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© Jewish Museum in Prague (JMP), Photographer: Unknown,

Text column no. 10 (sheet no. 3): 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 right, on a bed with a canopy reclines Esther. Haman is falling on the bed while he is begging the queen for his life and this happens at the moment when the king returns from the palace gardens (Es. 7:8); he is shown on the left. In the small rectangular window, a gallows is visible; this is the same gallows that Haman built for Mordecai (Es. 5:14) and its presence here suggests the upcoming death of Haman (Es. 7:10).

Text column no. 11 (sheet no. 4): In the upper margin, a bust of the king with a scepter in the hand is depicted. In the frame placed in the lower margin, on the right, a table with three scribes seated at it is shown; most likely they write the decree allowing the Jews to defend themselves (Es. 8:8-10). On the left, two messengers of the king are going to deliver the new decree (Es. 8:14).

Text column no. 12 (sheet no. 4): In the upper margin, a bust of a young woman with a flower in the hand is depicted. In the frame placed in the lower margin, a long two-story building is depicted that can be a symbolic representation of the king’s palace. In the text panel above, the scene of hanging of Haman’s ten sons (Es. 9:14) is represented. On every beam of very high gallows, a single body is hanged. A high ladder leans on it and on its top an executioner is sitting. The background behind the words is filled with a filigree pattern.

Text column no. 13 (sheet no. 4): In the upper margin, a bust of the king with a scepter in the hand is depicted. On the right, two mounted troops are represented as fighting together. The clothing of the men on the left suggests that they are Jews who are fighting their enemies approaching from the opposite direction. This is one of the moments in the narrative when Jews battle their enemies but it is difficult to determine which particular episode is illustrated here (Es. 9:5-12). On the left, the royal couple sitting on the throne is represented, however, it is unclear which episode it illustrates; it can be the moment when Esther pleads with the king for an additional day of fights (Es. 9:13).

In the octagons separating the frames are depicted (from right to left): 1) a carillon, 2) landscape with a tree and a castle (?), 2) bridge over the river, 3) a house with a sun shining over it.

Name/Title
JMP A Fragment of a Printed Copy of Esther Scrolls with Portrait Medallions | Unknown
Object Detail
cols. 10-13
Settings
Unknown
Date
1791
Synagogue active dates
Reconstruction dates
Origin
Europe | Central Europe
| Bratislava (?)
Historical Origin
Unknown
Community type
Unknown |
Congregation
Unknown
Location
Unknown |
Site
Unknown
School/Style
Scrolls with portrait medallions|

The family of Dutch Esther scrolls from the early 18th century designed by an anonymous engraver whose decorative scheme features decorative medallions surrounded by acanthus containing busts of the Esther story protagonists, except for the last that is filled with a printed word ברוך barukh (“blessed”). The medallions are placed in upper margins, above text panels. The text columns are separated by pillars formed of a variety of motifs such as trees, flowers, acanthus leaves, heads of angels, and architectural elements. Lower margins are filled with the figurative scenes that chronicle the Purim story or allude to midrashim and other sources. They are separated by the octagons (placed beneath the decorative pillars) filled with different land- and seascapes. At the end of the scroll there are five full figures of the Esther story protagonists.

Period
Unknown
Period Detail
Collection
Documentation / Research project
Unknown
Material/Technique
Engraving and letterpress on paper
Material Stucture
Material Decoration
Material Bonding
Material Inscription
Material Additions
Material Cloth
Material Lining
Tesserae Arrangement
Density
Colors
Construction material
Measurements
The scroll: 208-214x1555 mm
The length of the sheets in the scroll: 1) 142 mm, 2) 377 mm, 3) 397 mm, 4) 636 mm.
Height
Length
Width
Depth
Circumference
Thickness
Diameter
Weight
Axis
Panel Measurements
Condition

The scroll is incomplete - it lacks the fragment from the beginning until half of the 7th column of the text. Its remaining part is preserved in very good 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 with the benediction recited after the Megillah reading and the liturgical poem Asher Heni

Codicology

The scroll is formed of 4 sheets containing 14,5 columns of text (one column is not entirely preserved) and an additional benediction panel.

At present, the first sheet contains only 1,5 columns of text. Sheets nos. 2 and 3 comprise 4 columns of the text, and on the last sheet, 5 columns of the text and an additional benediction panel are printed.

Each column includes 25 lines of the text, except for col. 12 with 11 lines divided into two parts and col. 15 with 20 lines of the Megillah and 2 additional lines announcing the final benediction. The last 2 lines are printed in semicursive Hebrew font.

The text printed in the scroll reflects scribal practices of the hand-written scrolls. The letter ת (Es. 9:29) is slightly larger than an average letter in the scroll. Other enlarged and diminished letters are included in col. 12.

The sheets in the scroll are glued.

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
Below the last column of the text, on the shields held by five protagonists of the Esther story, a Hebrew inscription in a semicursive script is printed. It reads as follows:

הקטן נחמיה ליב כהן מ''ס מפ''ב יוד אדר תקנא''ל

"The humble Nehemiah Leib Cohen, book-seller from Pressburg [Bratislava], on 10th of Adar [5]551 [4.02.1791] according to the minor era". In the original version of the note, the word "book-seller" and city name are written in an abbreviated form. Nehemiah Leib Cohen can be a printer of this megillah and it can be assumed that he was active in Bratislava but no further details are known about him or his letterpress.
Colophon

Below the last column of the text, on the shields held by five protagonists of the Esther story, a Hebrew inscription in a semicursive script is printed. It reads as follows:

הקטן נחמיה ליב כהן מ''ס מפ''ב יוד אדר תקנא''ל

"The humble Nehemiah Leib Cohen, book-seller from Pressburg [Bratislava], on 10th of Adar [5]551 [4.02.1791] according to the minor era". In the original version of the note, the word "book-seller" and city name are written in an abbreviated form. Nehemiah Leib Cohen can be a printer of this megillah and it can be assumed that he was active in Bratislava but no further details are known about him or his letterpress.

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

In the collection of the Jewish Museum in Prague, another copy of the megillah is stored (see ID 1545) but it bears no signature by Nehemiah Leib Cohen of Pressburg.

The numbers of the text columns do not take into account the missing part of the manuscript.

In the article by Šedinová (see "Bibliography"), the scroll is wrongly listed as Ms 312b.

Suggested Reconsdivuction
History/Provenance
Main Surveys & Excavations
Bibliography

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.

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, 40.

http://collections.jewishmuseum.cz/index.php/Detail/Object/Show/object_id/221260 (accessed on 22.10.2020).

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.
M002565