The thirteenth and fourteenth columns of text (sheet no. 4) are inscribed within a printed border. Below them, the illustrations are depicted:
Frame 13: On the right, Haman is hanged on the gallows (Es. 7:10). A ladder leans against it and at its top sits an executioner who holds his legs on Haman's neck. Next to it, a group of guards with spears is standing. On the left, Ahasuerus sits on the throne and Esther kneels at his feet; she is attended by two maid-servants. In the background, there is a figure (Mordecai?) who watches the scene. It can depict either the moment when the king gives Haman's house to Esther (Es. 8:1) or when she pleads with him to annul Haman's decree (Es. 8:3).
Frame 14: On the right, before Ahasuerus seated on the throne placed on a pedestal, under a canopy, stands Queen Esther attended by four maid-servants. Next to the throne, most likely Mordecai and two other men are standing (Es. 8:7-8). The gestures of the king and the queen suggest that they are talking. On the left, there is a long table at which a scribe is seated (Es. 8:9); he is accompanied by three other people.
Length of the membranes in the scroll: 1) ca. 525 mm, 2) 465 mm, 3) 460 mm, 4) 460 mm, 5) min. 525 mm (the membrane is rolled and it is difficult to unroll it in full.
Dimensions of the plate used for printing: ca. 255 x465 mm.
C | Columns
V | Vase | Vase with flowers
O | Ornamentation: | Foliate and floral ornaments | Flower
O | Ornamentation: | Cartouche
A | Arch
T | Turkey (bird)
C | Cock (Hen, Rooster)
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Haman hanged (Es. 7:10)
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Ahasuerus giving Esther the house of Haman (Es. 8:1)
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Esther at Ahasuerus' feet, pleading he annuls Haman's decree (Es. 8:3)
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Ahasuerus speaks to Esther and Mordecai (Es. 8:7-8)
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | New decree allowing the Jews to defend themselves (Es. 8:8-10)
O | Ornamentation: | Main text framed
The printed border and the text are preserved in very good condition.
The first membrane is seriously damaged (it is stained, there are some losses in it, and the edges are not straight) and yellowed.
There are some stains on the third membrane.
The Book of Esther in Hebrew
The scroll is formed of 5 sheets containing a total of 19 columns of the text with 22 lines each, except for col. 16 with 11 lines divided into two half-columns.
The first four membranes contain four columns and the last membrane contains three columns.
The text is inscribed in the Hebrew square Italian script with tagin in black ink on the flesh side of the parchment membranes that are thick and very stiff. The side of the text and decorations is matte and brighter than the blank side that is rather yellow and more glossy.
The letter ח (Es. 1:6) is slightly larger and highlighted by its form (it is formed of two elements joined with a roof). The letter ת (Es. 9:29) is slightly bigger too. Enlarged and diminished letters are included in col. 16.
The ruling is barely visible.
The pricking is invisible.
The membranes in the scroll are stitched together.
The last lunette is blank.
No bibliography on the scroll is available but scrolls sharing the same pattern are discussed for example in:
Victor Klagsbald, Catalogue raisonné de la collection juive du Musée de Cluny, Paris 1981, p. 66-67, object 74.
Mendel Metzger, The Earliest Engraved Italian Megilloth, Bulletin of the John Rylands Library 1966, 48/2, 381–432, esp. 416-432 (here the scrolls are called "post-Griselini").
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, 1:135-138.