Text column no. 8 (sheet 2): On the right, Haman has just arrived in the courtyard of the royal palace (Es. 6:5). On the left, Ahasuerus reclines on a bed, accompanied by four men. One of them stands before him and reads from an open book to the king (Es. 6:1-3), another holds a high candle or a torch, and the other two may be guards with spears in their hands. In the background stands the gallows prepared by Haman for Mordecai and, next to it, three figures are standing; probably they are Haman, his wife Zeresh, and another friend, or Haman and two of his friends (Es. 5:14).
The dimensions of the decorative details are as follows:
- a balustrade - ca. 28-30 mm (height);
- a frame with illustrations - ca. 75x30 mm;
- a flower-filled vase - ca. 30x40 mm;
- a segment with a pair of birds - ca. 40x90 mm;
- a column - ca. 22x100 mm
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Gallows built for Mordecai (Es. 5:14)
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Haman in the courtyard of the royal palace (Es. 6:4-5)
O | Ornamentation: | Architectural frame
C | Columns
V | Vase | Vase with flowers
O | Ornamentation: | Cartouche
B | Bird | Hoopoe
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Ahasuerus listening to the Book of Records (Es. 6:1-3)
The Book of Esther in Hebrew
The scroll is formed of 5 (?) membranes with the text inscribed in 19 (?) text columns with 19 lines (?), except for col. 16 which has 11 lines divided into two half-columns.
The text is inscribed in the Hebrew Italian square script with tagin, in black ink, on parchment sheets.
The letter ח (Es. 1:6) is highlighted by its form - it is composed of two parts joined with a roof. The letter ת (Es. 9:29) is highlighted by its size.
The membranes are stitched together.
The Griselini scrolls consist either of four or five sheets with four text panels each.
The decorative scheme resembles the ornamentation of Gaster II scrolls. In the Index, megillot Esther confusingly similar to Griselini scrolls, but not printed by Griselini himself, are called "Griselini-Related scrolls". The decoration of Griselini scrolls also resembles that of the Gaster II scrolls, but without decoration at the beginning and the end (see descriptions of "Griselini-Related" and "Gaster II" scrolls and in the Index).
Bibliography concerning Griselini scrolls from various collections:
Mendel Metzger, The Earliest Engraved Italian Megilloth, "Bulletin of the John Rylands Library", 48/2 (1966), esp. 406–432.
A Journey through Jewish Worlds: Highlights from the Braginsky Collection of Hebrew Manuscripts and Printed Books, eds. Evelyn M. Cohen, Emile Schrijver, Sharon Mintz, Amsterdam 2009, pp. 242–245 (additionally pp. 126-127 for the Bible of 1739 illustrated with Griselini's engravings).
Schöne Seiten. Jüdische Schriftkultur aus der Braginsky Collection, eds. Emile Schrijver, Falk Wiesemann, Evelyn M. Cohen, Sharon Liberman Mintz, Menachem Schmeltzer, Zurich 2011, pp. 264‒265 (additionally pp. 246-247 for the Bible of 1739 illustrated with Griselini's engravings).
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, 1:128–136.
Biography of Griselini in Italian and bibliography available on http://www.treccani.it/enciclopedia/francesco-griselini_(Dizionario-Biografico)/ (accessed on 11.04.2020).