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Img. ID: 347082

© Biblioteca centrale della Regione siciliana "Alberto Bombace", Photographer: N/A, -

The first sheet contains the opening decoration and three panels (nos. 1-3) with six columns of the text (nos. 1-6):

Opening decoration: The opening section of the scroll is composed of foliate and floral ornaments, inhabited by the "Four animals" - i.e. a lion, an eagle, a leopard, and a stag. They have no direct relationship with the text of the Megillah or the feast of Purim, but they allude to a quotation from Pirkei Avot ("Ethics of the Fathers") 5:20. At the center, there is a flower supported by two rampant lions with split tails. Below two dolphins' masks are visible. A leopard is depicted above the flower in the center and an eagle with outstretched wings in the upper-right corner is shown. Two other animals are represented in the lower part of the decoration, though here only a figure on the right can be seen.

Frame 1 (text panel 1 - upper margin): At the center, within the scenery of the palace gardens, the crowned and bearded King Ahasuerus sits on the throne under a high canopy at a round laid table. He is flanked by three men on the right and four men on the left, all of whom wear turbans and long gowns (Es. 1:3-8). On either side, there are arcaded buildings in which two groups of four figures sit at a table.

Frame 2 (text panel 1 - lower margin): The crowned Vashti, within the scenery of the palace gardens, sits under a high canopy at a round laid table. She is flanked by three women on either side (Es. 1:9). On the right, a group of servants, all wearing turbans, enter the garden through a gate on the right; the first of them addresses the queen. Most likely, they are coming with the king's order that Vashti should appear before him and his guests (Es. 1:10-11). The scene on the left might depict the moment when the queen, after her refusal, is taken from the palace by two men (alluding to Es. 1:19).

Frame 3 (text panel 2 - upper margin): On the right, the bearded Ahasuerus sits on the throne on a platform, accompanied by the seven men who are princes of Persia and Media. He holds a scepter in his left hand and his other hand points to a man, probably Memucan, who stands before him. Six other men stand behind Memucan (?), and a soldier holding a shield stands behind the king's throne. The scene shows the moment when the king asks his advisers for a piece of advice as to the further fate of Vashti (Es. 1:13-20). On the left, two king's messengers ride on horseback towards a city in the background (Es. 1:21-23).

Frame 4 (text panel 2 - lower margin): At the center, a group of women is brought to the king's court (Es. 2:1-4). They are lead by a man wearing a turban (most likely Hegai) who holds the first one's hand (Es. 2:8). A carriage drawn by two horses can be seen in the background on the left.

Frame 5 (text panel 3 - upper margin): In the center, the bearded Ahasuerus wearing a turban is seated on the throne with a canopy and is flanked by eight men in turbans who sit on benches (four on either side). Both hands of the king are outstretched and in one of them, he holds a crown which he is about to place on the head of the kneeling Esther. Behind her, four women stand (Es. 2:17).

Frame 6 (text panel 3 - lower margin): On the right, Mordecai stands within a gate in the wall and looks at two men who are probably Bigthan and Teresh (Es. 2:21). On the left, Haman is approaching Ahasuerus who is sitting on a raised throne with a canopy. The king holds a scepter in one hand and in another he has a ring that gives to Haman (Es. 3:10). A man, possibly a guard, stands behind the throne. There is a fountain in the center of the cartouche.

