Sheet no. 3
The sixth roundel is decorated with various animals including exotic and fantastic ones and trees including palms.
On the right, in the upper part, there are two scenes joined together but only one is visible in the image; this is the triumph of Mordecai (Es. 6:11) who is mounted on a horse, led by Haman. Below, there is an angel who reads the imperial chronicles to the king during his sleepless night (an extra-biblical story based on Es. 6:1-3).
On the left, there are two men cutting down a tree and the king looks at them from a window. It depicts another extra-biblical tale from the tractate Megillah 16a. According to it, after Esther disclosed Haman's wicked intentions during her second banquet (Es. 7:1), the furious king left the chamber for the palace gardens, where he saw the trees of his garden being chopped down. Depending on the version of the story, the trees were cut down either by the sons of Haman or by angels disguised as his sons; in all artistic representations, the figures are always depicted as wingless. In the lower part are two eight-leg horses. A part of these depictions is painted on the fourth membrane.
B | Buildings
A | Angel
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Sleepless night of the king (Es. 6:1)
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) | Angels cutting down trees in the palace garden (based on Bab. Talmud, Megillah 16a)
H | Horse
E | Elephant
U | Unicorn
L | Lion
D | Deer
L | Leopard
B | Bear
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Mordecai's triumph (Es. 6:11)
O | Ornamentation: | Main text framed
W | Wolf
The manuscript is very well preserved.
The Book of Esther in Hebrew
The scroll is formed of 5 sheets, in total containing 13 text panels with 23 or 24 lines of different lengths, except for col. 11 which has 11 lines divided into two half-columns.
The number of columns of text per sheet: nos. 1-3 - 2 columns, no. 4 - 3 columns, no. 5 - 4 columns; 9 of them are framed in roundels.
The text is written in Hebrew square Ashkenazi script in brown ink on parchment membranes.
The letters ח (Es. 1:6) and ת (Es. 9:29) are slightly larger than an average letter in the scroll. Other enlarged and diminished letters are included in col. 11.
The letters of the name of God are marked with tagin bent to the right.
Col. 10 contains numerous elongated letters.
There are some corrections and erasures in the text.
The ruling is made with a hard point, but it is barely visible.
The pricking on the membranes' edges can be seen.
The membranes of the scroll are glued together.
It seems that this scroll and two other scrolls featuring the same style (see "Related objects) were executed by the same artist, although two of them are decorated with roundels, while the third one is decorated with octagons.
It seems that the final part of the manuscript was painted by another artist than the main part of the decorations.
A short description of the scroll and its images are available on https://data.jck.nl/page/aggregation/jhm-museum/M000440 (accessed on 9.08.2021).