The scroll opens with a benediction sheet which is an integral part of it. It is decorated with a figurative scene that is difficult to interpret, however apparently, it is related to the Book of Esther narrative. Next to it, there is an arch that enframes three benedictions recited before the Megillah reading. In similar arches decorated with birds and animals, floral motifs, and flowers, the Hebrew text of the Book of Esther is written. The details on either side of the arches are drawn against a black background. The columns of text are separated with a repeating floral pattern with acanthus leaves. The only narrative scene in the scroll - the hanging of Haman (Es. 7:10) - is incorporated in the thirteenth column. The upper margins are decorated with foliate and floral ornaments, while the lower margins are blank. Some details are painted with tempera, while others are only pen-and-ink drawings. The last column contains the liturgical poem אשר הניא Asher Heni.
The scroll is mounted on a contemporary wooden roller.
The length of the membranes in the scroll: 1) - benediction sheet: 320 mm, 2) 540 mm, 3) 515 mm, 4) 530 mm, 5) 560 mm, 6) 445 mm, 7) 280 mm.
Dimensions of the selected details in the scroll:
- upper margins: 22 mm (height);
- lower margins: 25 mm (height);
- decorations between the text panels: 20 mm (width);
- opening decoration: ca. 200 x ca. 100 mm;
- final decoration: 55 mm (width);
- an average text panel (inside): ca. 195x160 mm;
- an average letter: 4 mm (height);
- an average letter in the benedictions: 5 mm (height);
- letter ח in Es. 1:6: 6 mm;
- letters in col. 13: 8-9 mm;
- spaces between the lines: 2 mm;
- letters in initials words: 12 mm.
The roller: ca. 260 mm (height).
O | Ornamentation: | Architectural frame
A | Animals and Beasts
L | Leviathan (See also Messianic days)
O | Ornamentation: | Foliate and floral ornaments
O | Ornamentation: | Foliate and floral ornaments | Flower
V | Vase | Vase with flowers
O | Ornamentation: | Initial word, decorative
O | Ornamentation: | Main text framed
O | Ornamentation: | Foliate and floral ornaments | Floral motif
The beginning of the scroll is seriously damaged - it lacks a part of the opening decoration and the third benediction is poorly preserved. Its state of preservation suggests that the membrane was wet; especially its lower margin. The sheet is very dark and some details are barely visible on it.
Water damages are clearly seen on the lower part of the second membrane.
In general, the text is poorly preserved; in some places, it is almost illegible for the naked eye.
Some decorations are in good condition, while others are damaged.
The membranes are dirty.
The Book of Esther in Hebrew with initial benedictions and the liturgical poem אשר הניא Asher Heni
The scroll is formed of 7 sheets containing 17 columns of the text (+ initial column with benedictions and final column with the liturgical poem) with 23 lines each, except for col. 13 which includes 11 lines divided into two half-columns.
The number of columns per sheet: no. 1 - 1 (benedictions), nos. 2-6 - 3, no. 7 - 2 (column of text + final column with the liturgical poem).
The text is written in Hebrew square Ashkenazi script with tagin in dark brown (almost black) ink on the flesh side of parchment sheets that are very thick and stiff, suede and greyish.
In four columns there are highlighted letters forming the Tetragrammaton; they are larger than average letters in the scroll and decorated with dots in the mid of their vertical components. Similar letters can be found in col. 13 and the letter ת (Es. 9:29) is written as such too.
The letter ח (Es. 1:6) is enlarged and highlighted by its form. Other enlarged and diminished letters are included in col. 13.
Col. 12 is narrower and contains numerous elongated letters.
The ruling is made with a hardpoint along with the membranes.
The pricking is visible on the membranes' edges (they are visible on some images of the manuscript).
The sheets in the scroll are stitched together.
All three benedictions start with an enlarged and decorative word ברוך.
Shown on the website of the World War II Looted Cultural Treasures, Israel Museum, Jerusalem (https://museum.imj.org.il/imagine/irso/en/judaica?cat=Esther%20scrolls%20and%20cases accessed on 17.07.2021).
On the blank side of a membrane, the current number of the manuscript and no. 1940-2-50 are written.
The scroll features a dense orange color.
A similar scroll is stored at the Klau Library, the Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati (scroll no. 55 (V.8)) available on https://huc.on.worldcat.org/oclc/1015672768 (accessed on 28.06.2021).
The floral decoration between cols. 5 and 6 (sheet no. 3) is different than all other floral decorations separating columns of text.
Columns of text on the fifth membrane are of different sizes.
Received through the Jewish Restitution Successor Organization (JRSO).
In the Wiesbaden collecting point registered under number A104.
A short description of the scroll is available on https://www.imj.org.il/en/collections/281453 (accessed on 17.07.2021).