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Text columns nos. 12 (sheet no. 3) and 13 (sheet no. 4) are surrounded by the printed border. The upper and lower margins are decorated with a composition of dense acanthus leaves in which nude busts, landscapes framed in decorative cartouches, and birds (possibly phoenixes) are interwoven. The text is flanked by twisted columns; above them, Queen Esther with a scepter, a vase with flowers, and the king giving his ring to Mordechai (Es. 8:2) are depicted.

Name/Title
JML Franck Esther Scroll with a Wooden Roller | Unknown
Object Detail
cols. 12 and 13
Date
ca. 1700
Synagogue active dates
Reconstruction dates
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 (printed decoration, hand-written text) + wood and metal
Material Stucture
Material Decoration
Material Bonding
Material Inscription
Material Additions
Material Cloth
Material Lining
Tesserae Arrangement
Density
Colors
Construction material
Measurements
The scroll: 315-320x2525 mm.
The length of the sheets in the scroll: 1) ca. 680 mm, 2) 575 mm, 3) 575 mm, 4) 695 mm.
Dimensions of the selected details in the scroll:
- the text columns: 308x580 mm;
- decorations in the upper margins: 46 mm;
- decorations in the lower margins: 48 mm;
- initial panel with illustrations: ca. 70 mm (width);
- decoration with angels (upper part of the initial panel): 45x70 mm;
- 2 middle illustrations in the initial panel: 70x103 mm;
- the lowest illustration in the initial panel: 46x70 mm;
- spaces between text columns: ca. 29 mm;
- decoration above the twisted columns: ca. 40x30 mm;
- text panel: 208x120 mm;
- an average letter: 4 mm;
- letters in col. 14: 8 mm.
Height
Length
Width
Depth
Circumference
Thickness
Diameter
Weight
Axis
Panel Measurements
Condition

The scroll is preserved in good condition, although some blemishes can be noticed on it.

The roller is incomplete.

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 text with 24 lines, except for col. 14 which has 17 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, in black ink, on the flesh side of parchment membranes that are rather thin, grey, and suede (on both sides).

There are some corrections in the text.

The letters ח (Es. 1:6) and ת (Es. 9:29) are enlarged. Other enlarged and diminished letters are included in col. 14.

The ruling - made with a stylus - is barely visible.

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. Yet another exemplar used to be a part of the Gross Family Collection (no. 081.012.044) but in 2003 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.

Some vignettes in the scroll are diagonally placed to the twisted columns.

On the blank side of the first sheet, there are some Hebrew letters showing a different style than the professional hand-writing in the scroll (probatio pennae?).

A triangular piece of fabric with a string has been sewn to the end of the scroll. This was planned to be used to wrap the scroll but, it was placed in the wrong place. Also, the roller stitched to the right edge of the first sheet suggests that someone (one of the manuscript's owners?) did not perceive that this manuscript is to be read from right to left.

Some "patches" are glued on the blank side of the sheets.

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.

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 | 2021
Researcher
Dagmara Budzioch | 2021
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.
M002704