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Sheet no. 1

Column 4: In the upper margin, landscape no. 4 is printed and in the frame in the lower margin, a wedding ceremony of Ahasuerus and Esther is represented. The scene is witnessed by a group of men standing on the right and a group of women standing on the left. The Book of Esther does not mention this episode, and so the source for this representation is likely midrashic. It may have been influenced by European paintings of the marriage of the Virgin Mary and Joseph. This may also explain the garb of the man standing in the center which suggests the high priest's robes.

Sheet no. 2

Column 5: In the upper margin, landscape no. 1 is printed and in the frame in the lower margin, Haman casting lots is shown (Es. 3:7). On the right side of the frame, a man aims at a Zodiac wheel on the left with a bow and arrow. The background consists of a vast landscape. The Book of Esther does, of course, mention casting lots to determine the Jews' fate, but there is no reference to the signs of the Zodiac in the text.

Column 6: In the upper margin, landscape no. 2 is printed and in the frame in the lower margin, on its left side, a mounted messenger is carrying the edict of Haman in his right hand (Es. 3:13). In his other hand, he holds a French horn. He is riding towards a man sitting under a tree, most likely Mordecai, who tears his clothes as a sign of mourning (Es. 4:1).

Name/Title
JML Esther Scroll with Landscapes II | Unknown
Object Detail
cols. 4-6
Settings
Unknown
Date
Early 18th century
Synagogue active dates
Reconstruction dates
Artist/ Maker
Unknown (Unknown)
Origin
Historical Origin
Unknown
Community type
Unknown |
Congregation
Unknown
Location
Unknown |
Site
Unknown
School/Style
Scrolls with landscapes|

The family of Dutch Esther scrolls from the early 18th century designed by an anonymous engraver whose decorative scheme is characterized by four different landscapes framed in cartouches of different shapes that fill upper margins. The scrolls of this family begin with a panel composed of several figurative scenes from the Book of Esther narrative. The text columns are interspaced by the columns decorated with reliefs, elaborate acanthus leaves and garlands above which are either decorative capitals or putti holding the baskets with flowers on their heads. Lower margins are filled with the figurative scenes that chronicle the Purim story or allude to midrashim and other sources; they are interspersed by vases with plants. The same decoration repeats on all four sheets forming each manuscript. Some of their exemplars are painted by hand.

Period
Unknown
Period Detail
Documentation / Research project
Unknown
Material/Technique
Ink on parchment (printed border, handwritten text) + wood
Material Stucture
Material Decoration
Material Bonding
Material Inscription
Material Additions
Material Cloth
Material Lining
Tesserae Arrangement
Density
Colors
Construction material
Measurements
The scroll: 213 x ca. 1165 mm.
Length of the sheets in the scroll: 1) ca. 405 (without an additional piece of parchment: 213x45 mm), 2) 390 mm, 3) ca. 370 mm (parchment is very stiff and due to this it is difficult to measure the manuscript).
Dimensions of the selected details in the scroll:
- the print: 200x395 mm;
- text panel: 130x70 mm;
- spaces between the text panels: 27 mm;
- frames with illustration(s): 38x75 mm;
- vases separating the illustrations: ca. 25x38 mm;
- an average letter: 2 mm;
- letters in col. 14: 5 mm.

The roller: ca. 385 mm (height).
Height
Length
Width
Depth
Circumference
Thickness
Diameter
Weight
Axis
Panel Measurements
Condition

The opening panel is not preserved and it is replaced by a blank piece of parchment with two vertical cuts, possibly for a ribbon.

Some damages in the printed pattern can be seen.

The text is very well preserved.

