Home
    Under Reconstruction!
Object Alone

Obj. ID: 23768
Hebrew Illuminated Manuscripts
  JHM Shalom Italia Esther Scroll with Roundels, Amsterdam, 1640s

© Jewish Historical Museum (Joods Historisch Museum), Photographer: Unknown, -

The scroll executed in a mixed technique; the text was written by a scribe within a printed decoration designed by Shalom ben Mordecai Italia (also known as Shalom D'Italia). It opens with a symmetrical pattern composed of a flower placed in the central part of it and six birds grouped in pairs. In the central part of the decorative scheme, there are roundels in which the text of the Book of Esther was inscribed. Above each of them, there are three animals: a lion (on the right), a lamb (in the center), and a bear (on the left) that can be symbols of – respectively ‒ Persia, the nation of Israel, and Media. Below the roundels, the scenes from the Book of Esther narrative placed in rectangles with decorative frames are depicted. They are surrounded by vases filled with bouquets of flowers that are standing on tall and narrow carved columns. The background is precisely filled with minor details such as birds and with cross-hatching.    

15 image(s)

sub-set tree:

Name/Title
JHM Shalom Italia Esther Scroll with Roundels | Unknown
Object Detail
Monument Setting
Unknown
Date
1640s
Synagogue active dates
Reconstruction dates
Artist/ Maker
Italia (d'Italia), Shalom ben Mordecai (engraver in Amsterdam)
(Engraver)
ca. 1619, Mantova – 1655 or 1664) was one of the most creative Jewish artists of the 17th century. After he left Italy, he settled in Amsterdam in 1641, where he was active for just over a decade; later he returned to his home country. During his stay in Amsterdam, he designed borders for two printed ketubbot, engraved portraits of a few eminent Jewish personalities, and created several lavishly decorated engraved and hand-drawn borders for Esther scrolls, most of which are based on architectural frames and motifs.
Historical Origin
Unknown
Community type
Unknown |
Congregation
Unknown
Location
Unknown |
Site
Unknown
School/Style
Unknown|
Period
Unknown
Period Detail
Documentation / Research project
Unknown
Material/Technique
Ink on parchment (printed decoration, handwritten text)
Material Stucture
Material Decoration
Material Bonding
Material Inscription
Material Additions
Material Cloth
Material Lining
Tesserae Arrangement
Density
Colors
Construction material
Measurements
The scroll: 130x1820 mm.
The length of the sheets in the scroll: 1) 655 mm, 2) 555 mm, 3) 610 mm.
Dimensions of the selected details in the scroll:
- roundel: 60 mm (diameter);
- illustration: 18x47 mm;
- an average letter: 1 mm (height);
- space between the lines: ca. 1 mm.
Height
Length
Width
Depth
Circumference
Thickness
Diameter
Weight
Axis
Panel Measurements
Condition

In general, the manuscript is preserved in very good condition, although the right edge of the first membrane is very damaged and an additional piece of parchment is sewn with a burgundy thread.

The print is partly erased, especially on the opening part of the scroll.

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

Codicology

The scroll is formed of 3 sheets containing a total of 19 columns of the text (18 roundels and 1 rectangle) with 21 or 22 lines, except for the Haman's sons section that is on the right side of col. 17 and contains 11 lines divided into two hal-columns.

All sheets contain 6 roundels; but on the final part of the third sheet, a rectangular column is added. 

The text is inscribed in the Hebrew square Ashkenazi script with tagin, in brown-black ink, on parchment membranes that are thin and delicate but not soft. The blank side is darker and hair traces are slightly visible on it.

The letter ח (Es. 1:6) is highlighted by its form - it is composed of two elements joined with a roof. The letter ת (Es. 9:29) is enlarged.

The length of the lines of the text fits the text panels.

The ruling is invisible.

The membranes in the scroll are stitched together.

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
Engraver's signature in Hebrew included in the opening decoration (in the flag held by a monkey or an ape standing on a cat)
ע''ל ידי שלום איטליאה
Colophon
Scribal Notes
Watermark
Hallmark
Group
Group
Group
Group
Group
Trade Mark
Binding
Decoration Program
Summary and Remarks

The text of the Megillah is inscribed in roundels can be rarely found in decorated Esther scrolls.

Blots of ink are visible on some illustrations and their frames.

The margins around the print are of different widths.

Suggested Reconsdivuction
History/Provenance
Main Surveys & Excavations
Bibliography

The scroll is mentioned in:

Sharon Assaf, Emily D. Bilski, Salom Italia’s Esther Scrolls and the Dutch Golden Age, Amsterdam 2011.

Bibliography concerning the scrolls designed by Shalom Italia or attributed to him:

A Journey through Jewish Worlds: Highlights from the Braginsky Collection of Hebrew Manuscripts and Printed Books, eds. E.M. Cohen, E. Schrijver, S. Liberman Mintz, Amsterdam 2009, 228-231 (describes another scroll designed by Shalom Italia).

Michael Garel, An Esther Scroll by Shalom Italia, "The Israel Museum Journal" 5 (Spring 1986), 107–108.

Mordecai Narkiss, Yeẓurato shel Shalom ben rabbi Mordechai Italia (16191655?) [The Oeuvre of the Jewish Engraver Salom Italia (1619–1655?)], “Tarbiz” 25(4), 1956, 441–451, and: ibidem no. 26(1), 1957, 87–101.

Shalom Sabar, A New Discovery: The Earliest Illustrated Esther Scroll by Shalom Italia, „Ars Judaica” 2012, no. 8, 119–136.

Schöne Seiten. Jüdische Schriftkultur aus der Braginsky Collection, eds. Emile Schrijver, Falk Wiesemann, Evelyn M. Cohen, Sharon Liberman Mintz, Menahem Schmeltzer, Zurich 2011, 274‒279.

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, 1:155‒159.

Dagmara Budzioch, Italian Origins of the Decorated Scrolls of Esther, “Kwartalnik Historii Żydów” 1/2016, no. 257, esp. 45‒47.

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