This scroll opens with a panel containing several illustrations from the Esther story. The upper part is divided into three scenes. In the center King Ahasuerus and Queen Esther are depicted; they sit together on the throne and on its pedestal a Hebrew inscription כשבת המלך (“as the king was sitting”) is visible. The royal couple is accompanied by courtiers; on the left, there is a group of men who can be king's advisers or princes of Media and Persia, while on the right, there is a group of women who are the maidens of Esther. Below, in a rectangular panel, Queen Esther is shown seated on a throne surrounded by plant ornaments, lions, birds, heads of angels, and the Hebrew words ברכת מגילה birkat megillah (“blessings for the [reading of] Megillah”). The middle register consists of three rectangular frames: in the central frame are printed three initial benedictions, in the panel on the right are shown king’s chamberlains, Bigthan and Teresh, hanged on two gallows (Es. 2:23), and in the panel on the left is depicted Haman and his sons hanged on three gallows (Es. 7:10, Es. 9:14 or Es. 9:25). Below there are three other episodes from the Book of Esther (from right to left): Queen Esther and Mordecai write letters instructing the Jews to observe Purim (Es. 9:29), Haman leads Mordecai through the streets of Susa (Es. 6:11), and possibly Mordecai tearing his clothes as a sign of mourning (Es. 4:1).
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Haman hanged (Es. 7:10)
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Haman's sons hanged (Es. 9:14)
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Mordecai in mourning (Es. 4:1)
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Mordecai's triumph (Es. 6:11)
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Seven maidens given to Esther (Es. 2:9)
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | *Esther's Story Characters (depicted not in narrative scenes): | Ahasuerus and Esther, enthroned
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | *Esther's Story Characters (depicted not in narrative scenes): | Esther, the queen
L | Lion | Lion rampant
H | Heraldic composition | Supporters | Two birds
A | Angel of Death | Angel's head
A | Acanthus Leaf
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Ahasuerus and the seven princes of Persia and Media (Es. 1:13-15) | Seven princes of Persia and Media (Es. 1:14)
Book of Esther in Hebrew with the initial benedictions
The scroll consists of 3 sheets on which 10 text columns are printed
The sheets are glued
Another scroll representing the same pattern: MZSL XXIV-M-16 (64.1226), Jewish Museum and Archives, Budapest.
Selected bibliography on other works by Mordecai Sofer of Nitra (Marcus Donath):
Zsuzsanna Toronyi, Héber betűk. Dokumentumok a Magyar Zsidó Levéltárból, Budapest 2012, 35.
Zsuzsanna Toronyi, Markus Donath / Mordecai Sofer Stam of Nitra, [in:] Emile, Schrijver Eds. Windows on Jewish Worlds. Essays in Honor of William Gross, Collector of Judaica, Amsterdam 2019, 246-271.
Ernő Naményi, „Ein ungarisch-jüdischer Kupferstecher der Biedermeierzeit (Markus Donath)”, [in:] Jubilee-Volume in Honour of Prof. Bernhard Heller, ed. A. Schreiber, Budapest 1941, 252‒257.
Alexander Scheiber, „Markus Donath’s Second Misrah-plate”, Studies in Bibliography and Booklore 1973-1974, no. 10, 80–82.
Alexander Scheiber, „Marcus Donath’s Mohel Book”, Studies in Bibliography and Booklore 1979, no. 12, 9–11.
Irina Wandrey, “Codex Levy 45”, Manuscript Cultures 2014, no. 6, 275–279.
Lot 198: A Hungarian Jewel-set Silver-gilt Miniature Torah Crown and Shield, Sotheby's A Treasured Legacy: The Michael and Judy Steinhardt Judaica Collection. New York 29 April 2013 available on https://www.sothebys.com (accessed on 22.03.2020).