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The first sheet contains the opening decoration and four columns of the text (nos. 1-4); only the first of them is visible on the image:

Opening decoration: The scroll opens with a panel containing several narrative scenes from the Esther story. In the central part of its upper register, there is the royal couple seated on the throne with a canopy that is placed on a pedestal. The king and the queen are accompanied by courtiers; on the right stand the princes of Media and Persia (Es. 1:14), and Esther's maidservants stand on the left (Es. 2:9). Below, the Hebrew words ברכת מגילה - "blessings for the Megillah" are printed in a rectangular panel. Below it, there are three rectangular frames: the central panel contains the benedictions recited before the Megillah reading that are decorated by hand, the panel on the right shows the chamberlains, Bigthan and Teresh, hanging on two gallows (Es. 2:23), whereas the one on the left depicts Haman and his sons hanging on three gallows (Es. 7:10 and Es. 9:14 or Es. 9:25). The lowest register also contains three episodes (from right to left): Mordecai receiving the clothes from Hatakh (Es. 4:4), Haman leading Mordecai through the streets of Susa (Es. 6:11), and Esther and Mordecai writing letters instructing the Jews to observe Purim (Es. 9:29).

Text column no. 1: The initial word of the Megillah (ויהי) is written in enlarged and bolded letters. In the upper margin, above the column, a medallion with a bust of the king flanked by acanthus leaves is depicted. In the lower margin, the feast of the king is shown (Es. 1:3-8) - there are six men seated at a round laid table; additionally, on either side of the table, servants are visible.

Name/Title
JML Esther Scroll with Portrait Medallions | Unknown
Object Detail
opening decoration and col. 1
Settings
Unknown
Date
Early 18th century
Synagogue active dates
Reconstruction dates
Artist/ Maker
Unknown (Unknown)
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
Documentation / Research project
Unknown
Material/Technique
Ink on parchment (printed decoration, handwritten text) + wood and ivory + silk (?)
Material Stucture
Material Decoration
Material Bonding
Material Inscription
Material Additions
Material Cloth
Material Lining
Tesserae Arrangement
Density
Colors
Construction material
Measurements
The scroll: 197x1855 mm.
Length of the sheets in the scroll: 1) 575 mm, 2) 395 mm, 3) 385 mm, 4) 500 mm.
Dimensions of the selected details in the scroll:
- text panel: 110x70 mm;
- opening decoration with the first column: 145 mm (width);
- frames with illustration(s): 31x70 mm (inner dimensions);
- an average letter: 2 mm (height);
- letters in the initial word of the scroll: 5 mm (height);
- an average letter in benedictions: 2 mm .

The roller: 400 mm (height).
Height
Length
Width
Depth
Circumference
Thickness
Diameter
Weight
Axis
Panel Measurements
Condition

There are serious damages to the print on the first sheet and the final section of the scroll.

The text in many places is faded.

The sheets, but especially the first one, are crumpled.

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 initial and final benedictions, and a liturgical poem אשר הניא "Asher Heni"

Codicology

The scroll is formed of 4 sheets containing a total of 16 columns of text and two additional benediction panels at the beginning and the end of the manuscript. Each column includes 24 lines of text, except for col. 14 with 11 lines divided into two half-columns.

Every sheet comprises 4 columns of the text.

The text is inscribed in the Hebrew square script with tagin, in brown ink, on the flesh side of parchment membranes of different thicknesses. The side of the text and decorations is brighter and smoother than the other one that is suede. 

The scroll opens with an enlarged and bolded initial word.

The letter ח (Es. 1:6) is highlighted by its and form - it is very wide, composed of two elements joined with a roof, and is decorated with scrolled feet. The letter ת (Es. 9:29) is enlarged and bolded. Other enlarged and diminished letters are included in col. 14.

In some places, letters פ with a flourish inside can be seen.

The letter ע in the final word of the scroll is decorated.

The ruling is invisible.

The pricking is visible only at the very end of the scroll, close to the roller.

The sheets in the scroll are stitched together.

The benedictions: The initial benedictions are inscribed in the central panel of the opening decoration. Two of the formulas are inscribed partly in square and partly in semi-cursive script, while the third one is penned in a square script.

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 semi-cursive script but the letters opening the subsequent verses are inscribed in the square script (they are bolded too). The first word - אשר - is enlarged and bolded.

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
Colophon

None

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

Before the opening decoration, there is a blank space that is 80 mm wide.

The text in column no. 14 is printed.

Suggested Reconsdivuction
History/Provenance
Main Surveys & Excavations
Bibliography

No bibliography on the manuscript is available but other scrolls sharing the same pattern are discussed in:

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.

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.

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.
M002740