The second text panel (sheet no. 1) is flanked by figures of Vashti (on the right) and Mordecai (on the left). Below the figures are medallions with the heads of bearded men who are identified as Shethar and Admatha (the princes listed in Es. 1:14). Above the panel, the episode from the Esther story depicts a woman who is kneeling before a man; another man is standing behind her with a sword. This is the moment of the beheading of Queen Vashti (not described in the biblical text) which is captioned נזגר עליה - "[It is] destined for her".
Dimensions of the selected details in the scroll:
- upper margins: 38 mm;
- lower margins: 23 mm;
- text panel (inside): 140x115 mm;
- frames in the lower margins: 35x85 mm;
- heroes of the Purim story: ca. 90 mm (height);
- depiction of the gallows in col. 10: 45x100 mm;
- spaces between the lines: 2 mm.
The roller: 375 mm (height).
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | *Esther's Story Characters (depicted not in narrative scenes): | Vashti, the queen
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | *Esther's Story Characters (depicted not in narrative scenes): | Mordecai, the Jew
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | *Esther's Story Characters (depicted not in narrative scenes): | Shethar
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | *Esther's Story Characters (depicted not in narrative scenes): | Admatha
L | Lion
B | Bird
O | Ornamentation: | Foliate and floral ornaments | Floral motif
O | Ornamentation: | Foliate and floral ornaments | Flower
F | Fruits
In general, the scroll is in good condition but there are some damages to it.
On the blank side of the first sheet, there is a quite large pink stain and a parchment "patch" glued on the membrane. There is a hole in the membrane.
The text is well preserved.
On the second sheet, the illustrations are slightly faded and their captions are barely visible.
The Book of Esther in Hebrew
The scroll is formed of 3 sheets, containing in total 12 columns of the text of 30 lines each. Col. 10 includes 11 lines divided into two half-columns.
Every membrane includes 4 columns of text.
The text is written in Hebrew square script in brown ink on the flesh side of the parchment membranes of medium thickness and stiffness. The side of the text is brighter and matte, while the blank side is more yellow and smooth.
The letters ח (Es. 1:6) and ת (Es. 9:29) are enlarged. Other enlarged and diminished letters are included in col. 10.
The text includes numerous elongated and shortened letters.
All letters ח in the scroll are written as composed of two parts.
Only very few corrections can be found in the text.
The membranes in the scroll are stitched together.
The ruling is invisible.
Some small holes can be seen on the bent edges of membranes.
Every word המלך at the head of the column is decorated.
It seems that both - the ornamentation and text - were executed in the same ink.
The scroll was exhibited on "The Stieglitz Collection: Masterpieces of Jewish Art, Israel Museum, Jerusalem, 30th November 1987 - 21st April 1987".
The scroll from the Stieglitz Collection that was donated to the Museum with the contribution of Erica and Ludwig Jesselson, New York, to American Friends of the Israel Museum.
Chaya Benjamin, The Stieglitz Collection: Masterpieces of Jewish Art, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem 1987.
The Jewish World 365 Days, from the Collections of The Israel Museum, Jerusalem - New York 2004.
The link to the Museum's website: https://www.imj.org.il/en/collections/397972 (accessed on 03.06.2021).
Bibliography on other scrolls made by Aryeh Leib ben Daniel of Goray or attributed to him:
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, 1:206-215.
Ernest Namenyi, "The Illumination of Hebrew Manuscripts after the Invention of Printing," in Cecil Roth (ed.), Jewish Art, an Illustrated History (London, 1961), col. 435.
Mendel Metzger, The Earliest Engraved Italian Megilloth, Bulletin of the John Rylands Library 1966, 48/2, esp. 409, 422-425.
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], Prag 2006, 32-33.
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, 246-249.
Schöne Seiten. Jüdische Schriftkultur aus der Braginsky Collection, eds. Emile Schrijver, Falk Wiesemann, Evelyn M. Cohen, Sharon Liberman Mintz, Menahem Schmeltzer, Zurich 2011, 266-269.
A Fine Illustrated Esther Scroll, [ca. 1740], lot 105, Sotheby's New York Important Judaica, 20 December 2017 https://www.sothebys.com/en/auctions/ecatalogue/lot.105.html/2017/important-judaica-n09687 (accessed on 31.07.2020).
A Magnificent Esther Scroll Written and illustrated Aryeh Leib ben Daniel of Goray, Schwelm, 1737, lot 187, Sotheby's New York Important Judaica Including Property from the Estate of Shlomo Moussaieff, 15 December 2016 https://www.sothebys.com/en/auctions/ecatalogue/2016/important-judaica-n09589/lot.187.html (accessed on 31.07.2020).