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Obj. ID: 1546
Hebrew Illuminated Manuscripts
  JMP Esther Scroll with Cartouches and Foliate Decoration, Italy, 18th century

© Jewish Museum in Prague (JMP), Photographer: N/A, -

The scroll opens and closes with empty decorative cartouches narrower at the top; after the final cartouche, a sheet with benedictions and piyutim is stitched to the megillah. The upper margins are narrower than the lower margins, and they all are adorned with acanthus and various floral motifs. The spaces between the columns of the text are decorated with similar motifs, supplemented with hangings and garlands. Šedinová (p. 84 – see “Bibliography”) noticed that they are not hanging from above, suggesting that the decoration is painted upside-down on the membranes. If the hangings are placed in the lower part of the columns - that is, they are standing rather than hanging - then they resemble lighted candles or torches. It is difficult to guess what the intent of the scroll’s maker in this respect was but the cartouches seem to be in their proper orientation.

10 image(s)

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Name/Title
JMP Esther Scroll with Cartouches and Foliate Decoration | Unknown
Object Detail
Date
18th century
Synagogue active dates
Reconstruction dates
Artist/ Maker
Unknown (Unknown)
Origin
Historical Origin
Unknown
Community type
Unknown |
Congregation
Unknown
Site
Unknown
School/Style
Unknown|
Period
Unknown
Period Detail
Collection
Documentation / Research project
Unknown
Material/Technique
Ink and watercolors on parchment
Material Stucture
Material Decoration
Material Bonding
Material Inscription
Material Additions
Material Cloth
Material Lining
Tesserae Arrangement
Density
Colors
Construction material
Measurements
The scroll: 205x3320 mm
Height
Length
Width
Depth
Circumference
Thickness
Diameter
Weight
Axis
Panel Measurements
Condition
The manuscript is preserved in a good condition, although some damages in parchment membranes can be seen. Some parts of the text and decorations are slightly damaged. There is a large stain in col. 5.
Extant
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
Languages of inscription
Unknown
Type of grave
Unknown
0
Ornamentation
Custom
Contents

The Book of Esther in Hebrew with initial and final benedictions and piyutim: portions from שושנת יעקב, and the name only of the piyut קוראי מגילה.

Codicology

The scroll is formed of 10 sheets containing 27 columns of the text, followed by 2 columns with initial and final benedictions and a liturgical poem. Each column of the main text has 19 lines, except for col. 23 which has 11 lines divided into two half-columns.

The number of text columns per sheet varies: sheets nos. 2-8 contain 3 columns each, sheet no. 1 contains 4 columns, and sheets nos. 9 and 10 contain 2 columns (the last one includes additional texts related to the Megillah reading).

The text is inscribed in Hebrew square Italian script with tagin, in black ink, on the flesh side of the parchment membranes.

The letter ח (Es. 1:6) is written as a typical letter whereas all other letters ח are formed of two elements joined with a roof. The letter ת (Es. 9:29) is enlarged and bolded. Other large and small letters are included in col. 23.

Numerous letters in col. 22 are stretched to fill the space in the lines.

The ruling is made with a hardpoint.

The membranes in the scroll are stitched.

The last sheet (no. 10) is dedicated to the additional texts: the initial and final benedictions and a liturgical poem.

Benedictions: the initial words of the benedictions - ברוך - are enlarged and inscribed separately from the rest of the formulas. Additionally, the name of Harbona at the end of שושנת יעקב is also enlarged, as is the title of the next poem - קוראי מגילה ("Korei Megillah") to be recited. The Tetragrammaton is replaced by a ligature.

Scribes
Script
Number of Lines
Ruling
Pricking
Quires
Catchwords
Hebrew Numeration
Blank Leaves
Direction/Location
Façade (main)
Endivances
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
Coin Series
Coin Ruler
Coin Year
Denomination
Signature
Colophon
None
Scribal Notes
Watermark
Hallmark
Group
Group
Group
Group
Group
Trade Mark
Binding
Decoration Program
Summary and Remarks

The former number of the manuscript is Ms 260. Šedinová in the article (see "Bibliography") uses the number 125281.

Suggested Reconsdivuction
History/Provenance
Šedinová says (p. 83) "The scroll is the first one of the three illuminated Megilloth Esther owned by the State Jewish Museum". The scroll was amongst the Judaic objects gathered by the Nazis during 1942-1945.
Main Surveys & Excavations
Bibliography

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, 30.

Jiřina Šedinová, From the Mss. Collections of the State Jewish Museum in Prague. The Scrolls of Esther, „Judaica Bohemiae” 1979, nr 15/2, 83-84.

The images of the scroll are available on https://collections.jewishmuseum.cz/index.php/Detail/Object/Show/object_id/221936 (accessed on 13.11.2020).

Short Name
Full Name
Volume
Page
Type
Documenter
Tova Szeintuch, Dagmara Budzioch | 18.12.2016, 2020
Author of description
Dagmara Budzioch | 2020
Architectural Drawings
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Computer Reconstruction
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Section Head
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Language Editor
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Donor
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Negative/Photo. No.