Cartouche 9 (upper margin): On the right, Ahasuerus sits on the throne with a canopy and extends his scepter to the crowned Esther who kneels before him and touches the tip of it. Two men stand behind the throne and Esther is accompanied by two maid-servants (Es. 5:2-3). On the left, the first banquet given by Esther is depicted. Esther, Ahasuerus, and Haman sit at a round, laid table set in palace gardens. A man serving the dishes is just approaching the table (Es. 5:5).
Cartouche 10 (lower margin): On the right, Haman wearing a turban stands and talks to two women; probably one of them is Zeresh, Haman's wife, at the moment when she is suggesting him to build the gallows for Mordecai (Es. 5:14). In the central part of the cartouche stands the gallows prepared by Haman for Mordecai (Es. 5:14). On the left, Ahasuerus reclines on a bed and two men stand before him; one of them reads from an open book to the king (Es. 6:1).
Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Esther touching the scepter (Es. 5:2)
Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Esther's first banquet (Es. 5:5-8)
Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Haman talks to his wife, Zeresh, and friends (Es. 5:14)
Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Gallows built for Mordecai (Es. 5:14)
Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Ahasuerus listening to the Book of Records (Es. 6:1-3)
Ornamentation: | Foliate and floral ornaments | Floral motif
Ornamentation: | Endless knot
Membranes are stitched
The name "Gaster I" was introduced by Mendel Metzger in an article entitled "The Earliest Engraved Italian Megilloth" published in the "Bulletin of the John Rylands Library" (48:2 (1966), 381‒432, esp. 390). The type was named after Moses Gaster (1856–1939), the rabbi, scholar, and manuscript collector of whose collections a scroll adorned with this pattern formed a part (at present this is the scroll Gaster Hebrew MS 710 stored in the John Rylands Library in Manchester). At least 25 manuscripts representing this type are still extant and are preserved in private and institutional collections. For descriptions of other scrolls representing the same pattern see IDs: 61, 1098, 21702, 34125, 34642, 36105, 36150.
The pattern features a number of decorative elements common with the scrolls of Klagsbald type (see ID 31, 34766).
Bibliography concerning the scroll from the NL:
National Library of Israel (catalogue)
Bibliography concerning other scrolls decorated with the same border: