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© Center for Jewish Art, Photographer: Radovan, Zev, 2000

The decorative scheme surrounding cols. 3-7 (sheet no. 1) contains arcades that support a balustrade located in the upper margin with pairs of turkeys and roosters flanking the cartouches above each arch. Flower-filled vases atop each column separate these decorative illuminations. The lower margin is filled with figurative scenes that chronicle the narrative of the Book of Esther:

Frame 3 (only partly visible): on the right, Ahasuerus sits on his throne, accompanied by the seven princes of Persia and Media (Es. 1:14). He holds a scepter in his left hand and his other hand points to a man, most likely Memucan, who stands before him. Six other men stand behind Memucan (?) and there is a soldier behind the king's throne. The scene illustrates the moment when the king asks his advisers for advice regarding the fate of Vashti (Es. 1:13-20). On the left, two royal messengers ride on horseback towards a city in the background (Es. 1:21-23).

Frame 4: in the center of this frame, a group of women is brought into the king's court (Es. 2:1-4), lead by a man who is most likely Hegai (Es. 2:8); possibly the first of them is Esther. On the left side of the background, there is a carriage.

Frame 5: in the center, King Ahasuerus is seated on a canopied throne and is flanked by eight men sitting on benches. The King's arms are outstretched and he holds a crown in his right hand. He is about to place this crown on the head of Esther who kneels before him. Behind her stand four women (Es. 2:17).

Frame 6: on the right side of this frame, Mordecai stands by a gate in the wall and looks at two men who are probably Bigthan and Teresh (Es. 2:21). On the left side of the frame, Haman approaches Ahasuerus who is sitting on his canopied throne. The king holds a scepter in one hand and gives Haman his royal signet ring with the other (Es. 3:10). A man, possibly a guard, stands behind the throne. There is a fountain in the center of the cartouche.

Frame 7: on the right side of this frame, a male figure - most likely Haman - dictates the decree against the Jews to a scribe who sits at a table with two other men (Es. 3:12). On the left side of the frame, the crowned Esther stands in a walled courtyard with two handmaidens. A man wearing a turban - possibly her servant, Hatach - is facing her as if they are in conversation and another man in a turban - most likely Mordecai - stands in front of the palace gate in the background (Es. 4:4).

Images of the scroll beyond this point are currently lacking, but are identical to the other Gaster II style scrolls.

Name/Title
AEJM Gaster II Type Esther Scroll | Unknown
Object Detail
Settings
Unknown
Date
second half of the 17th century
Synagogue active dates
Reconstruction dates
Artist/ Maker
Unknown (Unknown)
Origin
Italy | Veneto | Venice
| (?)
Historical Origin
Unknown
Community type
Unknown |
Congregation
Unknown
Location
Unknown |
Site
Unknown
School/Style
Unknown|
Period
Unknown
Period Detail
Documentation / Research project
Unknown
Material/Technique
Ink and paints on parchment
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
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
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
None
Scribal Notes
Watermark
Hallmark
Group
Group
Group
Group
Group
Trade Mark
Binding
Decoration Program
Summary and Remarks

The decorative scheme of Gaster II scrolls shows common features with the Griselini and Griselini-Related scrolls (see "Griselini scrolls" and "Griselini-Related scrolls" in the Index), whereas the narrative scenes are the same as in the scrolls representing Klagsbald type (see IDs 31, 38212).

For another scroll representing the same type of ornamentation see ID 34123. 

The scroll may have been accompanied by a decorated benedictions sheet and a bag (or piece of green fabric).

Suggested Reconsdivuction
History/Provenance

According to the museum card: "Donated by Mrs. Ada and Prof. Gino Sacerdote of Turin in memory of the grandmother Emilia Leblis of Pugliese, born in Casale 1856 and buried there in the old cemetery in 1932." Donated on February 25th, 1996. ["dono dei Sigg. Ada e Prof. Gino Sacerdote di Torino in memoria della nonna Emilia Leblis in Pugliese nata a Casale 1856 e ivi sepolta nel vecchio cimitero nel 1932. di pertinenza del Museo d' Arte e Storia Antica Ebraica di Casale Monferrato e successivamente passato alla Fondazione Arte, Storia e Cultura Ebraica a Casale Monf.to e nel Piemonte Orientale ONLUS"]

Main Surveys & Excavations
Bibliography

The scrolls representing the same or similar pattern are discussed in:

Mendel Metzger, "The Earliest Engraved Italian Megilloth", Bulletin of the John Rylands Library, 48:2 (1966), 381‒432.

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, 1:124-134, 322.

The scrolls representing the same or similar pattern are discussed in:

F. J. Hoogewoud, "Louis Hirschel, List of Unique and Rare Items from the Bibliotheca Rosenthaliana," Studia Rosenthaliana, 38/39 (2005/2006), 73-99.

Dagmara Budzioch, The Decorated Megillot Esther in the Moses Gaster Hebrew Manuscript Collection at the John Rylands Library: a comparative analysis with reference to Eighteenth-century Italian scrolls, Journal of Semitic Studies Supplement Series [in print].

Hebrew and Judaic manuscripts in Amsterdam public collections Catalogue of the manuscripts of the Bibliotheca Rosenthaliana, University Library of Amsterdam eds. L. Fuks and R. G. Fuks-Mansfeld, Leiden 1973.

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.
S400569