The scroll represents the type called "scrolls with landscapes II" due to their decorative scheme that features four different landscapes framed in cartouches that fill upper margins and repeat on every sheet in the same order (see also "Additional Remarks"). The scroll from the Jerusalem collection is an exception because none of the landscapes is visible. The scrolls with landscapes are lavishly decorated megillot produced in a mixed technique in which decorative border is printed as a copper engraving (and in some exemplars, colored by hand), whereas the Hebrew text of the Book of Esther is penned by a scribe. The scrolls decorated with this pattern begin with a panel composed of several figurative scenes from the Book of Esther narrative that in the manuscript from the Jerusalem collection is missing. The text columns are interspaced by herms decorated with reliefs, elaborate acanthus leaves and garlands above which are either decorative capitals or putti holding baskets with flowers on their heads. Lower margins are filled with the figurative scenes that chronicle the Purim story, allude to midrashim or other sources; they are interspersed by vases with plants.
An average letter is not higher than 2 mm, whereas an average letter in col. 10 is 5 mm high. The space between the subsequent lines of the text is 3 mm.
Dimensions of the selected details in the scroll:
- upper margin - 35 mm;
- lower margin - 45 mm;
- text panel - 127x67 mm;
- columns between the text panels - 30 mm (width);
- bases with angels' heads - ca. 35x30 mm.
The scroll consists of 3 membranes containing 12 columns with 28 lines, except for col. 10 with 11 lines divided into two parts. Every sheet contains 4 text columns.
The text is written on the flesh side of parchment membranes in a small, square Sefardi script in faded black ink.
The opening word of the Megillah is enlarged; similarly, as the letter ח (Es. 1:6) that in addition has decorative legs ended with tiny tendrils. The letter ת (Es. 9:29) is also enlarged.
All ten names of Haman's sons are inscribed in a column of equal width (col. 10); for this purpose, many letters are elongated. Additionally, this section includes the letters that are traditionally written as enlarged or diminished.
The parchment membranes are rather suede, soft, and thin. The recto (flesh) side of the sheets is brighter than the verso side that is not only darker but also more grey. They are stitched.
The ruling is invisible.
There are two variants of the scrolls decorated with this pattern that in the Index are marked "I" and "II". In some exemplars, just below the decorative herms, the pedestals with angel's heads and bases were added, therefore, the text panels are higher; this type is marked with "II". Whereas, the rest of the manuscripts containing no pedestals with angel's heads and bases are marked with "I". The latter are more numerous.
The earliest scroll sharing similar engraved pattern is dated to 1701; this is the megillah BCM 25 from the Braginsky Collection in Zurich (see http://braginskycollection.com/esther-scrolls/; accessed on 22.04.2020).
The scroll consists of 3 membranes; in it sheet no. 3 originally designed for these scrolls is not used, therefore, the frames with narrative scenes nos. 9-12 are absent. This causes that in the present description, frames nos. 9-12 are the same as frames nos. 13-16 in other exemplars of the scrolls decorated with the same border.
Similar narrative scenes are included in the scrolls with "portrait medallions" (see their descriptions in the Index); some of them are their mirror image.
On other scrolls decorated with the same pattern:
Olga Sixtova, O svitku / Form of the Scroll [katalog k výstavě konané v Galerii Roberta Guttmanna Židovského muzea v Praze od 22. června do 26. července 2006], Prague 2006, 37.
http://braginskycollection.com/esther-scrolls/ (accessed on 22.04.2020)