In two subsequent panels, at the beginning of the first sheet, the benedictions recited before (panel no. 1) and after the Megillah reading (panel no. 2) are inscribed. The latter is followed by the liturgical poem ארור המן "Arur Haman" ("Cursed Haman"). Every benediction opens with an enlarged word ברוך - "blessed" that is written on the right and separated from the rest of the formula. The words of the poem are written in a decorative layout with large spaces between them. The frames are surrounded by cut-out decorations, the same as in the megillah itself. In the upper margin, a bird and a lion can be seen, and on the left, there is a butterfly.
The length of the sheets in the scroll: 1) ca. 520 mm, 2) ca. 510 mm, 3) ca. 530 mm, 4) ca. 530 mm, 5) ca. 410 mm (the sheets are wavy, herefore, it is difficult to measure them).
Dimensions of the selected details in the scroll:
- ornaments in the upper margins - 10 mm;
- ornaments in the lower margins - 12 mm;
- text panel including the frame - 49x75 mm;
- text panels' frames - 2 mm (width);
- opening section with the benedictions: 70x155mm.
An average letter is 2 mm high, whereas enlarged letters in the scroll are 4 mm high and they are the same as the opening words of the benedictions. The inscription after the blessings is written in the letters of 1,5 mm height.
The Book of Esther in Hebrew with benedictions recited before and after the Megillah reading and liturgical poem ארור המן "Arur Haman" ("Cursed Haman")
The scroll is formed of 5 membranes containing 24 columns of the text with 13 lines, except for col. 20 with 11 lines divided into two parts. The last column is narrowing downwards.
The text is inscribed in the square Hebrew script with Italian and Ashkenazi features, in black ink, on the flesh side of parchment membranes that are of medium thickness and rather stiff. The flesh side of parchment is bright and smooth, whereas the other side is more yellow and shiny.
The letters ח (Es. 1:6) and ת (Es. 9:29) are enlarged; the letter ח is additionally highlighted by its form - it is composed of two elements joined with a roof.
In the benedictions, ligatures combining א and ל are included. Tetragrammaton is marked as a composition of two letters י and a shape resembling letter ל.
The ruling is hardly visible; only in the opening section of the scroll and inside col. 20 the lines made with a stylus can be seen. However, possibly, the ruling was made also in the remaining part of the scroll that is suggested by the straight lines of the text.
There are hardly any right and left margins in the text panels.
The membranes are stitched.
For other scrolls decorated with cut-out borders see IDs: 34769 (different style of ornamentation)
For the scroll with similar ornamentation that is painted and not cut-out see ID 34780.
Based on the similarity with the decoration of some decorated ketubbot prepared for the marriages that took place in Lugo or Ancona in the 2nd half of the 18th century, it can be assumed that the scroll was produced in the same region and period. Other examples of megillot with cut-out borders were created in Holland (see IDs).
The size of the scroll (membranes are only 70 mm high) and technique in which the decoration was executed prove the craftsmanship of its maker.
It seems the decoration was colored after the sewing of the sheets.
The scroll is described in:
Die Judaica-Sammlung S. Kirschstein Berlin. Kultgeräte für Haus und Synagoge, Manuskripte, Gemälde, Miniaturen, Graphik, Urkunden, Bücher. Versteigerung in der Galerie Hugo Helbing München (...) [12‒14 Juli 1932]. Ausstellung in der Galerie Hugo Helbing München (...) [8‒11 Juli 1932], München 1932, p. 11, object 196 and plate IX.
Similar scrolls are described in:
Treasures of Jewish Heritage. The Jewish Museum London, eds. Rickie Burman, Jennifer Marin, and Lily Steadman, London 2006, 10, 62-63.
Art and Tradition. Treasures of Jewish Life from the Reuben and Helene Dennis Museum, Beth Tzedec Synagogue, ed. Dorion Liebgott, Toronto 2000, 70-71.
Yehudit Shadur, Joseph Shadur, Traditional Jewish Papercuts. An Inner World of Art and Symbol, Hanover–London 2002, X.