The first two columns of text (sheet no. 1) are inscribed within a printed border. Below them, the first two illustrations are depicted:
Frame 1: On the right, the king and numerous men are seated at a table; two of them can be guards. Three servants with plates are approaching the table (Es. 1:3-8). On the left, several buildings are depicted.
Frame 2: On the right, a long table with Queen Vashti and numerous women are seated at it (Es. 1:9). Four men, possibly servants, stand before the table. On the left, buildings are depicted and three figures in front of them are shown - they can be servants who are leading the queen out from the palace.
| Ms. Kaufmann A15
An average letter: 2 mm (height).
The spaces between the lines of the text are equal to the letters' height.
The case: ca. 530 mm.
C | Columns
V | Vase | Vase with flowers
O | Ornamentation: | Foliate and floral ornaments | Flower
O | Ornamentation: | Cartouche
A | Arch
T | Turkey (bird)
C | Cock (Hen, Rooster)
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Ahasuerus' banquet (Es. 1:3-8)
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Vashti's banquet (Es. 1:9)
O | Ornamentation: | Main text framed
The manuscript is in good condition, although the last sheet is torn in its lower part and the last text panel is partly preserved.
The sheets are crumpled in some places.
The text and decorations are well preserved.
The Book of Esther in Hebrew
The scroll is formed of 5 sheets containing 19 columns of the text with 23 lines, except for col. 16 with 11 lines divided into two parts. The last text panel is blank.
Every sheet contains 4 columns of text.
The text is inscribed in the Hebrew square Italian script with tagin, in black ink on the flesh side of the parchment membranes.
The letter ח (Es. 1:6) is highlighted by its form - it contains two elements joined with a roof and it is slightly larger than an average letter in the scroll. The letter ת (Es. 9:29) is slightly larger. Other enlarged and diminished letters are included in col. 16.
The ruling is made with a hardpoint, but the lines are barely visible.
The membranes in the scroll are stitched.
The illustrations show numerous common features with the scrolls representing Klagsbald and Gaster II types (see in the Index) but they are more detailed; especially more figures are included in them.
The last lunette is blank.
The columns between the text panels are decorated with different ornaments.
The plants in the vases represent possibly carnations and tulips, and orange and lemon trees.
The manuscript belonged to the collection of David Kaufmann (1852-1899); for information about the collection see http://kaufmann.mtak.hu/index-en.html (accessed on 11.01.2021).
The scroll is described in:
Max (Miksa) Weisz, Katalog der hebräischen Handschriften und Bücher in der Bibliothek des Professors D. Kaufmann, Frankfurt am Main 1906, no. 15, p. 5.
The KTIV website (https://web.nli.org.il).
Scrolls sharing the same pattern are discussed for example in:
Victor Klagsbald, Catalogue raisonné de la collection juive du Musée de Cluny, Paris 1981, p. 66-67, object 74.
Mendel Metzger, The Earliest Engraved Italian Megilloth, Bulletin of the John Rylands Library 1966, 48/2, 381–432, esp. 416-432 (here the scrolls are called "post-Griselini").
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, 1:135-138.