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© Historisches Museum Frankfurt, Photographer: Ziegenfusz, Horst, 08.2020

The first sheet of the scroll includes the opening decoration and 4 columns of text (nos. 1-4) inscribed within the printed border. Just above the twisted columns, there are: a flower-filled vase (partly visible in this image), illustrations of King Ahasuerus with his scepter (possibly alluding to Es. 1:1), a flower-filled vase, Queen Vashti with her scepter, and a flower-filled vase (half of it is printed on the subsequent membrane).

The opening decoration is composed of a crown-topped cartouche supported by two standing angels and three scenes from the Book of Esther placed one under the other:

1. A man holding a book before the enthroned King Ahasuerus (possibly alluding to Es. 6:1) with the triumph of Mordechai in the background (Es. 6:11).

2. Mordecai giving Hatach a letter for Esther (Es. 4:7-8).

3. King Ahasuerus's sleepless night (Es. 6:1) with the palace gardens (featuring a fountain) in the background.

Hebrew inscriptions are added in the elongated cartouches in the lower part of the illustrations, but they are barely visible. Additionally, in the lower-left corner of the 2nd illustration, there is an inscription (see "Signature").

Name/Title
Historisches Museum Frankfurt Franck Esther Scroll | Unknown
Object Detail
sheet 1 (cols. 1-4)
Date
ca. 1700
Synagogue active dates
Reconstruction dates
Origin
Historical Origin
Unknown
Community type
Unknown |
Congregation
Unknown
Location
Unknown |
Site
Unknown
School/Style
Franck scrolls|

The family of most likely Prague Esther scrolls from the early 18th century whose borders were at least partly designed by the German engraver, Philipp Jakob Franck (life dates unknown). The decorative scheme opens with several figurative scenes from the Book of Esther narrative; one of them is signed by Franck. The upper and lower margins are adorned with the lavishly decorated printed border composed of acanthus leaves with uncovered women busts, peacocks and possibly Phoenixes. In the central part of each margin, a decorative cartouche with a landscape is placed. The text panels are interspersed with twisted columns. Above them, there are miniature depictions of the episodes from the Esther story and its protagonists or flower-filled vases. None of the exemplars is colored.

Period
Unknown
Period Detail
Documentation / Research project
Unknown
Material/Technique
Ink on parchment (hand-written text, printed decoration)
Material Stucture
Material Decoration
Material Bonding
Material Inscription
Material Additions
Material Cloth
Material Lining
Tesserae Arrangement
Density
Colors
Construction material
Measurements
The total dimension of the scroll is unknown. For the measurements of the details in the scroll, see ID 37869.
Height
Length
Width
Depth
Circumference
Thickness
Diameter
Weight
Axis
Panel Measurements
Condition

The membranes are connected in a clumsy manner.

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 4 sheets containing 16 columns of the text with 24 lines except for col. 14 with 15 lines (11 of them containing Haman's sons section are divided into two parts).

Every membrane contains 4 columns of text.

The text is inscribed in Hebrew square Ashkenazi script with tagin, in very dark brown ink that is almost black, on the flesh side of each parchment membrane.

The letter ח (Es. 1:6) is slightly bigger than an average letter in the scroll. Col. 14 does not include enlarged and diminished letters.

Erroneous text fragments are cut out and the correct passages are written on strips of parchment that are glued underneath the membranes.

The ruling - made with a stylus - is almost invisible.

The membranes in the scroll are stitched together.

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
The signature of the engraver appears in one of the narrative scenes at the beginning of the scroll. In the lower-left corner, on the checkered floor, the short Latin formula "Franck fec: Prag" - "made by Franck [in] Prague" - can be read.
Colophon

None

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

Around 15 megillot featuring the same border are housed in private and institutional collections; see related objects. Yet another exemplar used to be a part of the Gross Family Collection (no. 081.012.044) but in 2003, it was stolen from the Beit Hatfutsot Museum in Tel Aviv (Hilfe erbeten: Judaica Diebstahl: http://www.judentum.net; accessed on 14.12.2018). There are also two scrolls embellished with the same border but with texts other than the Book of Esther.

Suggested Reconsdivuction
History/Provenance
Main Surveys & Excavations
Bibliography

The scrolls featuring the same border are described in:

Dagmara Budzioch, Verzierte Ester-Rollen – illustriert von dem Prager Kupferstecher Philipp Jakob Franck [in:] Zwischen Offenbarung und Kontemplation: Die Wolfenbütteler hebräischen Schriftrollen, mit Beiträgen von Dagmara Budzioch und Ad Stijnman (Wolfenbütteler Forschungen), Wiesbaden 2021, pp. 106-117.

A Journey through Jewish Worlds: Highlights from the Braginsky Collection of Hebrew Manuscripts and Printed Books, eds. Evelyn M. Cohen, Emile Schrijver, Sharon Mintz, Amsterdam 2009, 266–267.

Olga Sixtova, O svitku / Form of the Scroll [katalog k výstavě konané v Galerii Roberta Guttmanna Židovského muzea v Praze od 22. června do 26. července 2006]”, Praha 2006, 36.

http://braginskycollection.com/scrolls/prague/ (accessed on 21.09.2020).

A Magnificent Illustrated Esther Scroll [Prague ca. 1700], lot 169: http://www.sothebys.com; accessed on 14.12.2018.

A Magnificent Illustrated Esther Scroll [Prague: ca. 1700], lot 24: http://www.sothebys.com; accessed on 14.12.2018.

Short Name
Full Name
Volume
Page
Type
Documenter
Dagmara Budzioch | 2020
Researcher
Dagmara Budzioch | 2020
Architectural Drawings
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Computer Reconstruction
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Section Head
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Language Editor
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Donor
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Negative/Photo. No.
M002450