Text column no. 3 (sheet 1): On the left, a group of people is depicted; they are Esther and other women, servants (?), and guards. Possibly more women are brought to the palace in a carriage drawn by two horses that are shown in the central part of the panel (Es. 2:8).
Text column no. 4 (sheet 1): On the right, the king stands on a pedestal and, in his outstretched hands, holds a crown which he is about to place on the head of the kneeling Esther. Behind her stand three women and the scene is witnessed by chamberlains and guards (Es. 2:17). The composition is filled with buildings on the left and in the background. Far in the background, behind the buildings (possibly outside the city walls), there is a barely noticeable gallows with two tiny bodies suspended from it (Es. 2:23).
| C 19188.8.131.52
The length of the sheets in the scroll: 1) 515 mm, 2) 455 mm, 3) 460 mm, 4) 480 mm.
Dimensions of the selected details in the scroll:
- the print: 241x460 mm;
- frames with illustration(s): 27x70 mm;
- an average letter: 2 mm.
In general, the manuscript is well preserved, although its very beginning is slightly damaged and traces of moisture are visible on it. Similarly, the final section of the scroll is slightly damaged.
Some parts of the pattern on the last sheet are not very clear.
The Book of Esther in Hebrew
The scroll is composed of 4 sheets containing 16 columns of the text with 30 lines except for col. 14 which has 11 lines divided into two half-columns.
Each of the four sheets contains four text panels.
The text is inscribed in Hebrew square Italian script with tagin, in black ink, on the flesh side of the parchment membranes that are of medium thickness and stiffness. In addition, the side with the text and decorations is brighter than the other side that is more yellow.
The letter ח (Es. 1:6) is slightly larger than an average letter in the scroll and bolded. The letter ת (Es. 9:29) is enlarged and bolded too. Other enlarged and diminished letters are included in col. 14.
The text fully fills the panels; the text column is 8 mm wide.
Col. 13 includes numerous elongated letters.
The ruling is invisible, but on the blank side of the sheets, on the opening and final sections of the scroll, the pricking can be seen.
The membranes are stitched together.
Some illustrations bear Arabic numerals.
Around some frames containing the illustrations, blots of black ink are visible.
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: 669 and 220.
Bibliography concerning the manuscript from the JML collection is unknown but other scrolls decorated with the same border are described in:
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).