Extant
Documented by CJA
Surveyed by CJA
Present Usage
Present Usage Details
Condition of Building Fabric
Architectural Significance type
Historical significance: Event/Period
Historical significance: Collective Memory/Folklore
Historical significance: Person
Architectural Significance: Style
Architectural Significance: Artistic Decoration
Urban significance
Significance Rating
Languages of inscription
Unknown
Type of grave
Unknown
0
Ornamentation
Custom
Contents

The Book of Esther in Hebrew

Codicology

The scroll is formed of 3 sheets containing a total of 12 columns of the text with 27 or 28 lines, except for col. 14 with 11 lines divided into two half-columns. Additionally, initial benedictions are written within the opening decoration.

Every sheet contains 4 columns of text.

The text is inscribed in the Hebrew square script in light brown ink on the flesh side of parchment membranes that are rather thin and bright. The blank side of the sheets is more suede, darker, and rather grey.

The letter ח (Es. 1:6) is highlighted by its form - it is composed of two parts joined with a roof and is decorated with scrolled feet; additionally, it is larger than an average letter in the scroll. Enlarged and diminished letters are included in col. 14. The final sheet is so stiff that it is very hard to open it, therefore, it could not be determined whether the letter ת (Es. 9:29) is highlighted.

The initial word of the Megillah is enlarged and bolded.

The names of Haman's sons (col. 14) are of the same length; for this purpose, numerous letters are elongated.

The ruling is invisible.

The sheets in the scroll are stitched together.

Scribes
Script
Number of Lines
Ruling
Pricking
Quires
Catchwords
Hebrew Numeration
Blank Leaves
Direction/Location
Façade (main)
Endivances
Location of Torah Ark
Location of Apse
Location of Niche
Location of Reader's Desk
Location of Platform
Temp: Architecture Axis
Arrangement of Seats
Location of Women's Section
Direction Prayer
Direction Toward Jerusalem
Coin
Coin Series
Coin Ruler
Coin Year
Denomination
Signature
Colophon

None

Scribal Notes
Watermark
Hallmark
Group
Group
Group
Group
Group
Trade Mark
Binding
Decoration Program
Summary and Remarks

There are two variants of the scrolls decorated with this pattern that in the Index are marked "I" and "II". In some exemplars, just below the decorative herms, the pedestals with angel's heads and bases were added, therefore, the text panels are higher; this type is marked with "II". Whereas, the rest of the manuscripts containing no pedestals with angel's heads and bases are marked with "I". The latter are more numerous. 

Similar narrative scenes are included in the "scrolls with portrait medallions" (see in the Index").

The earliest scroll sharing a similar engraved pattern is dated to 1701; this is the megillah BCM 25 from the Braginsky Collection in Zurich (see http://braginskycollection.com/esther-scrolls/; accessed on 22.04.2020).

Suggested Reconsdivuction
History/Provenance
Main Surveys & Excavations
Bibliography

The scrolls sharing the same or similar pattern are discussed for example in:

Jiřina Šedinová, From the Mss. Collections of the State Jewish Museum in Prague. The Scrolls of Esther, "Judaica Bohemiae" 1979, nr 15/2, 79-80.

A Journey through Jewish Worlds: Highlights from the Braginsky Collection of Hebrew Manuscripts and Printed Books, eds. Evelyn M. Cohen, Emile Schrijver, Sharon Liberman Mintz, Amsterdam 2009, 234-237.

Schöne Seiten. Jüdische Schriftkultur aus der Braginsky Collection, eds. Emile Schrijver, Falk Wiesemann, Evelyn M. Cohen, Sharon Liberman Mintz, Menahem Schmeltzer, Zurich 2011, 282-283.

Victor Klagsbald, Catalogue raisonné de la collection juive du Musée de Cluny, Paris 1981, 63-64, object 72.

Falk Wiesemann, Codex hebraicus 159, [in:] Irina Wandrey ed., Manuscript Cultures, vol. 6, 257-259.

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, 1:163-176, 2:41-49.

Short Name
Full Name
Volume
Page
Type
Documenter
Dagmara Budzioch | 2021
Researcher
Dagmara Budzioch | 2021
Architectural Drawings
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Computer Reconstruction
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Section Head
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Language Editor
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Donor
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Negative/Photo. No.
M002805