Obj. ID: 1543
Hebrew Illuminated Manuscripts JMP Esther Scroll with Floral Motifs and Zodiac, Italy (?), late 18th-early 19th century
The right edge of the first membrane in the scroll is trimmed into a trefoil. This part of the manuscript, as well as the upper and lower margins and the spaces between the text panels, are decorated with foliate and floral ornaments. The upper margins above the first 12 columns of the text are adorned with signs of the Zodiac, framed in cartouches of various shapes, each flanked by a floral motif. The signs of the Zodiac are only sketched and their sequence does not follow the calendar. Additionally, both upper and lower margins are adorned with a few animals and birds. The last two sheets (nos. 5 and 6) containing 4 columns of the text represent different workmanship and it seems they were executed by another maker than the remaining part of the scroll. The upper edges of all the membranes in the scroll are cut into a continuous painted half-circle pattern.
The ornamentation of the scroll is related to some Italian megillot Esther and ketubbot decorated with cut-out borders produced in the 2nd half of the 18th century (see "Related Objects").
It may be assumed that the original membranes nos. 5 and 6 were damaged or lost and then replaced later. The colors of this part of the scroll are brighter, more delicate, and clear.
Some details in the decoration are painted with gold or silver paint.
The former number of the manuscript: Ms 314.
| Inv. No. JMP 12.562
Z | Zodiac Signs
A | Animals and Beasts
B | Bird
An average column of the text: 178x200 mm.
The scroll is formed of 6 sheets containing 16 columns of the text with 18 or 19 lines; col. 14 includes 11 lines divided into two parts.
Membranes nos. 1-5 contain 3 columns of the text each, while membrane no. 6 contains a single column.
The text is inscribed in Italian-Sephardi Hebrew square script in dark brown ink on the flesh side of the bright parchment membranes.
The letter ח (Es. 1:6) is highlighted by its larger size and form (this is the only letter ח containing two elements joined with a roof). The letter ת (Es. 9:29) is enlarged. Other large and small letters are included in col. 14.
The ruling was made for every text panel separately and the pricking can be discerned inside every panel.
Jiřina Šedinová, From the Mss. Collections of the State Jewish Museum in Prague. The Scrolls of Esther, "Judaica Bohemiae" 1979, nr 15/2, 84–85.
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], Praha 2006, 28-29.
Images of the scroll are available http://collections.jewishmuseum.cz/index.php/Detail/Object/Show/object_id/218254 (accessed on 22.10.2020).