Img. ID: 332911
Text column no. 7 (sheet 2): In the upper margin, a bust of a young man (one of the princes of Media and Persia listed in Es. 1:14?) is depicted. In the frame placed in the lower margin, on the left, Haman stands in front of Ahasuerus attended by a group of men (his advisers?, servants?). The vizier holds weight with scales on which he is going to weigh silver for the king (Es. 3:9). In the background, the king's palace is visible.
Text column no. 8 (sheet 2): In the upper margin, a bust of the queen is depicted. In the frame placed in the lower margin, five men sit at a table at the moment when Queen Esther is entering the chamber. Most likely, the scene depicts the first banquet given by Esther (Es. 5:5-8) but it is unclear why the queen does not sit at the table and who are the other participants of the feast (the Book of Esther mentions only the king and Haman).
Text column no. 9 (sheet no. 3): In the upper margin, a bust of a man is depicted. In the frame placed in the lower margin, on the right, the king sits on the throne under a canopy, and before him, stands a man who is reading from an open book (Es. 6:1-3). On the left and in the background, the palace garden is depicted.
In the octagons separating the frames are depicted (from right to left): 1) a harbor with a ship, 2) a landscape with a tree and a gate in the foreground, 3) a landscape with a house in the foreground, 4) a rider next to a tree.
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Haman entreats Ahasuerus to issue a decree destroying the Jews (Es. 3:9)
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Esther's first banquet (Es. 5:5-8)
L | Landscape
P | Portrait | Portrait medallion
A | Acanthus Leaf
O | Ornamentation: | Architectonic motif
O | Ornamentation: | Foliate and floral ornaments | Flower
H | Human Figure
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Esther story protagonists
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Ahasuerus listening to the Book of Records (Es. 6:1-3)
V | Vase | Vase with flowers
H | Human Figure | Bust (Human figure)
The Book of Esther in Hebrew with the benedictions recited before and after the Megillah reading and the liturgical poem אשר הניא
The scroll is formed of 4 sheets containing a total of 16 columns of text and two additional benediction panels at the beginning and the end of the manuscript. Columns include 27, 28, or 30 lines of text, except for col. 1 with 20 lines and the initial word that is written in a separate line, and col. 14 with 11 lines divided into two half-columns.
Every sheet comprises 4 columns of the text.
The text is inscribed in the Hebrew square script with tagin, in brown ink, on the flesh side of parchment membranes.
The scroll opens with a decorative initial word in which every letter is separated and surrounded with a filigree ornament.
The letter ח (Es. 1:6) is highlighted by its size (it is enlarged and bolded) and form (it is composed of two elements joined with a roof and has scrolled feet). The letter ת (Es. 9:29) is enlarged and bolded. Other enlarged and diminished letters are included in col. 14; additionally, every letter in this section is outlined with a thin, light brown line.
The ruling and pricking are invisible.
The sheets in the scroll are stitched together.
The benedictions: The initial benedictions are inscribed in the central panel of the opening decoration. The words ברוך are separated from the rest of the formulas written in the square script. The background is filled with a filigree ornament drawn in brown ink.
The final blessing starts with a decorative word ברוך in which every letter is separated and surrounded with a filigree ornament. In the column below it, the Purim poem is copied in a semi-cursive script; only the letters opening the subsequent verses are inscribed in the square script (they are bolded too), and two large letters - א and ש - against a decorative background drawn in brown ink are incorporated.
For other scrolls sharing the same or similar pattern see IDs: 1545, 1547, 23764, 36305, 37876.
For related scrolls see IDs: 1545, 36305, 37875.
The manuscript is unique due to col. 14 in which the text is written by hand, while the gallows is printed and it lacks the filigree ornament that should surround the text (in other scrolls sharing the same border, both the text and decorations are printed; the gallows is placed in the center and the ornament behind the text appears). Additionally, this is the only manuscript in which large, decorative letters are incorporated.
The scroll is mentioned in:
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, 1:176-188.
Manuscripts sharing the same pattern are described in:
A Journey through Jewish Worlds: Highlights from the Braginsky Collection of Hebrew Manuscripts and Printed Books, eds. Evelyn M. Cohen, Emile Schrijver, Sharon Liberman Mintz, Amsterdam 2009, 234-237.
Schöne Seiten. Jüdische Schriftkultur aus der Braginsky Collection, eds. Emile Schrijver, Falk Wiesemann, Evelyn M. Cohen, Sharon Liberman Mintz, Menahem Schmeltzer, Zurich 2011, 282-283.
Jiřina Šedinová, From the Mss. Collections of the State Jewish Museum in Prague. The Scrolls of Esther, "Judaica Bohemiae" 1979, nr 15/2, 80-83.