Sheet no. 3
In the twelfth panel, in the center, Haman is hanged on the gallows (Es. 7:10). The executioner sits atop the gallows and a tall ladder leans on it. In the scene on the left, King Ahasuerus extends the scepter to Esther, who is kneeling before him accompanied by Mordecai. Most likely this depicts when Esther pleads with the king to annul Haman's decree (Es. 8:3) and the king extends the scepter to her (Es. 8:4).
The thirteenth panel is decorated with the next scene showing the king speaking with Esther and Mordecai likely at the moment when he allows the Jews to defend themselves (Es. 8:5-11). A large group of people (Jews?) is depicted between Esther and Mordecai.
In the lower part of the fourteenth panel, the Jews at the left defeat their enemies at the right. The battle takes place between two buildings, suggesting fighting within a city. It is difficult to determine which particular verse is depicted here.
The fifteenth panel differs from all other panels because it is less decorated. It includes only the names of Haman's sons (Es. 9:6-10) which are inscribed in 11 lines divided into two parts. The space between them is filled with a high gallows with 11 rungs, each with a hanging body. The number of bodies suggests that Haman is also hanged together with all his ten sons (Es. 9:25).
The upper margin and the spaces between the panels are decorated with floral ornaments; the same ornaments supplement the narrative scenes too.
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Esther at Ahasuerus' feet, pleading he annuls Haman's decree (Es. 8:3)
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Ahasuerus extending his scepter to Esther (Es. 8:4)
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Ahasuerus speaks to Esther and Mordecai (Es. 8:7-8)
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Jews battle their enemies (Es. 9:5-12)
B | Buildings
O | Ornamentation: | Ornament
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Haman and his ten sons hanged (Es. 9:25)
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: