Under Reconstruction!
Art Alone

Img. ID: 332785

© The Emanuel Ringelblum Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw (JHI), Photographer: Kwolek, Grzegorz, 2017

The sixth text panel (sheet no. 3) is flanked by illustrations nos. 7 (invisible on the image) and 8. The seventh text panel (sheet no. 3) is flanked by illustrations nos. 8 and 10 and above, scene no. 9 is depicted.

Illustration 8: The crowned Ahasuerus with a scepter in his left hand sits on the throne with a canopy that is placed on a pedestal with three steps. A winged angel clothed in a long gown stands before the king and from an open book that he holds in his hands, reads the Book of Records to him. Depiction alludes to the Midrashic tale described in the Abba Gorion 39.

Illustration 9 (upper margin): within the oval frame above the seventh text panel, a group of ten men during the prayer is depicted (Es. 4:3). They are clothed in broad, flat black hats (barrette) and long black robes (sarbel). Four men in the center gesticulate, four others sit or stand on the left (two of them have books in their hands), another one in the foreground leans on the ground with a book in front of him, and the last man, on the right, sits alone. They stand in a room (a synagogue?) with arched windows and a hanging candelabrum with six branches; at the same time, the ground is overgrown with grass and this suggests that the scene takes place outside.

Illustration 10: Two young men - king's messengers - wearing sophisticated attire are depicted crossing over a brick bridge with walking sticks in their hands. Both are clothed in a hat with feathers, a short frock coat, and short trousers (Es. 8:14).

JHI Esther Scroll with Birds and Flowers | Unknown
Object Detail
text panels 6 and 7
Second quarter of the 18th century
Synagogue active dates
Reconstruction dates
Artist/ Maker
Unknown (Unknown)
| (?)
Historical Origin
Community type
Unknown |
Unknown |
Period Detail
Documentation / Research project
Material / Technique
Ink and tempera on parchment
Material Stucture
Material Decoration
Material Bonding
Material Inscription
Material Additions
Material Cloth
Material Lining
Tesserae Arrangement
Construction material
The scroll: 324-333x2700 mm.
The length of the sheets in the scroll: 1) ca. 600 mm, 2) ca. 710 mm, 3) ca. 700 mm, 4) ca. 615 mm, 5) at least 70 mm, but it is very difficult to unroll this part of the scroll.
Dimensions of the selected details in the scroll:
- decoration on the right edge of the first sheet: ca. 37 mm (width);
- opening illustration: 220x100 mm;
- an average illustration: 202x72 mm;
- illustration no. 6: 53x165 mm;
- illustration no. 13: 202x51 mm;
- illustration no. 14: 202x87 mm;
- upper margin: 55 mm;
- lower margin: 60 mm;
- text columns: 209-222x107-185 mm;
- col. 9: 221 x 121 mm;
- an average letter: 4 mm (height);
- letters in col. 9: 6 mm (height);
- letters ח in Es. 1:6 and ת in Es. 9:29: 8 mm (height).
Panel Measurements

In general, the scroll is crumpled and dirty, but especially its opening section is very damaged, dark, and dirty. 

A piece of paper is glued underneath the membrane but the decoration is not reconstructed on it. Also, the final part of the scroll is seriously damaged.

In numerous places, the paints are flaked off and the green color is faded.

The ink of the text has partly flaked off in some columns, but in general, the text is preserved in good condition.

The edges of the membranes are straight but rather dirty.

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
Textual Content
Unknown |
Languages of inscription
Shape / Form

The Book of Esther in Hebrew


The scroll is formed of 5 membranes containing a total of 11 columns with 26-27 lines per each, except for the col. 9 with 11 lines divided into two half-columns.

The first membrane contains 2 columns, each of the 3 other membranes contains 3 columns of the text, and on the fifth sheet, only illustration is painted.

The text is inscribed in Hebrew square Ashkenazi stam script with tagin, in brown and brown-black ink on the flesh side of parchment membranes that are rather dark and suede, thick but not stiff. Both sides of parchments are very similar. 

The letters ח (Es. 1:6) and ת (Es. 9:29) are enlarged and bolded. The letter ח is additionally decorated with scrolled feet. Other enlarged and diminished letters are included in col. 9.

The letters of the Tetragrammaton and the name Ehyeh are enlarged.

In the word נדחף (col. 6), the letter פ is written with a tendril inside. Other decorated letters are in words ויזתא (col. 9) and זרעו (col. 11).

Col. 8 contains numerous elongated letters.

The ruling - horizontal and vertical lines - is made with a hardpoint. The horizontal lines are ruled across the width of the membranes.

The pricking is visible on the opening edge of the scroll.

The membranes in the scroll are glued together and reinforced with leather patches on the glued edges.

Number of Lines
Hebrew Numeration
Blank Leaves
Façade (main)
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 Series
Coin Ruler
Coin Year
Scribal Notes
Trade Mark
Decoration Program
Summary and Remarks

A short piece of parchment was sewn to the fourth sheet (that is the last sheet in the scroll) to complete the illustration.

The edges on both ends of the scroll are cut straight.

The text is written with the ink of different shades.

In the place where the first and the second sheet are glued, on their blank side, a small piece of a German (?) newspaper is glued.

Suggested Reconsdivuction

It seems that until ca. 1932, the scroll belonged to the collection of Sally Kirschstein in Berlin.

According to the Jewish Historical Institute Museum card from November 24th, 1988, the scroll was transferred to the Jewish Historical Institute Museum in 1948 from the Central Storage of the MKiS (Ministry of Culture and Art), in Narożyn, in the Kłodzko region in the county of Wroclaw.

The former shelfmarks of the manuscript - 192, L81-5 (on a sticker), 6714, and B-409 - are written on the backside of the opening edge of the scroll, at the bottom.

Formerly manuscript no. C-254/2.

Main Surveys & Excavations

Online collection of the ritual objects from the E. Ringelblum Jewish Historical Institute is available on https://cbj.jhi.pl/documents/589836/0/ (accessed on 02.07.2021).

Marian Fuks, Zygmunt Hoffman, Maurycy Horn, Żydzi polscy. Dzieje i kultura, Warsaw 1982, 102 (a fragment of the scroll is reproduced).

Iwona Brzewska, Magdalena Sieramska, Katalog, rzemiosło artystyczne, [in:] Muzeum Żydowskiego Instytutu Historycznego. Zbiory artystyczne, Warsaw 1995, 34, figs. 58, 59.

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 no. 188.

Mendel Metzger, Die Illustration einiger Midraschim zum Buche Esther in der Jüdischen Kunst, „Das neue Israel”, 566–567.

Juedisches Lexikon, Berlin 1980, B. IV/I, color plate by the title page.

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, 1:248-272, 2:17-26.

Jewish Historical Institute Museum card no. C-254/2.

Short Name
Full Name
Yaffa Levy; Keren Katsir; Dagmara Budzioch | 1994; 2019
Author of description
Yaffa Levy; Keren Katsir, Dagmara Budzioch | 1994; 2019
Architectural Drawings
Computer Reconstruction
Section Head
Language Editor
Negative/Photo. No.