The second sheet contains four columns of the text (nos. 5-8):
Text column no. 5: In the upper margin, a bust of a man in a long curly wig and tricorn hat on it (one of the princes of Media and Persia listed in Es. 1:14?, one of the servants?) is depicted. In the frame placed in the lower margin, a man with a bow in his hands is depicted; he is aiming at the wheel with the signs of Zodiac on its perimeter. The scene is shown against the landscape. The depiction symbolically shows the moment of casting lots by Haman (alludes to Es. 3:7). The Book of Esther mentions only casting lots that means appointing the least favorable period for Jews, but there is no reference to the signs of the Zodiac in the text.
Text column no. 6: In the upper margin, a bust of the king is depicted. In the frame placed in the lower margin, on the right, a mounted messenger is carrying the edict of Haman that he holds in his left hand (Es. 3:13) and in his other hand, he has a French horn. He is riding towards a man sitting under a tree (on the left), most likely Mordecai, who tears his clothes as a sign of mourning (Es. 4:1).
Text column no. 7: 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: In the upper margin, a bust of the queen (Esther?) 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).
In the octagons separating the frames are depicted (from the right to the left): 1) a landscape with hills and a castle (?), 2) a castle (?) on a hill-island on the sea, 3) a harbor with a ship, 4) a landscape with a tree and a gate in the foreground.
A | Acanthus Leaf
C | Columns
L | Landscape
O | Ornamentation: | Architectonic motif
G | Garland
O | Ornamentation: | Foliate and floral ornaments | Floral motif
A | Angel of Death | Angel's head
H | Human Figure | Bust (Human figure)
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Haman casting the lot/Pur - Haman aiming at the Zodiac wheel (based on Midrash)
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Messenger(s) delivering the decree of Haman (Es. 3:13)
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Mordecai in mourning (Es. 4:1)
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) | Haman paying money to the king (Es. 3:9)
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Esther's first banquet (Es. 5:5-8)
Z | Zodiac Signs
O | Ornamentation: | Main text framed
The opening decoration of the scroll is partly preserved; it lacks its upper and lower registers.
Some minor damages in the edges of the first sheet can be seen.
The first membrane is darker than all remaining membranes in the scroll.
In general, the text is well preserved, although the sheets are crumpled; the text in the final panel is preserved in the worst condition.
The Book of Esther in Hebrew with initial and final benedictions, and a liturgical poem אשר הניא "Asher Heni"
The scroll is formed of 4 sheets containing 16 columns of text and two additional benediction panels at the beginning and the end of the scroll. Each column includes 26-27 lines of text. The text in col. 14 is printed; it contains 11 lines divided into two half-columns.
Every sheet comprises 4 columns of text.
The text is inscribed in the Hebrew square script in brown ink on the flesh side of parchment membranes.
The scroll opens with an enlarged and bolded initial word.
The letter ח (Es. 1:6) is highlighted by its size (it is enlarged and bolded), form (it is composed of two elements joined with a roof), and decoration (it is surrounded by hand-drawn tendrils). The letter ת (Es. 9:29) is enlarged and bolded. Other enlarged and diminished letters are included in col. 14, however, this part of the scroll is printed and not penned by a scribe.
The sheets in the scroll are stitched together.
The benedictions: The initial benedictions are inscribed in the square letters in the central panel of the opening decoration. All three words ברוך are decorated with a filigree ornament.
The final blessing starts with a printed word ברוך placed in the upper margin and is copied in a square script. In the column below it, the Purim poem is copied in a square script. The letters opening the subsequent verses are enlarged and bolded.
The former number of the manuscript is Ms 312.
The scroll is mentioned in:
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, 38.
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.
http://collections.jewishmuseum.cz/index.php/Detail/Object/Show/object_id/221258 (accessed on 31.10.2020).
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.
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 megilot Ester w XVII i XVIII wieku. Zarys problematyki], Warsaw 2019, 1:176-188.