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Obj. ID: 37633
Hebrew Illuminated Manuscripts
  VAM Copy of Gaster I Type Esther Scrolls, Italy (?), 18th century (?)

© Victoria and Albert Museum (National Art Library), Photographer: Unknown,

The hand-painted decoration of the scroll is strongly based on the engraved pattern of Gaster I type scrolls (in the Index see "Gaster I Type scrolls"), although it is a simplified copy of them in which some details are omitted and the drawing is rather sketchy. The opening decoration of the scroll is formed of several schematically drawn leafy twigs with flowers; among them, lions and birds (peacocks?) are placed. The upper and lower margins are filled with repeating endless knot motifs alternating with cartouches each enclosing up to three scenes that chronicle the narrative of the Book of Esther. The background behind the cartouches and endless knot patterns is unpainted. The double text panels are interspersed by a stylized floral decoration. The same scheme repeats on both membranes forming the manuscript. At the end of the megillah, a floral ornament is placed.

The scroll is mounted on a wooden turned roller.

1 image(s)

sub-set tree:

Name/Title
VAM Copy of Gaster I Type Esther Scrolls | Unknown
Object Detail
Date
18th century (?)
Synagogue active dates
Reconstruction dates
Artist/ Maker
Unknown (Unknown)
Origin
Italy
| (?)
Historical Origin
Unknown
Community type
Unknown |
Congregation
Unknown
Location
Unknown |
Site
Unknown
School/Style
Unknown|
Period
Unknown
Period Detail
Documentation / Research project
Unknown
Material/Technique
Ink and paints on parchment + wood
Material Stucture
Material Decoration
Material Bonding
Material Inscription
Material Additions
Material Cloth
Material Lining
Tesserae Arrangement
Density
Colors
Construction material
Measurements
The scroll: ca. 170x1415 mm.
The length of the sheets: 1) 735 mm, 2) ca. 680 mm.
Dimensions of the selected details in the scroll:
- opening decoration (without an additional sheet added during the restoration): 65 mm (width);
- decorations in the upper margins: ca. 32 mm;
- decorations in the lower margins: ca. 35 mm;
- floral motif between panels: 88x32 mm;
- endless knot pattern: 30 x ca. 42 mm;
- cartouche: 33x93 mm (typical) or 33x47 mm (smaller);
- text panel: 78x102 mm;
- an average letter: less than 2 mm;
- letters in col. 16: 4 mm;
- space between the columns inside the panels: 2-3 mm.

The roller: ca. 330 mm (height).
Height
Length
Width
Depth
Circumference
Thickness
Diameter
Weight
Axis
Panel Measurements
Condition

The scroll is preserved in poor condition which partly may be caused by the materials of lower quality used for its production.

The opening section of the scroll is damaged and it was restored by a piece of parchment; similarly, underneath the final part of the scroll, a piece of parchment is glued.

The text is preserved better than the decorations.

The sheets are rather dirty.

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 2 sheets containing 19 columns of the text (inscribed in 10 panels) with 23 lines, except for col. 16 which has 11 lines divided into two parts.

The first sheet contains 10 columns of text and the second contains 9 columns.

The text is inscribed in Hebrew square Italian script in black ink of different shades, on the flesh side of the parchment membranes that are of medium thickness and rather stiff. The side of the text and decorations is brighter than the blank side that is darker, rather yellow, and dirty.

Tagin are added only to the letters in the first few lines.

The letters ח (Es. 1:6) and ת (Es. 9:29) are enlarged. Other enlarged and diminished letters are included in col. 16. 

There are some elongated letters in the scroll.

The ruling is almost invisible; only some traces of the lines can be discerned.

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

All details are contoured with black lines, which alludes to the print of Gaster I type scrolls.

The sheets are not even and due to this, it is difficult to measure them.

The inventory number of the scroll on the blank side of its beginning is visible.

The scroll is rolled in a different way than it is customary for megillot - the text and decorations are outside rather than inside.

In the flowers of the floral decorations separating text panels, 7-pointed stars are visible.

Suggested Reconsdivuction
History/Provenance
Main Surveys & Excavations
Bibliography

Michael E. Keen, Jewish ritual art in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London 1991, object 35, p. 52. Additionally, a fragment of the scroll is reproduced on the catalogue's cover. 

Short Name
Full Name
Volume
Page
Type
Documenter
Dagmara Budzioch | 2020
Author of description
Dagmara Budzioch | 2020
Architectural Drawings
|
Computer Reconstruction
|
Section Head
|
Language Editor
|
Donor
|
Negative/Photo. No.