The fifth and the sixth columns of text (sheet no. 2) are inscribed within a printed border. Below them, the illustrations are depicted:
Frame 5: On the right, the king stands on a pedestal and in his outstretched hands holds a crown which he is about to place on the head of Esther. Behind her, four women stand and the scene is witnessed by chamberlains and guards (Es. 2:17). The composition is filled with the buildings that are visible on the left and in the background. Far in the background, behind the buildings (possibly outside the city walls), there is a hardly noticeable gallows with two tiny bodies suspending from it (Es. 2:23).
Frame 6: The meaning of the episodes depicted in the frame is not clear. Possibly, the scene on the right shows the king's servants who are talking to Mordecai (Es. 3:3) and another one represents the moment when Haman is informed about Mordecai's attitude toward him (Es. 3:4).
| 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
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Coronation of Esther (Es. 2:17)
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Bigthan and Teresh hanged (Es. 2:23)
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | King's servants talk to Mordecai (Es. 3:3)
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Haman is informed about Mordecai (Es. 3:4)
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.