Sheet no. 1
The second and third text panels are surrounded by a printed and colored border including:
Frame 3 (text panel 2 - upper margin): On the right, the bearded Ahasuerus sits on the throne on a platform, accompanied by the seven men who are princes of Persia and Media. He holds a scepter in his left hand and his other hand points to a man, probably Memucan, who stands before him. Six other men stand behind Memucan (?), and a soldier holding a shield stands behind the king's throne. The scene shows the moment when the king asks his advisers for a piece of advice as to the further fate of Vashti (Es. 1:13-20). On the left, two king's messengers ride on horseback towards a city in the background (Es. 1:21-23).
Frame 4 (text panel 2 - lower margin): At the center, a group of women is brought to the king's court (Es. 2:1-4). They are lead by a man wearing a turban (most likely Hegai) who holds the first one's hand (Es. 2:8). A carriage drawn by two horses can be seen in the background on the left.
Frame 5 (text panel 3 - upper margin): In the center, the bearded Ahasuerus wearing a turban is seated on the throne with a canopy and is flanked by eight men in turbans who sit on benches (four on either side). Both hands of the king are outstretched and in one of them, he holds a crown which he is about to place on the head of the kneeling Esther. Behind her, four women stand (Es. 2:17).
Frame 6 (text panel 3 - lower margin): On the right, Mordecai stands within a gate in the wall and looks at two men who are probably Bigthan and Teresh (Es. 2:21). On the left, Haman is approaching Ahasuerus who is sitting on a raised throne with a canopy. The king holds a scepter in one hand and in another he has a ring that gives to Haman (Es. 3:10). A man, possibly a guard, stands behind the throne. There is a fountain in the center.
Dimensions of the selected details:
- the print: 160-162 mm (height);
- the text panel (inside): 80x98-110 mm;
- the text column (width): 45-55 mm;
- an average letter is up to 2 mm high.
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Ahasuerus' messenger(s) (Es. 1:22)
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) | Mordecai with Bigthan and Teresh (Es. 2:21)
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Ahasuerus handing his ring to Haman (Es. 3:10)
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Hegai taking Esther and the maiden(s) to the palace (Es. 2:8)
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Memucan advises the king regarding the fate of Vashti (Es. 1:19)
O | Ornamentation: | Foliate and floral ornaments | Floral motif
O | Ornamentation: | Endless knot
O | Ornamentation: | Main text framed
The conservation of the manuscript took place in 2012 and the images shown in the Index were taken before it.
The text in the scroll is poorly preserved; ink has flaked off in many parts of the scroll, and the text is difficult to decipher. In the best condition, the text on the third sheet is stored. On the first sheet, an additional layer of intense black ink was put on the letters.
The outlines of the decorations on the first sheet were covered with black ink.
Some stains are visible on the sheets, which are also dirty in many places.
The scroll is formed of 4 membranes containing a total of 19 text columns with 24 lines each, except for col. 16 which has 11 lines divided into two half-columns.
The three first sheets contain 3 text panels with 6 columns of text, and the last sheet contains one panel with a single column.
The text is written in Hebrew square Italian script on the flesh side of parchment membranes in light brown ink.
The letters ח (Es. 1:6) and ת (Es. 9:29) are highlighted.
The ruling - horizontal and vertical lines - is made by a hard point.
The pricking is discernible at the beginning of the second sheet (col. 7) and on the left side of the last column of the scroll.
The membranes are stitched together by sinew threads.
The Hebrew letter א is written in the lower-left corner of the first sheet.
The stamp "Biblioteka" appears occasionally in the scroll.
The right edge of the first membrane is trimmed straight.
Both ends of the scroll are cropped straight.
The edge at the end of the scroll is perforated with four holes, which were probably used for holding the (missing) roller.
The scroll is stored in a box.
At the end of the scroll, on its blank side, there are three shelf-marks placed one above another: 396, 410 (former numbers), and 2442 (current number).
Restoration and research of two Hebrew manuscripts on parchment from The Czartoryski Library — Department of the National Museum in Kraków No. 2442, 3888 (PDF file available on https://mnk.pl/artykul/konserwacja-i-badania-dwoch-rekopisow-hebrajskich-na-pergaminie; accessed 08.04.2020).
The scrolls decorated with the same pattern are discussed in:
Mendel Metzger, Eine illustrierte Estherrolle der zweiten Hälfte des 18. Jahrhunderts im Historischen Museum Frankfurt am Main, mit einem Anhang über Megilla-Hülsen, „Schriften des Historischen Museums Frankfurt am Main”, 13 (1972), 95–116.
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, 1:119-128.