The first sheet in the scroll contains four columns of the text (nos. 1-4) surrounded by hand-painted decoration. The medallions in the upper margin include the signs of the Zodiac: Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, and Aquarius (a part of which is painted on the second membrane). The figures placed in the ovals on the twisted columns cannot be identified clearly because they have no attributes and some of them are similar to each other. They could be the king, Queen Vashti, Haman, Queen Esther, and Haman again (a man can be also one of the king's courtiers or princes of Media and Persia listed in Es. 1:10 and Es. 1:14). The cartouches in the lower margin include the symbols of the Israelite tribes. The first two of them cannot be recognized; they are followed by the symbols of the Asher, Judah, and Issachar tribes.
Length of the sheets in the scroll: 1) 580 mm, 2) 590 mm, 3) ca. 225 mm.
Dimensions of the selected details in the scroll:
- a segment of decoration with two lions and a medallion: 30x130 mm;
- twisted columns: ca. 220 mm (height);
- text columns are of different width, between less than 80 mm and up to 150 mm;
- an average letter: 2,5 mm (height);
- letters in col. 9: 8-9 mm;
- spaces between the lines of the text: 3 mm.
L | Lion
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Esther story protagonists
Z | Zodiac Signs | Libra (Scales), Zodiac Sign of Tishrei
Z | Zodiac Signs | Scorpio (Scorpion), Zodiac Sign of Heshvan
Z | Zodiac Signs | Capricorn (Kid), Zodiac Sign of Tevet
Z | Zodiac Signs | Aquarius (Bucket), Zodiac Sign of Shvat
Z | Zodiac Signs | Sagittarius (Bow), Zodiac Sign of Kislev
T | Tribes/Sons of Israel | Asher (Tribes/Sons of Israel)
T | Tribes/Sons of Israel | Judah (Tribes/Sons of Israel)
T | Tribes/Sons of Israel | Issachar (Tribes/Sons of Israel)
A | Acanthus Leaf
O | Ornamentation: | Cartouche
In general, the manuscript is in good condition, although the rather suede surface of the sheets has caused both ink and paint to flake off in some places.
The membranes are rather dirty and dusty.
The decorations of the lower margins are preserved in worse condition than those on the upper margins.
The lower margin of the first membrane is torn in one place.
The Book of Esther in Hebrew
The scroll is formed of 3 sheets, in total containing 10 columns of text with 36 or 37 lines each, except for col. 9 which has 11 lines divided into two half-columns.
The number of text columns per sheet: no. 1 - 4, no. 2 - 5, no. 3 - 1.
The text is written in Hebrew square Ashkenazi script with tagin in dark brown ink on parchment membranes that are rather thick, stiff, suede, and grey.
The letters ח (Es. 1:6) and ת (Es. 9:29) are enlarged and bolded. Other enlarged and diminished letters are included in col. 9.
The ruling – horizontal and vertical lines - is made with a hard point, along with the sheets. The lines are especially visible on the blank opening section of the scroll.
The pricking is visible on the right edge of the first sheet.
The membranes in the scroll are stitched together.
Some details are painted in gold and silver paints.
No bibliography on the scroll is available.