Text column no. 1 (sheet no. 1) - partly preserved: In the upper margin, a bust of a young man (one of the princes of Media and Persia listed in Es. 1:14?) is depicted. In the frame placed in the lower margin, on the left, only Haman with scales on which he is going to weigh silver for the king (Es. 3:9) is visible. In the background, the king's palace can be seen.
Text column no. 2 (sheet no. 1): In the upper margin, a bust of the queen is depicted. In the frame placed in the lower margin, five men sit at a table at the moment when Queen Esther is entering the chamber. Most likely, the scene depicts the first banquet given by Esther (Es. 5:5-8) but it is unclear why the queen does not sit at the table and who are the other participants of the feast (the Book of Esther mentions only the king and Haman).
Text column no. 3 (sheet no. 2): In the upper margin, a bust of a man is depicted. In the frame placed in the lower margin, on the right, the king sits on the throne under a canopy, and before him, stands a man who is reading from an open book (Es. 6:1-3). On the left and in the background, the palace garden is depicted.
Text column no. 4 (sheet no. 2): In the upper margin, a bust of a young woman with a flower in the hand is depicted. In the frame placed in the lower margin, Mordecai in royal apparel riding on horseback, and is led by Haman (Es. 6:11). In the background, several buildings are visible.
In the octagons separating the frames are depicted (from right to left): 1) a landscape with a tree and a gate in the foreground, 2) a landscape with a house in the foreground, 3) a rider next to a tree, 4) palace (?) gardens.
The length of the sheets in the scroll: 1) 142 mm, 2) 377 mm, 3) 397 mm, 4) 636 mm.
A | Acanthus Leaf
V | Vase
L | Landscape
O | Ornamentation: | Architectonic motif
O | Ornamentation: | Foliate and floral ornaments | Floral motif
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Haman paying money to the king (Es. 3:9)
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Haman entreats Ahasuerus to issue a decree destroying the Jews (Es. 3:9)
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Esther's first banquet (Es. 5:5-8)
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Ahasuerus listening to the Book of Records (Es. 6:1-3)
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Mordecai's triumph (Es. 6:11)
H | Human Figure | Bust (Human figure)
H | Heraldic composition | Supporters
The scroll is incomplete - it lacks the fragment from the beginning until half of the 7th column of the text. Its remaining part is preserved in very good condition.
The Book of Esther in Hebrew with the benediction recited after the Megillah reading and the liturgical poem Asher Heni
The scroll is formed of 4 sheets containing 14,5 columns of text (one column is not entirely preserved) and an additional benediction panel.
At present, the first sheet contains only 1,5 columns of text. Sheets nos. 2 and 3 comprise 4 columns of the text, and on the last sheet, 5 columns of the text and an additional benediction panel are printed.
Each column includes 25 lines of the text, except for col. 12 with 11 lines divided into two parts and col. 15 with 20 lines of the Megillah and 2 additional lines announcing the final benediction. The last 2 lines are printed in semicursive Hebrew font.
The text printed in the scroll reflects scribal practices of the hand-written scrolls. The letter ת (Es. 9:29) is slightly larger than an average letter in the scroll. Other enlarged and diminished letters are included in col. 12.
The sheets in the scroll are glued.
Below the last column of the text, on the shields held by five protagonists of the Esther story, a Hebrew inscription in a semicursive script is printed. It reads as follows:
הקטן נחמיה ליב כהן מ''ס מפ''ב יוד אדר תקנא''ל
"The humble Nehemiah Leib Cohen, book-seller from Pressburg [Bratislava], on 10th of Adar 551 [4.02.1791] according to the minor era". In the original version of the note, the word "book-seller" and city name are written in an abbreviated form. Nehemiah Leib Cohen can be a printer of this megillah and it can be assumed that he was active in Bratislava but no further details are known about him or his letterpress.
In the collection of the Jewish Museum in Prague, another copy of the megillah is stored (see ID 1545) but it bears no signature by Nehemiah Leib Cohen of Pressburg.
The numbers of the text columns do not take into account the missing part of the manuscript.
In the article by Šedinová (see "Bibliography"), the scroll is wrongly listed as Ms 312b.
Jiřina Šedinová, From the Mss. Collections of the State Jewish Museum in Prague. The Scrolls of Esther, "Judaica Bohemiae" 1979, nr 15/2, 80-83.
Olga Sixtova, O svitku / Form of the Scroll [katalog k výstavě konané v Galerii Roberta Guttmanna Židovského muzea v Praze od 22. června do 26. července 2006], Praha 2006, 40.
http://collections.jewishmuseum.cz/index.php/Detail/Object/Show/object_id/221260 (accessed on 22.10.2020).