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© Center for Jewish Art, Photographer: Unknown, -

Five men wearing masks and tall pointed hats are dancing in a circle and playing musical instruments. The scene most likely depicts Purim celebration contemporary to the manuscript's creator.

Name/Title
Estense Gaster I Type Esther Scroll | Unknown
Object Detail
cartouche 20 (lower margin)
Settings
Unknown
Date
second half of the 17th century
Synagogue active dates
Reconstruction dates
Artist/ Maker
Unknown (Unknown)
Origin
Historical Origin
Unknown
Community type
Unknown |
Congregation
Unknown
Location
Unknown | Ms alpha.2.2(4) (Or. 53)
Site
Unknown
School/Style
Unknown|
Period
Unknown
Period Detail
Collection
Italy | Modena | Estense University Library
| Ms. alpha. L. 2.2(4) (Or. 53)
Documentation / Research project
Unknown
Material/Technique
Ink and paints on parchment (printed border, handwritten text) + wood
Material Stucture
Material Decoration
Material Bonding
Material Inscription
Material Additions
Material Cloth
Material Lining
Tesserae Arrangement
Density
Colors
Construction material
Measurements
The dimension of the scroll cannot be determined on the basis of the images and they are not given in the catalog by Carlo Bernheimer (see "Bibliography").

The roller is 280 mm high.
Height
Length
Width
Depth
Circumference
Thickness
Diameter
Weight
Axis
Panel Measurements
Subject
Condition

The manuscript is incomplete; it lacks a fragment of the third membrane that should contain the final decoration.

To the left edge of the last membrane, a short piece of parchment is stitched; it joins the manuscript with the wooden rod.

The scroll is preserved in good condition even if the membranes are folded in a few places. Also, the text is preserved in very good condition.

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 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. 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.

The text is written on the flesh side in a small, square Italian script with tagin, in black in ink.

No details concerning the ruling and pricking cannot be determined solely on the basis of the images.

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
Scribal Notes

The cartouche in the opening decoration contains a short text written in the Latin alphabet: "Ex Dono Vitta Lauda Dei Formiggini 1781". It probably starts with the donation formula ("ex dono") that literally means "from a gift of", "gift of [the name of a donor]." It is followed by the name of the eighteenth-century owner of the scroll, a member of the Formiggini family. The archival documents preserve the name of Vita Laudadio Formiggini (1690–1766), which is similar to three subsequent words in the note; however, he died before 1781 - the year that ends the inscription. Unquestionably, the date from the end of the 18th century cannot be the date of the manuscripts' creation; it could commemorate another event, such as the donation of the scroll.

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 his article entitled "The Earliest Engraved Italian Megilloth" (see "Bibliography"). The type was named after Moses Gaster (1856–1939), the rabbi, scholar, and manuscript collector, who owned a scroll adorned with this pattern (at present this is the scroll Gaster Hebrew MS 710 stored in the John Rylands Library in Manchester - ID 36150). At least 25 manuscripts representing this type are still extant and are preserved in private and institutional collections. For their descriptions see "Related objects".

The pattern features a number of decorative elements common with the scrolls of Klagsbald type.

The scroll is an exception among the manuscripts decorated with the same pattern because the background of the endless knot motifs is partly painted in different colors. Similarly, the background of the floral decorations interspersing the text panels is filled with multicolored tempera. Some of the colors discernible in the manuscript (e.g. violet) cannot be found in any other scroll representing the same pattern. This can suggest that it was finished in another place or the decoration was re-painted in a later period. 

Suggested Reconsdivuction
History/Provenance
Main Surveys & Excavations
Bibliography

Bibliography concerning the scroll from the Estense Library:

Carlo Bernheimer, Catalogo dei manoscritti orientali della Biblioteca Estense, Roma 1960, 20, object 13.

Annie Sacerdoti, Arte e cultura ebraiche in Emilia-Romagna: [Exposición Ferrara, Palazzo dei Diamanti, Palazzo Paradiso 20 settembre 1988 - 15 gennaio 1989], Arnoldo Mondadori Editore - De Luca Edizioni del Arte 1988. On p. 161 the scroll is listed as object no. 106 (there is a short description of it), while the photo of the opening part of the manuscript is under no. 104. 

The panoramic image of the complete manuscript available: Megillah (Rotolo di Ester), in ebraico. Manoscritto membranaceo, sec. XVII, Modena, Biblioteca Estense Universitaria: http://www.clponline.it/mostre/angelo-fortunato-formiggini-ridere-leggere-e-scrivere-nell%E2%80%99italia-del-primo-novecento (accessed on 16.04.2020)

Selected bibliography concerning other scrolls decorated with the same border:

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

Cornelia Bodea, 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.

Dagmara Budzioch, The Decorated Esther Scrolls from the Museum of the Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw and the Tradition of Megillot Esther Decoration in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries – An Outline [Polish: Dekorowane zwoje Estery z Żydowskiego Instytutu Historycznego w Warszawie na tle tradycji dekorowania megilot Ester w XVII i XVIII wieku. Zarys problematyki], Warsaw 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.

Short Name
Full Name
Volume
Page
Type
Documenter
Dagmara Budzioch | 2020
Researcher
Dagmara Budzioch | 2020
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.