Text columns no. 2 and 3 (sheet 1) surrounded by a hand-drawn decoration in a pen and brown ink. The text panels are flanked by full figures of Vashti (on the right) and Mordecai (on the left); they are named in Hebrew. The roundels in the upper margin contain busts of Biztha and Harbona (the courtiers of the king mentioned in Es. 1:10). In the lower margin can be seen. Below the panel, the episodes related to the Esther story are depicted. The one under second column depicts a blindfolded woman with her hands tied at the back who is kneeling before a man. Two other men are standing behind her; one of them holds 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". In another frame, two episodes from the Esther story are depicted. On the right, there is a building with a large gate at which a man is seated who is Mordecai at the gate of the king's palace (Es. 2:19 and/or 2:21). On the left, a gallows with two bodies suspending from it are shown - they are the king's chamberlains, Bightan and Teresh, hanged on the gallows (Es. 2:23). The representation is captioned ויתלו שניהם - "these two [Bightan and Teresh] were hanged".
L | Lion
B | Bird
B | Basket | Basket with flowers
O | Ornamentation: | Foliate and floral ornaments | Flower
O | Ornamentation: | Foliate and floral ornaments
P | Portrait | Portrait medallion
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Execution of Vashti - beheading
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Mordecai overhears the plot of Bigthan and Teresh (Es. 2:21-22)
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Bigthan and Teresh hanged (Es. 2:23)
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): | Biztha
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | *Esther's Story Characters (depicted not in narrative scenes): | Harbona
It seems the manuscript is well preserved.
The Book of Esther in Hebrew
Every letter lamed appearing in the words המלך occurring at the head of the text column is decorated with a stroke.
For an almost identical scroll see ID 34761.
The same images are available on https://data.jck.nl/page/aggregation/jhm-museum/M012364 (accessed on 29.03.2021).
Bibliography on 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.
Victor Klagsbald, Catalogue raisonné de la collection juive du Musée de Cluny, Paris 1981, 64-66, object 73.
Mendel Metzger, The Earliest Engraved Italian Megilloth, Bulletin of the John Rylands Library 1966, 48/2, esp. 409, 422-425.
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.
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).