called "Griselini-Related scrolls". The decoration of Griselini scrolls also resembles that of the Gaster II scrolls, but without decoration at the beginning and the end (see descriptions of "Griselini-Related" and "Gaster II" scrolls and in the Index).
The scroll bears former numbers: R 19744 and 1195.
The images of the scroll (nos. JRL16041345-JRL16041349) are available on https://luna.manchester.ac.uk (accessed on 28.10.2020).
Bibliography concerning scrolls featuring the same border:
Mendel Metzger, The Earliest Engraved Italian Megilloth, "Bulletin of the John Rylands Library", 48/2 (1966), esp. 406–432.
A Journey through Jewish Worlds: Highlights from the Braginsky Collection of Hebrew Manuscripts and Printed Books, eds. Evelyn M. Cohen, Emile Schrijver, Sharon Mintz, Amsterdam 2009, pp. 242–245 (additionally pp. 126-127 for the Bible of 1739 illustrated with Griselini's engravings).
Schöne Seiten. Jüdische Schriftkultur aus der Braginsky Collection, eds. Emile Schrijver, Falk Wiesemann, Evelyn M. Cohen, Sharon Liberman Mintz, Menachem Schmeltzer, Zurich 2011, pp. 264‒265 (additionally pp. 246-247 for the Bible of 1739 illustrated with Griselini's engravings).
Dagmara Budzioch, 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 [Polish: Dekorowane zwoje Estery z Żydowskiego Instytutu Historycznego w Warszawie na tle tradycji dekorowania megilot Ester w XVII i XVIII wieku. Zarys problematyki], Warsaw 2019, 1:128–136.
Biography of Griselini in Italian and bibliography available on http://www.treccani.it/enciclopedia/francesco-griselini_(Dizionario-Biografico)/ (accessed on 11.04.2020).