Lavishly decorated Esther scroll adorned with an engraved border designed by Shalom ben Mordecai Italia (also known as Shalom D'Italia) and colored by hand.
The scroll opens with a symmetrical decoration based on a semicircle that is composed of six birds (a pair of owls (?) - not visible in this copy, quails or partridges, and parrots) with a flower in a central place of it (invisible here). Next to it, two angels with trumpets support a decorative cartouche with a heraldic helmet above it. On its field, a family emblem composed of a tree and hands in the gesture of priestly blessing is drawn by hand. Below the empty cartouche, the name of the artist appears.
The same engraved metal plate was used for all membranes; therefore, the decorative scheme repeats along with the entire length of the scroll. The Hebrew text of the Book of Esther is inscribed within elaborately decorated arcades (eight per sheet) on which ornamentation of the upper margins is placed. They are filled with repetitive elements: two women (possibly an allegory of Peace) with their heads turned away from one another, holding palm branches and leaning on broken pediments, flower-filled vases placed inside the pediments and between them, and decorative masks. In the elongated cartouches placed at the top of the arches, various land- and cityscapes are included. Full figures of four Esther story protagonists are placed in the niches between the text panels; every figure of Ahasuerus, Esther, Mordecai, and Haman appears twice on each sheet. They stand on small octagonal pedestals on which eight different land- and seascapes are depicted.
The scroll is mounted on an ivory roller.
The Book of Esther in Hebrew