Home
    Under Reconstruction!
Object Alone

Obj. ID: 61  JHI Gaster I Type Esther Scroll, Venice (?), second half of the 17th century

© The Emanuel Ringelblum Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw (JHI), Photographer: Kwolek, Grzegorz, 09.2017.

The scroll represents the type called Gaster I (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 a 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 the cartouche. In the scroll from the JHI collection, the right edge is trimmed into a multifoil shape. The upper and lower margins are filled with repeating endless knot motifs alternating with 20 cartouches enclosing one up to three scenes that chronicle the narrative of the Book of Esther. The background behind the cartouches and endless knot patterns in this scroll is left colorless. The ten text panels, in which nineteen text columns are included, are interspersed by stylized floral decoration. The same scheme repeats on all three membranes forming each scroll from this group. The composition ends with a symmetrical decoration composed of large flowers and foliate ornaments surrounding a cartouche. The right edge is trimmed into a multifoil shape.

11 image(s)

sub-set tree:

Name/Title
JHI 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
Unknown |
Location
Unknown |
Site
Unknown
School/Style
Unknown|
Period
Unknown
Period Detail
Category
Material/Technique
Ink and paints on parchment
Material Stucture
Material Decoration
Material Bonding
Material Inscription
Material Additions
Material Cloth
Material Lining
Tesserae Arrangement
Density
Colors
Construction material
Measurements
An average letter is ca. 2 mm high, whereas the letters in col. 16 are ca. 5 mm high.
Height
173-175 mm
Length
Width
Depth
Circumference
Thickness
Diameter
Weight
Axis
Panel Measurements
Condition
In general, the scroll is preserved in very good condition, although the state of the decoration is better than of the text. Some parts of the text are faded but they are still legible. The membranes are bright, very smooth, slightly shiny, and their edges are straight.
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
Coordinates: 45.445393, 12.326778
Ornamentation
Custom
Contents
The Book of Esther in Hebrew
Codicology

The scroll consists of 3 membranes with 19 columns written in 9 double text panels and a single panel. They contain 22 lines per column, except for col. 18 with 23 lines and col. 16 with 11 lines (the section lists the names of Haman's sons that are inscribed in a popular layout, in a larger script). The membranes contain respectively 6, 8, and 5 text columns.

Written on the flesh side in a small, square Italian script with tagim, in brown-black ink.

The ruling is visible in the places with not text and decoration and on the blank side of membranes.

Pricking is not discernible.

Membranes in the scroll are sewn 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 name "Gaster I" was introduced by Mendel Metzger in an article entitled "The Earliest Engraved Italian Megilloth" published in the "Bulletin of the John Rylands Library" (48:2 (1966), 381‒432, esp. 390). The type was named after Moses Gaster (1856–1939), the rabbi, scholar, and Judaica collector of whose collections a scroll adorned with this pattern formed a part (at present this is the scroll Gaster Hebrew MS 710 stored in the John Rylands Library in Manchester). At least 25 manuscripts representing this type are still extant and are preserved in private and institutional collections. For descriptions of other scrolls representing the same pattern see IDs: 61, 1098, 1441, 21702, 34125, 34642, 35105, 36150.

The pattern features a number of decorative elements common with the scrolls of Klagsbald type (see ID 31, 34766).

Originally the cartouches and the endless knot motifs could be painted gold; some traces of paint are still visible on the first membrane.

The opening edge of the scroll is cut in the shape of a multifoil arch, while its final edge is cropped straight and is perforated with four holes which were probably used for holding the (missing) rod. 

The word "Esther" is written in a Latin cursive script (in pencil) on the recto side of the opening edge of the scroll.

The former no. of the manuscript: 3944.

Suggested Reconsdivuction
History/Provenance
The former shelfmarks are written on the blank (hair) side of the opening section of the scroll: 3944 (in ink), 48339 and RFAN (in pencil). The collection of eight megillot Esther stored in the Jewish Historical Institute contains the manuscripts taken from three places: 1) Kunzendorf (Trzebieszowice) village in the Lower Silesian Voivodeship, 2) collection point of the Ministry of Culture and Art in Bożków (Lower Silesian Voivodeship), 3) city museum of Toruń. It cannot be determined in which of these places, the scroll was previously stored.
Main Surveys & Excavations
Bibliography

Bibliography concerning the scroll from the JHI:

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, 1:99-119, 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.

Marian Fuks, Zygmunt Hoffman, Maurycy Horn, Żydzi polscy. Dzieje i kultura, Warszawa 1982, 102.

Online collection of the ritual objects from the E. Ringelblum Jewish Historical Institute is available on http://cbj.jhi.pl/collections/964689

 

Bibliography concerning other scrolls decorated with the same border:

Bodea Cornelia, 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.

Schröder Anneliese, Synagoga. Kultgeräte und Kunstwerke von der Zeit der Patriarchen bis zur Gegenwart, Städtische Kunsthalle Recklinghausen, 3. November 1960 – 15. Januar 1961, Recklinghausen 1961, object B 64.

Synagoga. Jüdische Altertümer Handschriften und Kultgeräte. Historisches Museum Frankfurt am Main, 17. Mai – 16. Juli 1961, Frankfurt am Main 1961, object 124.

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

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