BCRS Klagsbald Type Esther Scroll | Unknown
Object Detail
sheet 1 (opening decoration and text panels 1-3)
Second half of the 17th century
Synagogue active dates
Reconstruction dates
Artist/ Maker
Unknown (Unknown)
Italy | Veneto | Venice
| (?)
Historical Origin
Community type
Unknown |
Unknown |
Klagsbald scrolls|
{"211":"The family of Italian Esther scrolls from the second half of the 17th century named by Mendel Metzger after Judaica collector, Victor Klagsbald, of whose collections an exemplar of this manuscript formed a part (see M. Metzger, \u201cThe Earliest Engraved Italian Megilloth\u201d, Bulletin of the John Rylands Library 48:2 (1966), 381\u2012432, esp. 390). It includes Esther scrolls produced in mixed technique in which decorative border is printed and colored by hand while the Hebrew text of the Book of Esther is penned by a scribe. The opening and final section of the scrolls are filled with a rich decoration formed from tendrils, flowers, and animals (the latter contains no animal figures). The upper and lower margins are adorned with repeating endless knot motifs framed in rectangles alternating with rectangular frames enclosing more than thirty scenes chronicling the Book of Esther. The text panels including two text columns (the last panel includes a single text column) are interspersed by floral decoration. The same scheme repeats on all four sheets forming each exemplar. Is shows many common details with Gaster I scrolls."}
Period Detail
Documentation / Research project
Material / Technique
Ink and paints on parchment (handwritten text, printed and hand-colored border)
Material Stucture
Material Decoration
Material Bonding
Material Inscription
Material Additions
Material Cloth
Material Lining
Tesserae Arrangement
Construction material
Panel Measurements

In general, the manuscript is preserved in fair condition, but the text is well preserved.

The opening decoration is seriously damaged; its parts are missing and the membrane is torn in several places.

Coloring in some parts of the decoration is faded (e.g. in the final section of the scroll).

The floral decoration of the benediction sheet is poorly preserved.

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
Textual Content
Unknown |
Languages of inscription
Shape / Form

The Book of Esther in Hebrew, accompanied by a separate benedictions sheet with initial and final benedictions and portions of the piyut Shoshanat Yaakov.


The scroll is formed of 4 sheets containing 19 columns of text with 24 lines each, except for col. 16 which has 11 lines divided into two half-columns.

Sheets nos. 1-3 contain 3 columns of the text, and sheet no. 4 contains a single column.

The text is written in Hebrew square Italian script in black ink on parchment membranes.

The letters ח (Es. 1:6) and ת (Es. 9:29) are enlarged. Other enlarged and diminished letters are included in col. 16.

The membranes in the scroll are stitched together.

Benedictions – every formula starts with enlarged and bolded opening word ברוך. The name of God is replaced by 2 letters י and a ligature of א and ל letters. In their text, a ligature of א and ל letters is included too.

The text is copied in a different handwriting than the scroll itself.

Number of Lines
Hebrew Numeration
Blank Leaves
Façade (main)
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 Series
Coin Ruler
Coin Year


Scribal Notes
Trade Mark
Decoration Program
Summary and Remarks
The Klagsbald scrolls are a family of Italian Esther scrolls from the second half of the 17th century, named by Mendel Metzger after Judaica collector, Victor Klagsbald, of whose collections an exemplar of this manuscript formed a part (see M. Metzger, "The Earliest Engraved Italian Megilloth", Bulletin of the John Rylands Library 48:2 (1966), 381‒432, esp. 390). The scheme features numerous common details with the scrolls representing Gaster I type; however, one of the distinctive features is the motif of endless knot that in Klagsbald scrolls are not joined together.
Some parts of the border are uncolored (e.g. on the second membrane).

The frames on the upper margins are numbered with Arabic numerals.

On the blank side of the benediction sheet, a seal of the Library, as well as two numbers (III.D.17 and 194232), can be seen. 

Suggested Reconsdivuction
Main Surveys & Excavations

Bibliography concerning this manuscript is unknown but other scrolls sharing the same pattern are described e.g. in:

Mendel Metzger, Eine illustrierte Estherrolle der zweiten Hälfte des 18. Jahrhunderts im Historischen Museum Frankfurt am Main, mit einem Anhang über Megilla-Hülsen, „Schriften des Historischen Museums Frankfurt am Main”, 13 (1972), 95–116.

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, 1:119-128.

Short Name
Full Name
Dagmara Budzioch | 2021
Author of description
Dagmara Budzioch | 2021
Architectural Drawings
Computer Reconstruction
Section Head
Language Editor
Negative/Photo. No.