This fragment of the lower margin ornamentation is not well preserved and can be recognized only on the basis of other megillot decorated with the same pattern.
Frame 11: On the right, two mounted troops are represented as fighting together. The clothing of the men on the left suggests that they are Jews who are fighting their enemies approaching from the opposite direction. This is one of the moments in the narrative when Jews battle their enemies but it is difficult to determine which particular episode is illustrated here (Es. 9:5-12). On the left, the royal couple sitting on the throne is represented, however, it is unclear which episode this illustrates; it can be the moment when Esther pleads with the king for an additional day of fights (Es. 9:13).
Frame 12: On the right and in the center, the feast with musicians and a group of dancing people of both sexes is shown. One of them is wearing clothing typical for the Jews at the time when the pattern was designed, another man is wearing a checkered costume, and yet another man has a long curly wig. It is difficult to determine if this can be the feast after the victory of the Jews over the enemies (Es. 8:16-17) or the first Purim feast (Es. 9:17-23). On the left, a ship on the sea is shown (alludes to Es. 10:1).
An average letter is not higher than 2 mm, whereas an average letter in col. 10 is 5 mm high. The space between the subsequent lines of the text is 3 mm.
Dimensions of the selected details in the scroll:
- upper margin - 35 mm;
- lower margin - 45 mm;
- text panel - 127x67 mm;
- columns between the text panels - 30 mm (width);
- bases with angels' heads - ca. 35x30 mm.
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Esther asks the king for an additional day of fighting (Es. 9:13)
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) | First Purim feast (Es. 9:17-23)
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | And the king Ahasuerus laid a tribute upon the land, and upon the isles of the sea (Es. 10:1)
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Ship(s) going out to sea (based on Es. 10:1)
The scroll consists of 3 membranes containing 12 columns with 28 lines, except for col. 10 with 11 lines divided into two parts. Every sheet contains 4 text columns.
The text is written on the flesh side of parchment membranes in a small, square Sefardi script in faded black ink.
The opening word of the Megillah is enlarged; similarly, as the letter ח (Es. 1:6) that in addition has decorative legs ended with tiny tendrils. The letter ת (Es. 9:29) is also enlarged.
All ten names of Haman's sons are inscribed in a column of equal width (col. 10); for this purpose, many letters are elongated. Additionally, this section includes the letters that are traditionally written as enlarged or diminished.
The parchment membranes are rather suede, soft, and thin. The recto (flesh) side of the sheets is brighter than the verso side that is not only darker but also more grey. They are stitched.
The ruling is invisible.
There are two variants of the scrolls decorated with this pattern that in the Index are marked "I" and "II". In some exemplars, just below the decorative herms, the pedestals with angel's heads and bases were added, therefore, the text panels are higher; this type is marked with "II". Whereas, the rest of the manuscripts containing no pedestals with angel's heads and bases are marked with "I". The latter are more numerous.
The earliest scroll sharing similar engraved pattern is dated to 1701; this is the megillah BCM 25 from the Braginsky Collection in Zurich (see http://braginskycollection.com/esther-scrolls/; accessed on 22.04.2020).
The scroll consists of 3 membranes; in it sheet no. 3 originally designed for these scrolls is not used, therefore, the frames with narrative scenes nos. 9-12 are absent. This causes that in the present description, frames nos. 9-12 are the same as frames nos. 13-16 in other exemplars of the scrolls decorated with the same border.
Similar narrative scenes are included in the scrolls with "portrait medallions" (see their descriptions in the Index); some of them are their mirror image.
On other scrolls decorated with the same pattern:
Olga Sixtova, O svitku / Form of the Scroll [katalog k výstavě konané v Galerii Roberta Guttmanna Židovského muzea v Praze od 22. června do 26. července 2006], Prague 2006, 37.
http://braginskycollection.com/esther-scrolls/ (accessed on 22.04.2020)