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Obj. ID: 34643
Hebrew Illuminated Manuscripts
  MAHJ Rosette Esther Scroll, Greece or Ottoman Empire, 18th/19th centuries

© Dagmara Budzioch, Photographer: Budzioch, Dagmara, 09.03.2015

The right edge of the first membrane is trimmed into a semicircle on which a rosette surrounded by circles and two twigs are painted. The rosette's background is filled with red and green dots. It is likely that originally the rosette was painted gold but over the years, the color has changed into green. This can be assumed on the basis of the frames that surround the text columns on the first membrane on which some remains of gold are still noticeable, whereas on the other sheets they are gold. In the empty spaces between the parshiyot, decorative golden elements are placed. Some of them are barely visible and among these still preserved, there are vegetal motifs. On the third membrane, there are no frames between the text columns, and the intercolumnar spaces are decorated with foliate ornaments in gold. The space between both parts of the column no. 10 that lists the names of Haman's sons is filled with several short golden twigs with leaves and flowers (?). 

A separate, not decorated, benediction sheet is rolled together with the megillah.

The scroll is mounted on a wooden turned rod that is ca. 290 mm high.

12 image(s)

sub-set tree:

Name/Title
MAHJ Rosette Esther Scroll | Unknown
Object Detail
Date
18th/19th centuries
Synagogue active dates
Reconstruction dates
Artist/ Maker
Unknown (Unknown)
Origin
Greece
| or Ottoman Empire (?)
Historical Origin
Unknown
Community type
Unknown |
Congregation
Unknown
Site
Unknown
School/Style
Unknown|
Period
Unknown
Period Detail
Documentation / Research project
Unknown
Material/Technique
Ink and metallic paint on parchment
Material Stucture
Material Decoration
Material Bonding
Material Inscription
Material Additions
Material Cloth
Material Lining
Tesserae Arrangement
Density
Colors
Construction material
Measurements
The final part of the last membrane is stitched to the handle, therefore, it is difficult to measure it precisely.
The opening decoration is around 140 mm wide.
Height
196 mm
Length
Width
Depth
Circumference
Thickness
Diameter
Weight
Axis
Panel Measurements
Iconographical Subject
Condition
The parchment is quite well preserved despite some stains and its waving surface, especially in the case of the last membrane. The text is preserved is a very good condition even if some traces of water damage are visible in the scroll. The paints in the opening decoration are damaged.
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 accompanied by a separate benediction sheet
Codicology

The scroll consists of 4 membranes containing 13 text columns with a various number of lines, i.e. 21, 24, 25, 27, 28, or 30. Additionally, col. 13 (with the names of Haman's sons) is inscribed in 11 lines that is the most popular layout of this section employed in the megillot.

This causes that the density of the handwriting is very different in the subsequent text panels and the size of the letters is varied, e.g. some of them are 3-4 mm high and in the col. 10 they are 8-9 mm. The letter ח in Es. 1:6 is slightly bigger than the letters in the first column; the letter ת in Es. 9:29 (col. 13) is enlarged too. Other traditionally bigger or smaller letters are included in the names of Haman's sons (col. 10).

The text is inscribed in black ink, in a Hebrew square script with oriental or Eastern influences, decorated with tagim but they lack dots at the end of the strokes. 

The ruling is invisible and having in mind, the differentiated number of the lines in the text columns, it is unlikely that it has been prepared.

Flags of letters ל present in the first line of the subsequent text columns are higher than in the following lines.

The parchment of the scroll is relatively thick. The blank side - that is the hair side - is more yellow and shiny than the side with text and decorations.

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
Scribal Notes
A scribal note in a semicursive script is added at the end of the separate benediction sheet that is rolled together with the scroll.
Watermark
Hallmark
Group
Group
Group
Group
Group
Trade Mark
Binding
Decoration Program
Summary and Remarks

The scroll can be theoretically called a ha-melech scroll because this word appears at the head of some text columns but not at their majority. Nevertheless, it seems that the scribe intended to copy the text in a ha-melech layout but he was not able to follow this arrangement consistently throughout the scroll (e.g. col. 4).

Such irregularity in the layout of the text columns (the text columns contain i.e. 21, 24, 25, 27, 28, or 30 lines) is rare in the scrolls. In most cases, all text columns (except for the column with the names of Haman's sons) include the same number of lines.

Suggested Reconsdivuction
History/Provenance
Donated by Sir Nathaniel de Rothschild from the English branch of the family
Main Surveys & Excavations
Bibliography

Rouleau d'Esther, Indéterminé, 18e siècle, 4e quart / 19e siècle, 1er quart available on https://www.mahj.org/en/decouvrir-collections-betsalel/rouleau-d-esther-73788 (accessed on 16.04.2020)

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.