Sheet no. 2
Frame 7 (text panel 4 - upper margin): On the right, a man (Haman?) dictates the decree against Jews to a scribe who sits at a table before him attended by two other men (Es. 3:12). On the left is the crowned Esther in a courtyard surrounded by a wall. A man (possibly her servant, Hatach) wearing a turban is facing her as if speaking and two maid-servants stand behind her. In the background, in front of the palace gate, is another man in a turban on his head (most likely Mordecai) (Es. 4:4).
Frame 8 (text panel 4 - lower margin): Both episodes included in the cartouche depict Hatach delivering the messages between Esther and Mordecai. On the right, Esther sits on a throne topped by a canopy, flanked by two maid-servants, holding a scepter in her left hand. She is pointing at a man (possibly Hatach) who stands facing her and raises his hands in a gesture of speech (Es. 4:5). On the left, Mordecai stands with folded arms within the palace gate facing a man (Hatach?) who also raises his hands in a gesture of speech (Es. 4:5-7).
Frame 9 (text panel 5 - upper margin): On the right, Ahasuerus sits on the throne with a canopy and extends his scepter to the crowned Esther who kneels before him and touches the tip of it. Two men stand behind the throne and Esther is accompanied by two maid-servants who stand in the doorway (Es. 5:2-3). On the left, the first banquet given by Esther is depicted. Esther, Ahasuerus, and Haman sit at a round, laid table set in palace gardens. A man serving dishes is just approaching the table (Es. 5:5).
Frame 10 (text panel 5 - lower margin): On the right, Haman wearing a turban stands and talks to two women; most likely one of them is Zeresh, Haman's wife, suggesting that he build the gallows for Mordecai (Es. 5:14). In the central part of the frame stands the gallows prepared by Haman for Mordecai (Es. 5:14). On the left, Ahasuerus reclines on a bed and two men stand before him; one of them reads from an open book to the king (Es. 6:1).
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.
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Esther touching the scepter (Es. 5:2)
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Esther's first banquet (Es. 5:5-8)
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Ahasuerus listening to the Book of Records (Es. 6:1-3)
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Mordecai in front of the palace gate (Es. 4:2)
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Esther is informed of the plot by her maiden(s) and servant(s) (Es. 4:4)
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Esther sends Hatach to speak to Mordecai (Es. 4:5)
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Ahasuerus extending his scepter to Esther (Es. 5:2)
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Haman talks to his wife, Zeresh, and friends (Es. 5:14)
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Gallows built for Mordecai (Es. 5:14)
O | Ornamentation: | Endless knot
O | Ornamentation: | Foliate and floral ornaments | Floral motif
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Scribe(s) writing Haman's decree (Es. 3:12)
O | Ornamentation: | Main text framed
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.