Img. ID: 347084
The third sheet contains the opening decoration and three panels (nos. 7-9) with six columns of the text (nos. 13-18):
Frame 13 (text panel 7 - upper margin): On the right, Haman is hanged on the gallows (Es. 7:10). A ladder leans against it and three guards, holding spears, stand on the left. At Haman's feet, there is a dog that is looking at him. On the left, Ahasuerus sits on the throne topped with a canopy and extends his scepter to Esther who kneels at his feet and touches the tip of the scepter. Mordecai stands in the background and watches the scene (Es. 8:1-4). This depicts either the moment when the king gives Haman's properties to Esther (Es. 8:1) or when Esther is pleading to annul Haman's decree (Es. 8:3-4).
Frame 14 (text panel 7 - lower margin): On the right, Ahasuerus sits on a throne under a canopy and extends the scepter to Esther who kneels at his feet and touches the tip of the scepter. Behind the throne stands a man (Mordecai?) and in the background, two king's scribes sit at a table and write the king's decree (Es. 8:9). On the left, two mounted messengers ride towards a walled city on the far left (Es. 8:14).
Frame 15 (text panel 8 - upper margin): On the right, Ahasuerus sits on a throne topped with a canopy and holds a scepter in one hand and with the other hand, he points at Mordecai, who stands before him wearing a turban and an overcoat and bows slightly before the king (Es. 8:15). In the center, figures are fighting in a field; two men are lying on the ground. This is one of the moments when Jews battle their enemies but it is difficult to determine which particular verse is illustrated here (Es. 9:5-12). On the left, five men sit around a laid table. The scene most likely depicts the happiness of Jews at the news of the king's new decree (Es. 8:16-17).
Frame 16 (text panel 8 - lower margin): Several figures are depicted fighting in a field flanked by buildings. Four soldiers holding spears emerge from the left and several bodies already lay on the ground. The scene can depict either Jews who battle their enemies (Es. 9:5-12) or an additional day of the Jews fighting against their enemies (Es. 9:15-16).
Frame 17 (text panel 9 - upper margin): On the right, Ahasuerus sits on the throne under a canopy and holds a scepter. The crowned Esther kneels before him and she is attended by her two maid-servants. On the left, Haman's ten sons are hanging on the same gallows and on either side of it, a guard with a spear in his hand is standing (Es. 9:14).
Frame 18 (text panel 9 - lower margin): Seven men in turbans on their heads who sit around a long laid table are depicted. Two servants carrying trays go out of the room from both sides (Es. 9:17).
| Ms. III.D.17
O | Ornamentation: | Foliate and floral ornaments | Floral motif
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Mordecai before Ahasuerus in royal apparel (Es. 8:15)
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | The Jews had light, and gladness, and joy, and honour (Es. 8:16-17)
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Jews battle their enemies (Es. 9:5-12)
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Additional day of fighting (Es. 9:15-16)
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Esther asks the king to hang Haman's sons (Es. 9:13)
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Haman's sons hanged (Es. 9:14)
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | First Purim feast (Es. 9:17-23)
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) | Ahasuerus extending his scepter to Esther (Es. 8:4)
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | New decree allowing the Jews to defend themselves (Es. 8:8-10)
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Ahasuerus' messenger(s) (Es. 8:14)
O | Ornamentation: | Main text framed
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.
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.
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.
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.