Text column no. 15 (sheet 4): The frame below column no. 15 is printed in an improper place. On the basis of the other exemplars, it can be said that in the background of the image, on the sky, there is number "14"; in the scroll from the MAHJ collection is invisible. It suggests that the frame was planned for column no. 14; consequently, there is no relationship between the text inscribed in the column and the episodes depicted in the frame below it. The same incorrect, order of the narrative scenes can be observed in all exemplars of the Griselini scrolls containing four membranes and in the scroll from the Israel Museum collection. In the scrolls representing the same pattern but formed of five membranes, the narrative scenes are printed in the proper order.
On the right, before Ahasuerus seated on the canopied throne placed on a pedestal, stands Queen Esther attended by three maidservants. Next to the throne, three men, most likely Mordecai and two other men, are standing (Es. 8:7-8). The gestures of the king and the queen suggest that they are talking. On the left, there is a long table at which a scribe is seated (Es. 8:9); he is accompanied by three other people.
The dimensions of the decorative details are as follows:
- a balustrade - ca. 28-30 mm (height);
- a frame with illustrations - ca. 75x30 mm;
- a flower-filled vase - ca. 30x40 mm;
- a segment with a pair of birds - ca. 40x90 mm;
- a column - ca. 22x100 mm
C | Columns
V | Vase | Vase with flowers
O | Ornamentation: | Cartouche
P | Parrot
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Ahasuerus speaks to Esther and Mordecai (Es. 8:7-8)
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | New decree allowing the Jews to defend themselves (Es. 8:8-10)
The Book of Esther in Hebrew
The scroll is formed of 5 (?) membranes with the text inscribed in 19 (?) text columns with 19 lines (?), except for col. 16 which has 11 lines divided into two half-columns.
The text is inscribed in the Hebrew Italian square script with tagin, in black ink, on parchment sheets.
The letter ח (Es. 1:6) is highlighted by its form - it is composed of two parts joined with a roof. The letter ת (Es. 9:29) is highlighted by its size.
The membranes are stitched together.
The Griselini scrolls consist either of four or five sheets with four text panels each.
The decorative scheme resembles the ornamentation of Gaster II scrolls. In the Index, megillot Esther confusingly similar to Griselini scrolls, but not printed by Griselini himself, are called "Griselini-Related scrolls". The decoration of Griselini scrolls also resembles that of the Gaster II scrolls, but without decoration at the beginning and the end (see descriptions of "Griselini-Related" and "Gaster II" scrolls and in the Index).
Bibliography concerning Griselini scrolls from various collections:
Mendel Metzger, The Earliest Engraved Italian Megilloth, "Bulletin of the John Rylands Library", 48/2 (1966), esp. 406–432.
A Journey through Jewish Worlds: Highlights from the Braginsky Collection of Hebrew Manuscripts and Printed Books, eds. Evelyn M. Cohen, Emile Schrijver, Sharon Mintz, Amsterdam 2009, pp. 242–245 (additionally pp. 126-127 for the Bible of 1739 illustrated with Griselini's engravings).
Schöne Seiten. Jüdische Schriftkultur aus der Braginsky Collection, eds. Emile Schrijver, Falk Wiesemann, Evelyn M. Cohen, Sharon Liberman Mintz, Menachem Schmeltzer, Zurich 2011, pp. 264‒265 (additionally pp. 246-247 for the Bible of 1739 illustrated with Griselini's engravings).
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, 1:128–136.
Biography of Griselini in Italian and bibliography available on http://www.treccani.it/enciclopedia/francesco-griselini_(Dizionario-Biografico)/ (accessed on 11.04.2020).