On the right, there is a scene that is difficult to interpret. A person (a woman?, Queen Esther?) seated at a table accompanied by four men are shown; one of them stands next to the table. The scene on the left depicts the first Purim feast (Es. 9:17-23).
| inv. D.98.04.074.CL (former number Cl 12296d)
The length of the membranes in the scroll: 1) ca. 535 mm, 2) 470 mm, 3) 465 mm, 4) 465 mm, 5) 465 mm. To the last membrane, a short parchment sheet is stitched; it joins the manuscript with the wooden roller.
Dimensions of the selected details in the scroll:
- the printed decoration - ca. 260x468 mm;
- a segment with a pair of birds - ca. 35 x ca. 90 mm;
- a balustrade - 27 mm (height);
- a text panel - 120 x ca. 82 mm;
- an illustration - 26x75 mm;
- an average letter: 3 mm (height);
- letters in col. 16: 6 mm (height).
The roller: ca. 540 mm (height).
The manuscript is formed of 5 membranes containing 19 text columns with 24 lines except for col. 16 inscribed in 11 lines divided into two parts.
The text is inscribed in black ink, in a square Italian Hebrew script on the flesh side of parchment membranes. Some of the letters end with serifs, e.g. the flag of the letter ל that is very characteristic for this scribe.
The letter ח (Es. 1:6) is a bit larger than other letters and exceptionally for this scribe, it is composed of two parts joined with a roof. The letter ת (Es. 9:29) is not enlarged, however, enlarged and diminished letters are included in col. 16.
The ruling is made by a stylus and in the text panels it is slightly visible; only in the last lunette that is left blank, it is clearly visible.
The parchment is bright (the blank - hair - side is more yellow than the other), rather thin and stiff.
The membranes are stitched.
Several other scrolls sharing the same pattern are extant; in the Index see IDs: 23784, 34124, 37656, 37866.
The scroll is displayed on the permanent exhibition of the Museum.
The beginning of the manuscript is trimmed in a decorative shape.
The last lunette is blank; there was one line of the text inscribed in it but it was erased.
On the second and fifth membranes, the colors are very dense.
In some places, the prints and the text are visible on the blank side of the membranes.
The scroll is described in:
Victor Klagsbald, Catalogue raisonné de la collection juive du Musée de Cluny, Paris 1981, p. 66-67, object 74.
A short description in French and several photographs are available on https://www.mahj.org/en/decouvrir-collections-betsalel/rouleau-d-esther-50121 (accessed on 24.05.2020).
Scrolls sharing the same pattern are discussed for example in:
Mendel Metzger, The Earliest Engraved Italian Megilloth, Bulletin of the John Rylands Library 1966, 48/2, 381–432, esp. 416-432 (here the scrolls are called "post-Griselini").
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 megillot Ester w XVII i XVIII wieku. Zarys problematyki], Warsaw 2019, 1:135-138.