The prefatory panel includes the title of the book in large, bold Hebrew letters - מגלת אסתר - and informs the reader that it is illustrated with drawings by Otto Geismar. It also notes a copyright to Herbert Löwenstein (Tel Aviv 1936) and that the book was printed by M. Lessmann in Berlin. Above and below the panel, there are two depictions alluding to the Book of Esther narrative: the enthroned King Ahasuerus (possibly alluding to Es. 1:1) and King Ahasuerus walking, flanked by attendants.
The upper scene shows the king sitting on the throne, dressed in a rich robe, with a high-topped crown, and a rod in his right hand. He has a dog at his feet. Two figures flank him: a bearded crowned man with a staff (on the right) and a bearded man with a round cap and a staff (on the left).
The lower scene shows the king dressed in a rich robe, with the same high-topped crown, holding a staff while walking. He follows a servant holding a roman legion sign and a small dog and is followed by a servant caring an umbrella.
After the first column of the text, there is a panel including 4 scenes related to the Esther story that are placed one under the other.
Illustration no. 1 illustrates Ahasuerus' banquet (Es. 1:3-8). On the left, there is a table with three figures sitting. On the right, the king is dancing with another man.
Illustration no. 2 illustrates Vashti's banquet (Es. 1:9). The scene depicts a large table along which several women are sitting. Queen Vashti is depicted on the right. On the left, a female servant brings two cups on a tray.
Illustration no. 3 shows five women dancing, likely during Vashti's banquet (Es. 1:9).
Illustration no. 4 presents three scribes writing with quills on open scrolls - possibly copying the king's decree (Es. 1:20).
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Ahasuerus' banquet (Es. 1:3-8)
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Vashti's banquet (Es. 1:9)
S | Scene, unidentified
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Scribes write the king's decree (Es. 1:20)
T | Title-page
The scroll is preserved intact.
The Book of Esther in Hebrew
The scroll is formed of 3 paper sheets containing 12 columns of the text with 42 lines, except for col. 10 with 11 lines divided into two parts.
The text of the Book of Esther with the vocalization is printed in the Ashkenazi stam script with tagin, in black ink. It reflects the text copied by an expert scribe and it shows scribal practices of typical Ashkenazi megillot, e.g. enlarged and diminished letters in Haman's sons section, enlarged letters ח (Es. 1:6) and ת (Es. 9:29).
A short biography and Geismar's immigration card are available https://www.yadvashem.org/yv/en/exhibitions/bearing-witness/esther-scroll.asp (accessed on 24.10.2020).
Other exemplars of the megillah sharing the same illustrations are stored in the Jewish Museum in Prague (inv. nos. 095.541, 084.999, and 178.216 - ID no. 36312), in the MAHJ in Paris (Inv. 2009.17.015 and Inv. 2000.16.169), in the JTS Library in New York (S282 and S474), and other institutional and private collections.