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© British Library, Photographer: N/A, -

Double columns of text written on sheets nos. 3-5 are surrounded by printed frames composed of supporters, satyrs (male, female, and babies), putti, architectonic elements, masks, animals, garlands, and ribbons. In the image, cols. 5-10 can be seen.

The borders originally adorned letters P (sheet no. 3), H (sheet no. 4), and S (sheet no. 5).

Name/Title
BL Esther Scroll with Colored Border by Marelli | Unknown
Object Detail
sheets 3-5
Settings
Unknown
Date
ca. 1572
Synagogue active dates
Reconstruction dates
Origin
Italy | Lazio | Rome
| (?)
Historical Origin
Unknown
Community type
Unknown |
Congregation
Unknown
Location
Unknown |
Site
Unknown
School/Style
Unknown|
Period
Unknown
Period Detail
Documentation / Research project
Unknown
Material/Technique
Ink and paints on parchment + wood
Material Stucture
Material Decoration
Material Bonding
Material Inscription
Material Additions
Material Cloth
Material Lining
Tesserae Arrangement
Density
Colors
Construction material
Measurements
The scroll: 173x1900 mm.
Membrane no. 10: 285 mm (length).

The roller: 290 mm (height).
Height
Length
Width
Depth
Circumference
Thickness
Diameter
Weight
Axis
Panel Measurements
Condition

The beginning of the scroll is poorly preserved; the blank side of the sheet is very dark.

The edges are not straight and there is some dirt on them.

On the last sheet, traces of bark beetles can be seen.

The paints in the manuscript have been preserved in different conditions

The original roller lacks a part of its finial.

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 10 sheets (9 of them are original and 1 is new), in total containing 18 columns of text with 23 lines each, except for col. 15 which has 11 lines divided into two half-columns.

Each membrane contains 2 columns of text.

The text is written in Hebrew square Italian script with tagin in dark brown ink on parchment membranes.

The letter ת (Es. 9:29) is slightly larger than an average letter in the scroll. Other enlarged and diminished letters are included in col. 15.

The ruling is made with a hard point and is barely visible.

The pricking is invisible.

The membranes in the scroll are stitched together and resewn with thin parchment slips.

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
The engraver's monogram - a ligature of A and M letters - can be seen on the sixth sheet, next to the left foot of a putto seated on the right-hand side.
Colophon

None

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

The engravings adorning the scroll were originally created to enframe decorative letters in the manual of the Latin alphabet calligraphy Il perfetto scrittore by Francesco Giovanni Cresci, printed in Rome in 1570.

Another scroll decorated with printed borders by Marelli is stored in the Klau Library at the Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati (manuscript no. 1 (IX.6)); it is available on https://mss.huc.edu/manuscripts/esther-scroll-ix-6/ accessed on 2.09.2021). Yet another exemplar was sold at the Christie's at auction 2537: Silver, Judaica, Russian Works of Art and Objects of Vertu on 18th June 2002, lot 389 (https://www.christies.com/lot/lot-highly-important-and-rare-16th-century-italian-3932181/? accessed on 2.09.2021).

Some details could be originally painted gold.

The manuscript is stored in a box (see image ID 355972).

Suggested Reconsdivuction
History/Provenance

The previous owner, Hayim Montaggio, presented it to the British Museum in 1895.

Main Surveys & Excavations
Bibliography

Eva Frojmovic, The «Perfect Scribe» and an Early Engraved Esther Scroll, „The British Library Journal” 23 (1997), pp. 68‒80.

The description of the manuscript and its images are available on https://www.bl.uk/collection-items/megilat-ester-or-13028 (accessed 2.09.2021).

Original calligraphic letters by Marelli are available on https://collections.vam.ac.uk (accessed 2.09.2021).

Short Name
Full Name
Volume
Page
Type
Documenter
Dagmara Budzioch | 2021
Researcher
Dagmara Budzioch | 2021
Architectural Drawings
|
Computer Reconstruction
|
Section Head
|
Language Editor
|
Donor
|
Negative/Photo. No.
M003564