Obj. ID: 37882
Hebrew Illuminated Manuscripts JML Judgment of Solomon Esther Scroll, Italy, 18th century
The scroll is decorated by hand, solely in a pen and brown ink. It opens with a scene depicting the judgment of Solomon (1 Kings 3:24-28) and the scenes chronicling the Book of Esther narrative fill the lower margins. Upper margins are almost not decorated, only several horizontal lines are marked on them that suggest a cornice. The columns of the text are interspersed with straight and slim columns. Their bases separate the frames enclosing biblical episodes in the lower margins. The scenes in the scroll are miniature and schematically drawn and due to this, they are difficult to interpret. The scroll ends with a depiction of a walled city with gates (Jerusalem) with a round building in the center (the Temple) and a mounted man (the Messiah).
The manuscript is accompanied by a benediction sheet on which panels are separated by columns similar to these in the scroll. In the first four panels (there are six panels in total), enlarged and decorative initial words of the benedictions and a liturgical poem Korei megillah are drawn. The lower margins are not decorated.
The scroll is mounted on a wooden roller with a long handle.
Some letters (or letters' components) are placed on the decorations; this suggests the pattern was executed before the text was copied.
Length of the sheets in the scroll: 1) 720 mm, 2) ca. 690 mm, 3) ca. 725 mm, 4) ca. 200 mm.
Dimensions of the selected details in the scroll:
- opening decoration: 70x82 mm;
- columns separating the text: 7 mm (width);
- an average frame with illustration(s): 14x47 mm;
- an average text panel: 58x50 mm;
- an average letter: 2 mm;
- letters in the initial word: 5 mm.
The benediction sheet: 80x385 mm.
The roller: ca. 205 mm (height).
In general, the manuscript is preserved in very good condition, although there are some orange stains on the membranes.
Originally the scroll was glued to the roller but currently, they are joined very lightly.
There are small holes at the right edge of the first membrane; possibly a pull bar was stitched to it.
The Book of Esther in Hebrew that is accompanied by a separate benediction sheet with the blessings recited before and after the Megillah reading, followed by a liturgical poem for Purim, Korei megillah.
The scroll is formed of 4 sheets containing a total of 38 columns of text with 14 lines each, except for col. 32 which has 11 lines divided into two half-columns.
The number of columns of text per sheet: no. 1 - 11, no. 2 - 12, no. 3 - 13, no. 4 - 2.
The text is written in Hebrew square Italian-Sephardi script with tagin in black ink on the flesh side of parchment membranes that are thin, bright, and smooth. The blank side of the sheets is more suede and darker.
The tagin are drawn very precisely and it seems they were made with the same ink as the decorations.
The initial word in the scroll - ויהי - is written in decorative, enlarged, and bolded letters.
The letter ח (Es. 1:6) is highlighted by its form - it is composed of two parts joined with a very high roof. The letter ת (Es. 9:29) is enlarged. Other enlarged and diminished letters are included in col. 32.
There are some corrections and erasures in the text.
The ruling is made with a hardpoint along with the sheets but it is barely visible; only in col. 32 the lines are more clear.
The sheets in the scroll are stitched but underneath the sheets, in the places where the subsequent sheets are joined, narrow strips of parchment are glued to reinforce the stitching.
The benediction sheet is very thin, bright, and slightly crumpled; its blank side is darker.
No bibliography on the scroll is available.