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Obj. ID: 31
Hebrew Illuminated Manuscripts
  Czartoryski Library Klagsbald Type Esther Scroll, Venice (?), second half of the 17th century

© Center for Jewish Art, Photographer: Unknown, -

The scroll represents the type called Klagsbald (for the explanation of the name see "Additional Remarks") that are lavishly decorated megillot produced in a mixed technique in which decorative border is printed as copper engraving and colored by hand whereas the Hebrew text of the Book of Esther is penned by a scribe. The opening section is precisely filled with a rich decoration formed of tendrils, flowers, and animals that surround a flower. The upper and lower margins are adorned with repeating endless knot motifs alternating with 20 rectangular frames enclosing one up to three scenes that chronicle the narrative of the Book of Esther. In the scroll from the Cracow library, the background behind them is painted blue and some traces of gold paint are still visible on the endless knot motifs. The ten text panels, in which nineteen text columns are included, are interspersed by stylized floral decoration. The same scheme repeats on all four membranes forming each megillah from this group. The pattern ends with a symmetrical decoration composed of large flowers and foliate ornaments.

6 image(s)

sub-set tree:

Name/Title
Czartoryski Library Klagsbald Type Esther Scroll | Unknown
Object Detail
Date
second half of the 17th century
Synagogue active dates
Reconstruction dates
Artist/ Maker
Unknown (Unknown)
Origin
Italy | Veneto | Venice
| (?)
Historical Origin
Unknown
Community
Unknown |
Location
Unknown |
Site
Unknown
School/Style
Klagsbald scrolls|
The family of Italian Esther scrolls from the second half of the 17th century named by Mendel Metzger after Judaica collector, Victor Klagsbald, of whose collections an exemplar of this manuscript formed a part (see M. Metzger, “The Earliest Engraved Italian Megilloth”, Bulletin of the John Rylands Library 48:2 (1966), 381‒432, esp. 390). It includes Esther scrolls produced in mixed technique in which decorative border is printed and colored by hand while the Hebrew text of the Book of Esther is penned by a scribe. The opening and final section of the scrolls are filled with a rich decoration formed from tendrils, flowers, and animals (the latter contains no animal figures). The upper and lower margins are adorned with repeating endless knot motifs framed in rectangles alternating with rectangular frames enclosing more than thirty scenes chronicling the Book of Esther. The text panels including two text columns (the last panel includes a single text column) are interspersed by floral decoration. The same scheme repeats on all four sheets forming each exemplar. Is shows many common details with Gaster I scrolls.
Period
Unknown
Period Detail
Material/Technique
Ink and paints on parchment (the text is copied by hand, the border is printed and colored by hand)
Material Stucture
Material Decoration
Material Bonding
Material Inscription
Material Additions
Material Cloth
Material Lining
Tesserae Arrangement
Density
Colors
Construction material
Measurements
The scroll: 166-175 x 167 mm.

Dimensions of the selected details:
- the print: 160-162 mm (height);
- the text panel (inside): 80 x 98-110 mm;
- the text column (width): 45-55 mm.

An average letter is up to 2 mm high.
Height
Length
Width
Depth
Circumference
Thickness
Diameter
Weight
Axis
Panel Measurements
Condition
The manuscript conservation took place in 2012; the images included 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, therefore, the text is difficult to decipher. On the first sheet, an additional layer of intense black ink was put on the letters. In the best condition, the text on the third sheet is stored. The outlines of the decorations on the first sheet were covered with black ink. Some stains are visible on the sheets that are also dirty in many places.
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
0
Ornamentation
Custom
Contents
The Book of Esther in Hebrew
Codicology

The scroll consists of 4 membranes, 19 text columns with 24 lines per column, except for col. 16 inscribed in 11 lines divided into two half-columns.

The three first sheets contain 3 text panels with 6 columns and the last sheet contains one panel with a single column.

The text is written on the flesh side in small, square Italian Hebrew script, 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 hardpoint.

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.

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
Colophon

None

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

The scheme features numerous common details with the scrolls representing Gaster I type; however, one of the distinctive features is the motif of endless knot that in Klagsbald scrolls are not joined together.

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.

Suggested Reconsdivuction
History/Provenance
At the end of the scroll, on its blank side, there are three shelf-marks placed one above the other: 396, 410 (former numbers), and 2442 (current number).
Main Surveys & Excavations
Bibliography

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, Dekorowane zwoje Estery z Żydowskiego Instytutu Historycznego w Warszawie na tle tradycji dekorowania megillot Ester w XVII i XVIII wieku. Zarys problematyki, Warszawa 2019, 1:119-128.

Short Name
Full Name
Volume
Page
Type
Documenter
Yaffa Levy; Keren Katsir; Dagmara Budzioch | 1994; 2020
Researcher
Yaffa Levy; Keren Katsir; Dagmara Budzioch | 1994; 2020
Architectural Drawings
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Computer Reconsdivuction
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Section Head
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Language Editor
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Donor
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Negative/Photo. No.