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Obj. ID: 27371
Hebrew Illuminated Manuscripts
  IM Zodiac Esther Scroll, Venice (?), first half of the 18th century

© Center for Jewish Art, Photographer: Unknown,

The scroll is decorated with the signs of the Zodiac and the symbols of the Israeli tribes; both are framed in cartouches placed - respectively - on the upper and lower margins. The text columns are interspersed by twisted columns and the cartouches in the upper margins are separated by flower-filled vases and these in the lower margins with the columns' bases. To every sign of the Zodiac, the name of a corresponding month of the Hebrew calendar is added, whereas the symbols of sons of Israel are accompanied by their names. The months of the Hebrew calendar are listed in the calendrical order starting from the month of Nisan (Ex. 12:1), whereas the name of Reuven starts the list of the names of Israeli Tribes (Num. 2, 10).

The scroll is mounted on a wooden turned handle.

1 image(s)

sub-set tree:

Name/Title
IM Zodiac Esther Scroll | Unknown
Object Detail
Monument Setting
Unknown
Date
first half of the 18th century
Synagogue active dates
Reconstruction dates
Artist/ Maker
Unknown (Unknown)
Origin
Italy
| Venice (?)
Historical Origin
Unknown
Community type
Unknown |
Congregation
Unknown
Location
Site
Unknown
School/Style
Unknown|
Period
Unknown
Period Detail
Collection
Documentation / Research project
Unknown
Material/Technique
Ink and paints (tempera) 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: 250x1445 mm
Height
Length
Width
Depth
Circumference
Thickness
Diameter
Weight
Axis
Panel Measurements
Condition
The scroll (parchment, paints, and ink) is preserved in a very good condition. In comparison with the scroll Ms. 182/25, IM, Jerusalem - it is very likely that originally the opening section of the manuscript was decorated and possibly due to its bad state of preservation was cut off.
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 membranes with 12 text columns containing 31 lines.

The text is inscribed in an Italian square script, in a ha-melech layout.

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 IM possesses a similar scroll - Ms. 182/25; its opening decoration is clearly based on the Gaster I scrolls. Another exemplar possibly executed by the same artist is stored in the museum of the B'rit Kodesh community in Rochester (NY).

The signs of the Zodiac depicted in the scroll allude to casting lots by Haman (Es. 3:7). 

The symbols of Israeli Tribes (Nu. 2, 10) only rarely were incorporated in the ornamentation of megillot Esther.

Lory Friedfertig (p. 36, see "Bibliography") suggests that both motifs - the signs of Zodiac and Israeli Tribes - are present in the 17th-century ketubbah of Venice and that the artist of the scroll must be familiar with it.

Suggested Reconsdivuction
History/Provenance
According to the catalog "Purchased in 1934 from Emil Offenbacher, London"
Main Surveys & Excavations
Bibliography

Isaiah Shachar, Jewish Tradition in Art. The Feuchtwanger Collection of Judaica, Jerusalem (The Israel Museum) 1981, p. 156, object 410.

A similar scroll is discussed by Lory Friedfertig, From Darkness to Light. Discovering the Judaica Museum of Temple B'rit Kodesh, Rochester (?) n.d., pp. 32-37. 

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Full Name
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Architectural Drawings
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Computer Reconstruction
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Donor
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Negative/Photo. No.