Lavishly decorated Esther scroll adorned with an engraved border designed by Shalom ben Mordecai Italia (also known as Shalom D'Italia).
The scroll opens with a symmetrical decoration based on a semicircle that is composed of six birds (a pair of peacocks, parrots, and) with... that fits the shape of the right edge of the first membrane. Next to it, there is a decorative rectangular frame with a mask and two peacocks. Possibly it was planned for an inscription by an owner of the manuscript but it is empty. It is followed by a flower-filled vase. On its brim, an inscription by the engraver can be seen. The belly of a vase is flanked by a squirrel and a monkey or an ape.
The same engraved metal plate was used for all membranes; therefore, the decorative scheme repeats along with the entire length of the scroll. The Hebrew text of the Book of Esther is inscribed within elaborately decorated arcades (eight per sheet) on which ornamentation of the upper margins is placed. They are filled with repetitive elements: two lions facing each other flank flower-filled vases placed inside the pediments. Between each pair of lions a vase with flowers if placed. In the elongated cartouches placed at the top of the arches, various land- and cityscapes are included. Full figures of four Esther story protagonists are placed in the niches between the text panels; every figure of Ahasuerus, Esther, Mordecai, and Haman appears twice on each sheet. They stand on small octagonal pedestals on which eight different land- and seascapes are depicted.
The scroll belonged to the private collection of a merchant from Danzig, Lesser (Eliezer) Gieldzinski (Giełdziński) that arrived in New York in the summer of 1939. See e.g. Izabella Rejduch-Samkowa, Lesser Giełdziński – pierwszy kolekcjoner i organizator Muzeum Żydowskiego w Gdańsku, [in:] Żydzi i judaizm we współczesnych badaniach polskich. Materiał z konferencji, t. 1, red. K. Pilarczyk, S. Gąsiorowski, Kraków 1995, pp. 383–393.
Danzig 1939: Treasures of a Destroyed Community, red. S. Schwartz, Detroit 1980, pp. 80-81, object no. 48.
The manuscript is well preserved.