Under Reconstruction!
Art Alone

Img. ID: 878

© Center for Jewish Art, Photographer: Unknown, -

Sheet no. 1

The second and third text panels are surrounded by a printed and colored border including:

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.

Czartoryski Library Klagsbald Type Esther Scroll | Unknown
Object Detail
text panels 2 and 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 border and colored by hand)
Material Stucture
Material Decoration
Material Bonding
Material Inscription
Material Additions
Material Cloth
Material Lining
Tesserae Arrangement
Construction material
The scroll: 166-175x167 mm.

Dimensions of the selected details:
- the print: 160-162 mm (height);
- the text panel (inside): 80x98-110 mm;
- the text column (width): 45-55 mm;
- an average letter is up to 2 mm high.
Panel Measurements

The conservation of the manuscript took place in 2012 and the images shown in the Index were taken before it.

The text in the scroll is poorly preserved; ink has flaked off in many parts of the scroll, and the text is difficult to decipher. In the best condition, the text on the third sheet is stored. On the first sheet, an additional layer of intense black ink was put on the letters. 

The outlines of the decorations on the first sheet were covered with black ink.

Some stains are visible on the sheets, which are also dirty in many places.

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

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

The three first sheets contain 3 text panels with 6 columns of text, and the last sheet contains one panel with a single column.

The text is written in Hebrew square Italian script on the flesh side of parchment membranes in light brown ink.

The letters ח (Es. 1:6) and ת (Es. 9:29) are highlighted.

The ruling - horizontal and vertical lines - is made by a hard point.

The pricking is discernible at the beginning of the second sheet (col. 7) and on the left side of the last column of the scroll.

The membranes are stitched together by sinew threads.

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.

The Hebrew letter א is written in the lower-left corner of the first sheet.

The stamp "Biblioteka" appears occasionally in the scroll.

The right edge of the first membrane is trimmed straight.

Both ends of the scroll are cropped straight.

The edge at the end of the scroll is perforated with four holes, which were probably used for holding the (missing) roller.

The scroll is stored in a box.

Suggested Reconsdivuction

At the end of the scroll, on its blank side, there are three shelf-marks placed one above another: 396, 410 (former numbers), and 2442 (current number).

Main Surveys & Excavations

Restoration and research of two Hebrew manuscripts on parchment from The Czartoryski Library — Department of the National Museum in Kraków No. 2442, 3888 (PDF file available on https://mnk.pl/artykul/konserwacja-i-badania-dwoch-rekopisow-hebrajskich-na-pergaminie; accessed 08.04.2020).

The scrolls decorated with the same pattern are discussed 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
Yaffa Levy; Keren Katsir; Dagmara Budzioch | 1994; 2020
Author of description
Yaffa Levy; Keren Katsir; Dagmara Budzioch | 1994; 2020
Architectural Drawings
Computer Reconstruction
Section Head
Language Editor
Negative/Photo. No.