Sheet no. 1
The second and third text columns are surrounded by hand-painted decorations.
The scene within the second frame depicts the banquet of Ahasuerus (Es. 1:3-8). The king sits at the table together with two other men; four servants deliver dishes to them.
Below the text panel, there is a floral ornament.
The scene within the third frame depicts Ahasuerus displaying the riches of his kingdom to three men (Es. 1:4). An armor hangs on the wall behind them and a small dog is shown on the right.
Below the text panel, three tents are depicted.
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Ahasuerus displaying the riches of his kingdom (Es. 1:4)
O | Ornamentation: | Foliate and floral ornaments
O | Ornamentation: | Foliate and floral ornaments | Floral motif
O | Ornamentation: | Ornament
B | Bird
B | Butterfly
V | Vase | Vase with flowers
O | Ornamentation: | Main text framed
The Book of Esther in Hebrew
The scroll is formed of 6 sheets containing 31 columns of the text with 12 or 13 lines, and col. 24 contains 11 lines divided into two half-columns.
The number of text columns per membrane: nos. 1 and 2 - 5 columns, nos. 3-5 - 6 columns, no. 6 - 3 columns.
The text is inscribed in the Hebrew square Italian-Sephardi script with very long tagin in brown-black ink on parchment sheets. The side of the text and decoration is brighter than the blank side is very smooth.
The letter ח (Es. 1:6) is slightly larger than an average letter in the scroll and is formed of two components joined with a roof. The letter ת (Es. 9:29) is enlarged.
The ruling is invisible.
The membranes in the scroll are stitched together.
A short Hebrew inscription appears below the last column of the text in the scroll and says:
מעשה ידי משה פשקרול - "The work of my hands, Moshe Pescarol(o)".
The artist's family had immigrated from Germany to Italy the generation before Moshe ben Avraham; some of its members were book printers.
In scholarly literature, different spellings of the surname can be found; the most popular are Pescarol and Pescarolo. Other variants include: Pascarolo, Pascarol ("פַּשְׂקַרוֹל"), Piscarol, Pescarolo, Poscarel, Poscarela, Pescaroli, Pescaraolo. See M. Mortara, Indice alfabetico dei rabbini e scrittori Israeliti, Padova 1886, p. 49.
This bibliography lists the publications on all three currently known megillot Esther made by Moshe ben Avraham Pescarolo:
Florence Mansano Soulam, בסוד מגילותיו של הסופר-המאייר משה בן אברהם פשקרול: ניתוח מגילות פשקרול בתוך הקונטקסט ההיסטורי של איטליה בראשית המאה השבע-עשרה [Unveiling the Secrets of the Scrolls of Moshe Pescarolo Scribe and Artist. An Analysis of Pescarolo’s Scrolls in the Historical Context of Italy in the Early 17th Century], doctoral dissertation: Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 2006.
Mendel Metzger, The John Rylands Megillah and Some Other Illustrated Megilloth of the 15th to 17th Centuries, "Bulletin of the John Rylands Library" 1962 (45), 148–184, esp. 166–171.
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 megilot Ester w XVII i XVIII wieku. Zarys problematyki], Warsaw 2019, 1:89-92.
Dagmara Budzioch, Midrashic Tales in Seventeenth and Eighteenth-century Illustrated Esther Scrolls, "Kwartalnik Historii Żydów” 2017, no 3 (263), 405–422, esp. 408, 410, 411, 414, 415.
Dagmara Budzioch, Italian Origins of the Decorated Scrolls of Esther, "Kwartalnik Historii Żydów" 2016, no 1 (257), 35–49, esp.. 40–43.