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© Gross Family Collection, Photographer: Bar Hama, Ardon, -

The first column of the text in the scroll, which is the only rectangular column in the manuscript, is surrounded by a depiction of the city that is labeled at top in the Latin alphabet: "Statt Shusonn".

The representation of the city of Susa (Shushan) continues in the lower part of the next panel, which is filled in detail with numerous buildings. At top left, there is a long table at which King Ahasuerus and seven princes of Persia and Media - all crowned - are seated (Es. 1:3-8, 14). Every person is labeled in Hebrew, in a semi-cursive script, and the scene incorporates a partial quotation from the Book of Esther (1:3-5, 13):

ויעש המלך משתה לכל שריו ועבדיו לחצר גנת ביתן. ויאמר המלך לחכמים

Below the banquet table, several figures of men (two of them on horseback), women, and a carriage populate the space. One of the women is crowned and seated; this likely suggests Vashti's banquet (Es. 1:9). Between the figures, Hebrew words from Esther are inscribed:

גם ושתי המלכה עשתה משתה (1:9)

ןתמאן המלכה ושתי לבא (1:12)

ואשר נגזר עליה (2:1)

The visual narration continues in the lower margin under text panel no. 2. Here are depicted riders -  likely the king's messengers (Es. 1:22) - and a carriage in which maidens could be brought to the palace (Es. 2:8).

Far on the left, under the text panel no. 3, a group of maidens in sophisticated dress approaches King Ahasuerus. They are arranged according to their height, with the tallest maiden closest to the king, and it can be assumed that this is Esther (Es. 2:16). King Ahasuerus holds a scepter, and the gesture of his other hand suggests that he is choosing Esther.

The upper margin and the spaces between the panels are decorated with floral ornaments.

Name/Title
GFC Statt Susonn Illustrated Esther Scroll | Unknown
Object Detail
text panels 1-3
Date
first half of the 18th century
Synagogue active dates
Reconstruction dates
Artist/ Maker
Origin
Historical Origin
Unknown
Community type
Unknown |
Congregation
Unknown
Location
Unknown |
Site
Unknown
School/Style
Unknown|
Period
Unknown
Period Detail
Collection
Documentation / Research project
Unknown
Material/Technique
Ink and paints on parchment + silver
Material Stucture
Material Decoration
Material Bonding
Material Inscription
Material Additions
Material Cloth
Material Lining
Tesserae Arrangement
Density
Colors
Construction material
Measurements
The scroll: 92x1472 mm.
Height
Length
Width
Depth
Circumference
Thickness
Diameter
Weight
Axis
Panel Measurements
Condition
Extant
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
Languages of inscription
Unknown
Type of grave
Unknown
0
Ornamentation
Custom
Contents

The Book of Esther in Hebrew

Codicology

The scroll is formed of 3 sheets, containing in total 17 "columns" of the text of 16, 18, 20-24, or 26 lines each. "Col." 15 includes 11 lines divided into two half-columns.

The lines of the text fit the shape of the panels, therefore they are of different lengths.

The number of the text columns per membrane: no. 1 - 4, no. 2 - 7, no. 3 - 6.

The text is written in Hebrew square Ashkenazi script with tagin, in brown ink on the flesh side of the parchment membranes.

Additions to the text in the semi-cursive script are written.

The letters ח (Es. 1:6) and ת (Es. 9:29) is enlarged and bolded. Other enlarged and diminished letters are included in col. 15.

The ruling is made with a hardpoint; only horizontal lines are visible. 

The membranes in the scroll are stitched together.

The pricking is invisible.

Scribes
Script
Number of Lines
Ruling
Pricking
Quires
Catchwords
Hebrew Numeration
Blank Leaves
Direction/Location
Façade (main)
Endivances
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
Coin Series
Coin Ruler
Coin Year
Denomination
Signature
Colophon

None

Scribal Notes

The caption "Statt Susonn" written in Latin letters above the cityscape at the top of the first column of the text appears.

Watermark
Hallmark
Group
Group
Group
Group
Group
Trade Mark
Binding
Decoration Program
Summary and Remarks

This megillah is one of three scrolls from Germany featuring similar decorative programs, most likely executed by the same unknown artist. However, only this one includes figurative scenes of the Esther story. All three of them, in their opening panels, show cityscapes of Susa (Shushan), the capital of the ancient Persian Empire. All three also bear the caption "Statt Susonn" written in Latin letters - hence the designation for the scroll's anonymous artist. The other scroll is in the collection of The Jewish Theological Seminary in New York (S44), and the third one was sold at the New York Sotheby's in 2013 (see "Bibliography").

Suggested Reconsdivuction
History/Provenance
Main Surveys & Excavations
Bibliography

The scroll was reproduced in a limited edition facsimile by Linda and Michael Falter, Facsimile Editions Limited, London:

https://www.facsimile-editions.com/en/me/ (accessed on 24.09.2020).

The lot description of one of the other scrolls by the same artist:

http://www.sothebys.com/content/sothebys/en/auctions/ecatalogue/2013/judaica-n09060/lot.100A.html (23.09.2015).

Short Name
Full Name
Volume
Page
Type
Documenter
Dagmara Budzioch | 2020
Researcher
Dagmara Budzioch |
Architectural Drawings
|
Computer Reconstruction
|
Section Head
|
Language Editor
|
Donor
|
Negative/Photo. No.
M002276