Obj. ID: 23766
Hebrew Illuminated Manuscripts JHM Enthroned King Esther Scroll, Germany (?), 18th century
The scroll opens with a large panel flanked by floral motifs that shows an enthroned king that is. The king's costume represents the 18th-century fashion of Western Europe, but apparently, this is a depiction of King Ahasuerus. The Hebrew text of the Book of Esther is written in rectangular columns that are separated by narrow panels topped with a stylized crown and filled with ornamental or floral designs. Between the ninth and tenth columns of text, another depiction based on the Esther story is painted - the hanging of Haman and his ten sons (Es. 7:10 and Es. 9:14 or Es. 9:25). The text opens with an enlarged and colored word ויהי written in the colorful frame. Some other colorful letters (including these spelling out the name of God) and words (mainly they are words המלך appearing at the head of the columns of text) are incorporated in the text. Also, the section in the ninth column listing the names of Haman's sons is written in colorful letters.
In two places - on the first and second membranes - corrections can be seen. In both cases, a small piece of parchment was cut out and the proper words were written on small pieces of parchment that are glued underneath the membranes.
The ink in the scroll is still a bit shiny.
The length of the membranes in the scroll: 1) 705 mm, 2) 710 mm, 3) 615 mm, 4) 515 mm.
Dimensions of the selected details in the scroll:
- opening decoration: 250x125 mm;
- columns of text are of different width, e.g. 140, 150, and 205 mm;
- an average letter: 4 mm;
- spaces between the lines: 3 mm.
The manuscript is well preserved and only slight damages are visible in it.
The details painted in green are preserved in worse condition.
The membranes are slightly dirty.
The Book of Esther in Hebrew
The scroll consists of 4 membranes containing a total of 11 columns with 29 lines per each, except for the col. 9 which is written in 11 lines divided into two half-columns.
The first three membranes contain 3 columns of text, and the fourth membrane contains 2 columns.
The text is inscribed in Hebrew square Ashkenazi stam script with tagin, in dense black ink on the flesh side of parchment membranes that are very thick and stiff, rather bright and a bit suede.
The letters ח (Es. 1:6) and ת (Es. 9:29) are enlarged, bolded, and colored; the letter ח is additionally decorated with scrolled feet. In the same way, the letters of the Tetragrammaton are highlighted. Other enlarged and diminished letters are included in col. 9.
The text contains some seriously elongated letters.
There are numerous and large corrections in the scroll (e.g. in col. 10).
The ruling - horizontal and vertical lines - is made with a hardpoint ruled across the width of the membranes.
The pricking is visible on the opening edge of the scroll.
The membranes in the scroll are stitched together.
A short description and images are available on https://data.jck.nl/page/aggregation/jhm-museum/M000417 (accessed on 15.07.2021).