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Obj. ID: 38106
Hebrew Illuminated Manuscripts
  IM Gaster I Type Esther Scroll, Venice (?), second half of the 17th century

© Dagmara Budzioch, Photographer: Budzioch, Dagmara, 05.2015

This scroll represents the type called Gaster I (for explanation, see "Additional Remarks"), lavishly decorated megillot produced in a mixture of print and manuscript techniques: the decorative border is printed as a copper engraving and colored by hand, while the Hebrew text of the Book of Esther is penned by a scribe. The opening section is filled with a rich, precisely rendered, decoration of tendrils, flowers, and animals that surround a cartouche. The upper and lower margins are adorned with a pattern of repeating endless knot motifs alternating between 20 cartouches, each of which depicts between one and three scenes of the Book of Esther; in this scroll, the background behind them is left colorless. The ten text panels, in which nineteen text columns are included, are separated by stylized floral ornamentation. The same scheme repeats on all three sheets of this scroll. The pattern ends with a symmetrical decoration composed of large flowers and foliate ornaments surrounding a cartouche.

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Name/Title
IM Gaster I 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 type
Unknown |
Congregation
Unknown
Location
Unknown |
Site
Unknown
School/Style
Unknown|
Period
Unknown
Period Detail
Collection
Documentation / Research project
Unknown
Material/Technique
Ink and paints on parchment (printed border, handwritten text)
Material Stucture
Material Decoration
Material Bonding
Material Inscription
Material Additions
Material Cloth
Material Lining
Tesserae Arrangement
Density
Colors
Construction material
Measurements
The scroll: 180x1830 mm
Height
Length
Width
Depth
Circumference
Thickness
Diameter
Weight
Axis
Panel Measurements
Condition

The manuscript (the text, the decorations, and the parchments) is very well preserved.

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
Languages of inscription
Unknown
Type of grave
Unknown
0
Ornamentation
Custom
Contents

The Book of Esther in Hebrew

Codicology

The scroll is formed of 3 sheets containing 19 columns of the text with 22 lines each, except for col. 16 which includes 11 lines divided into two half-columns.

The number of columns per sheet: no. 1 - 6, no. 2 - 8, no. 3 - 5.

The text is written in Hebrew square Italian script in black ink on the flesh side of parchment sheets that are very bright.

The letters ח (Es. 1:6) and ת (Es. 9:29) are not highlighted in the text. Some letters included in col. 16 seem to be larger.

The ruling made with a hardpoint can be seen.

The pricking is invisible.

The sheets in the scroll are stitched together. 

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 name "Gaster I" was introduced by Mendel Metzger in his article entitled "The Earliest Engraved Italian Megilloth" (see "Bibliography"). The type was named after Moses Gaster (1856–1939), the rabbi, scholar, and manuscript collector, who owned a scroll adorned with this pattern (at present this is the scroll Gaster Hebrew MS 710 stored in the John Rylands Library in Manchester - ID 36150). At least 25 manuscripts representing this type are still extant and are preserved in private and institutional collections. For their descriptions see "Related objects".

The pattern features a number of decorative elements common with the scrolls of the Klagsbald type (in the Index see "Klagsbald type Esther scrolls").

Suggested Reconsdivuction
History/Provenance

According to the catalogue by Shachar (p. 156; see "Bibliography"), it was "Acquired in 1932 by exchange with the Jewish Museum, Vienna".

Main Surveys & Excavations
Bibliography

The scroll is shortly described in:

Isaiah Shachar, Jewish Tradition in Art. The Feuchwanger Collection of Judaica, Jerusalem 1981, object 413, p. 156.

Selected bibliography concerning other scrolls decorated with the same border:

Mendel Metzger, The Earliest Engraved Italian Megilloth, Bulletin of the John Rylands Library 1966, 48/2, 381–432.

Cornelia Bodea, Treasures of Jewish Art. The 1673 Illuminated Scroll of Esther Offered to a Romanian Hierarch, Iaşi–Oxford–Palm Beach–Portland 2002.

A Journey through Jewish Worlds: Highlights from the Braginsky Collection of Hebrew Manuscripts and Printed Books, eds. Evelyn M. Cohen, Emile Schrijver, Sharon Liberman Mintz, Amsterdam 2009, 240-241.

Schöne Seiten. Jüdische Schriftkultur aus der Braginsky Collection, eds. Emile Schrijver, Falk Wiesemann, Evelyn M. Cohen, Sharon Liberman Mintz, Menahem Schmeltzer, Zurich 2011, 262-263.

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, 1:99-119, 2:64-69.

Dagmara Budzioch, "An Illustrated Scroll of Esther from the Collection of the Jewish Historical Institute as an Example of the Gaster I Megilloth," Kwartalnik Historii Żydów 2013, no. 3 (247), 533–547.

Short Name
Full Name
Volume
Page
Type
Documenter
Dagmara Budzioch | 2021
Author of description
Dagmara Budzioch | 2021
Architectural Drawings
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Computer Reconstruction
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Section Head
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Language Editor
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Donor
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Negative/Photo. No.