Img. ID: 332916
Sheet no. 1
Far on the left, under the third text panel, 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.
Under the fourth panel, the narrative continues with the depiction of Esther and Mordecai talking - likely, Mordecai informing Esther about Bigthan and Teresh's plot against the king (Es. 2:22). On the left, Esther informs the king about the plot (Es. 2:22). On the right, Bigthan and Teresh are hanged on a gallows with a jar standing on it.
Between the fourth and the fifth text panels, Haman as the vizier (Es. 3:1) and the people who bow to him (Es. 3:2) are depicted. Above, there is a representation of a city. This ends the first membrane.
Sheet no. 2
Under the fifth panel, on the left and right, there are two groups of people who bow to Haman, who is dressed in red garb and wearing a sword. Mordecai, dressed in Jewish garb, does not bow to Haman (Es. 3:2).
Under the sixth panel, on the right, a man dressed in blue warns Mordecai of the consequences of not bowing to Haman (Es. 3:3-4). Below both figures, 5 "gold" coins, worth 2,000 each, represent the 10,000 talents paid by Haman to the king (Es. 3:9). On the left, King Ahasuerus with a scepter in his hand is shown; before him stands Haman dressed as a vizier with the king's ring in his hand (Es. 3:10).
In the seventh panel, on the left, the moment when Esther sends clothes for Mordecai is depicted. The queen gives the clothing to Hatach, her servant, who hands it down to Mordecai (Es. 4:4) below.
The upper margin and the spaces between the panels are decorated with floral ornaments; the same ornaments supplement the narrative scenes too.
B | Buildings
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) | Plot of Bightan and Teresh against King Ahasuerus (Es. 2:21)
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Servants bowing down before Haman (Es. 3:2)
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Mordecai refusing to bow down before Haman (Es. 3:2)
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | King's servants talk to Mordecai (Es. 3:3)
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Haman paying money to the king (Es. 3:9)
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Ahasuerus handing his ring to Haman (Es. 3:10)
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Esther sends clothes for Mordecai (Es. 4:4)
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Mordecai receiving clothes from Hatach (Es. 4:4)
O | Ornamentation: | Ornament
C | City
The manuscript is well preserved, although its opening and final parts are very dark and the decorations on it are damaged.
The final panel is not preserved entirely; to the final part of the membrane and underneath it, a short piece of parchment is glued.
There are some slight damages to the decorations in the scroll.
The Book of Esther in Hebrew
The scroll is formed of 3 sheets, containing in total 17 "columns" of 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) are enlarged and bolded. Other enlarged and diminished letters are included in col. 15.
The ruling is made with a hard point; only horizontal lines are visible.
The pricking is invisible.
The membranes in the scroll are stitched together.
The caption "Statt Susonn" written in Latin letters above the cityscape at the top of the first column of the text appears.
This megillah is one of three scrolls from Germany featuring similar decorative programs, most likely executed by the same anonymous 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 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 auction in 2013 (see "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: