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Obj. ID: 39593
Hebrew Illuminated Manuscripts
  Bibliotheque Municipale de Nantes Shalom Italia Engraved Esther Scroll with Ladies, Amsterdam, 1640s

© Ville de Nantes - Bibliothèque municipale: IRHT-CNRS, Photographer: N/A, -

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 owls (?) - not visible in this copy, quails or partridges, and parrots) with a flower in a central place of it. Next to it, two angels with trumpets support a decorative cartouche topped with a heraldic helmet. Below it, there is another cartouche, and below the name of the artist appears on the ribbon. In this scroll, both cartouches are empty.

The Hebrew text of the Book of Esther is inscribed within elaborately decorated arcades on which ornamentation of the upper margins is placed. They are filled with repetitive elements: two women with their heads turned away from one another, holding palm branches and leaning on broken pediments (possibly an allegory of Peace) and flower-filled vases placed inside the pediments (they are flanked by decorative masks) and separating the pairs of women. 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 land- and seascapes are depicted; they show four different rural landscapes, two landscapes with a river and a boat on it, a river and a carriage, and a sea with boats on it. The same engraved metal plate was used for all membranes; therefore, the decorative scheme repeats along with the entire length of the scroll, except for the illustrations.

Summary and Remarks

There are several scrolls sharing the same pattern and others adorned with different borders designed by the same artist (see "Related objects").

The last panel in the scroll is blank.

28 image(s)

sub-set tree:

Name/Title
Bibliotheque Municipale de Nantes Shalom Italia Engraved Esther Scroll with Ladies | Unknown
Object Detail
Monument Setting
Unknown
Date
1640s
Synagogue active dates
Reconstruction dates
Artist/ Maker
Italia (d'Italia), Shalom ben Mordecai (engraver in Amsterdam)
(Unknown)
{"2322":"ca. 1619, Mantova \u2013 1655 or 1664) was one of the most creative Jewish artists of the 17th century. After he left Italy, he settled in Amsterdam in 1641, where he was active for just over a decade; later he returned to his home country. During his stay in Amsterdam, he designed borders for two printed ketubbot, engraved portraits of a few eminent Jewish personalities, and created several lavishly decorated engraved and hand-drawn borders for Esther scrolls, most of which are based on architectural frames and motifs."}
Historical Origin
Unknown
Community type
Unknown |
Congregation
Unknown
Location
Unknown |
Site
Unknown
School/Style
Unknown|
Period
Unknown
Period Detail
Collection
Documentation / Research project
Unknown
Textual Content
Unknown |
Languages of inscription
Unknown
Type of grave
Unknown
Material/Technique
Ink in 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
Height
Length
Width
Depth
Circumference
Thickness
Diameter
Weight
Axis
Panel Measurements
Condition

The manuscript (the text, decorations, and membranes) 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
0
Ornamentation
Custom
Contents

The Book of Esther in Hebrew

Codicology
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
The signature of the engraver is incorporated in the opening decoration: "Salom. Italia sculpsit."
Colophon

None

Scribal Notes
Watermark
Hallmark
Group
Group
Group
Group
Group
Trade Mark
Binding
Decoration Program
Suggested Reconsdivuction
History/Provenance
Main Surveys & Excavations
Sources

Bibliography concerning the scrolls designed by Shalom Italia or attributed to him:

Sharon Assaf, Emily D. Bilski, Salom Italia's Esther Scrolls and the Dutch Golden Age, Amsterdam 2011.

A Journey through Jewish Worlds: Highlights from the Braginsky Collection of Hebrew Manuscripts and Printed Books, eds. E.M. Cohen, E. Schrijver, S. Liberman Mintz, Amsterdam 2009, 228-231 (describes another scroll designed by Shalom Italia).

Michael Garel, An Esther Scroll by Shalom Italia, "The Israel Museum Journal" 5 (Spring 1986), 107–108.

Mordecai Narkiss, Yeẓurato shel Shalom ben rabbi Mordechai Italia (1619–1655?) [The Oeuvre of the Jewish Engraver Salom Italia (1619–1655?)], "Tarbiz" 25(4), 1956, 441–451, and: ibidem no. 26(1), 1957, 87–101.

Shalom Sabar, A New Discovery: The Earliest Illustrated Esther Scroll by Shalom Italia, „Ars Judaica” 2012, no. 8, 119–136.

Schöne Seiten. Jüdische Schriftkultur aus der Braginsky Collection, eds. Emile Schrijver, Falk Wiesemann, Evelyn M. Cohen, Sharon Liberman Mintz, Menahem Schmeltzer, Zurich 2011, 274‒279.

Type
Documenter
Dagmara Budzioch | 2021
Author of description
Dagmara Budzioch |
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.
The following information on this monument will be completed:
Unknown |