Text columns nos. 10 (sheet no. 2) and 11 (sheet no. 3) are surrounded by the hand-painted decoration.
Frame no. 10 depicts three scenes related to the plot of the royal chamberlains against the king. On the left, the small figures of Bightan and Teresh are shown. On the right, Esther and Ahasuerus are shown seated on their thrones under a common canopy; the figure of Esther is larger than the figure of the king. Probably, the scene depicts the moment when Esther informs King Ahasuerus about the plot against him (Es. 2:22). In the upper right corner, Bigthan and Teresh are depicted hanged (Es. 2:23); in the background, a city is visible.
Beneath the text panel, there is a depiction of a city and a tree.
The scene in frame no. 11 depicts the promotion of Haman to the position of vizier (Es. 3:1). In the center, Haman appears as a large figure in sophisticated oriental attire. Ahasuerus sits on the left, while on the right, two courtiers stand in the entrance to the chamber.
In the oval beneath the text panel, there is a swan with a snake in its beak; it can allude to a stork with a snake - a widespread motif in Jewish art.
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Esther informs King Ahasuerus about the plot against him (Es. 2:22)
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Bigthan and Teresh hanged (Es. 2:23)
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Ahasuerus promotes Haman to the position of vizier (Es. 3:1)
O | Ornamentation: | Foliate and floral ornaments
O | Ornamentation: | Foliate and floral ornaments | Floral motif
V | Vase | Vase with flowers
O | Ornamentation: | Ornament
B | Bird
L | Landscape
S | Stork | Stork with a snake in its beak
S | Swan
C | City
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 parts.
The number of text columns per membrane: nos. 1 and 2 are 5 columns, nos. 3-5 are 6 columns, no. 6 are 3 columns.
The text is inscribed in the Hebrew square Italian-Sephardi script with very long tagin, in brown-black ink, on parchment sheets that are of medium thickness though not stiff. The side with the text and decoration is brighter. The blank side is very smooth.
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 megillot 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.