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Obj. ID: 34773
Hebrew Illuminated Manuscripts
  Hechal Shlomo Esther Scroll with Landscapes II, Amsterdam, early 18th century

© Dagmara Budzioch, Photographer: Budzioch, Dagmara, 5.2015

The scroll represents the type called "scrolls with landscapes II" due to their decorative scheme that features four different landscapes framed in cartouches that fill upper margins and repeat on every sheet in the same order (see also "Additional Remarks"). The scroll from the Jerusalem collection is an exception because none of the landscapes is visible. The scrolls with landscapes are lavishly decorated megillot produced in a mixed technique in which decorative border is printed as a copper engraving (and in some exemplars, colored by hand), whereas the Hebrew text of the Book of Esther is penned by a scribe. The scrolls decorated with this pattern begin with a panel composed of several figurative scenes from the Book of Esther narrative that in the manuscript from the Jerusalem collection is missing. The text columns are interspaced by herms decorated with reliefs, elaborate acanthus leaves and garlands above which are either decorative capitals or putti holding baskets with flowers on their heads. Lower margins are filled with the figurative scenes that chronicle the Purim story, allude to midrashim or other sources; they are interspersed by vases with plants.

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Name/Title
Hechal Shlomo Esther Scroll with Landscapes II | Unknown
Object Detail
Date
early 18th century
Synagogue active dates
Reconstruction dates
Artist/ Maker
Unknown (Unknown)
Origin
Historical Origin
Unknown
Community type
Unknown |
Congregation
Unknown
Location
Unknown |
Site
Unknown
School/Style
Scrolls with landscapes|

The family of Dutch Esther scrolls from the early 18th century designed by an anonymous engraver whose decorative scheme is characterized by four different landscapes framed in cartouches of different shapes that fill upper margins. The scrolls of this family begin with a panel composed of several figurative scenes from the Book of Esther narrative. The text columns are interspaced by the columns decorated with reliefs, elaborate acanthus leaves and garlands above which are either decorative capitals or putti holding the baskets with flowers on their heads. Lower margins are filled with the figurative scenes that chronicle the Purim story or allude to midrashim and other sources; they are interspersed by vases with plants. The same decoration repeats on all four sheets forming each manuscript. Some of their exemplars are painted by hand.

Period
Unknown
Period Detail
Documentation / Research project
Unknown
Material/Technique
Ink on parchment (the text copied by hand, printed border)
Material Stucture
Material Decoration
Material Bonding
Material Inscription
Material Additions
Material Cloth
Material Lining
Tesserae Arrangement
Density
Colors
Construction material
Measurements
The length of the membranes in the scroll: 1) 400 mm, 2) 390 mm, 3) 395 mm.

An average letter is not higher than 2 mm, whereas an average letter in col. 10 is 5 mm high. The space between the subsequent lines of the text is 3 mm.

Dimensions of the selected details in the scroll:
- upper margin - 35 mm;
- lower margin - 45 mm;
- text panel - 127x67 mm;
- columns between the text panels - 30 mm (width);
- bases with angels' heads - ca. 35x30 mm.
Height
Length
Width
Depth
Circumference
Thickness
Diameter
Weight
Axis
Panel Measurements
Condition
In general, the manuscript is poorly preserved - it lacks the opening decoration and a large part of the printed border is almost invisible and the decorative details could be recognized on the basis of a comparison with other scrolls adorned with the same pattern. From the printed border, merely the decorations between the text panels are relatively good preserved. The parchment is preserved in a relatively good condition even if in some places the sheets are crumpled. The text on the first two membranes is well preserved, whereas on the third membrane its condition is worse. A tiny rectangle in col. 1 is cut out; most likely in this place, a wrong word was copied, this small part of the sheet was removed and it has not been supplemented.
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 consists of 3 membranes containing 12 columns with 28 lines, except for col. 10 with 11 lines divided into two parts. Every sheet contains 4 text columns.

The text is written on the flesh side of parchment membranes in a small, square Sefardi script in faded black ink.

The opening word of the Megillah is enlarged; similarly, as the letter ח (Es. 1:6) that in addition has decorative legs ended with tiny tendrils. The letter ת (Es. 9:29) is also enlarged.

All ten names of Haman's sons are inscribed in a column of equal width (col. 10); for this purpose, many letters are elongated. Additionally, this section includes the letters that are traditionally written as enlarged or diminished. 

The parchment membranes are rather suede, soft, and thin. The recto (flesh) side of the sheets is brighter than the verso side that is not only darker but also more grey. They are stitched.

The ruling is invisible.

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

There are two variants of the scrolls decorated with this pattern that in the Index are marked "I" and "II". In some exemplars, just below the decorative herms, the pedestals with angel's heads and bases were added, therefore, the text panels are higher; this type is marked with "II". Whereas, the rest of the manuscripts containing no pedestals with angel's heads and bases are marked with "I". The latter are more numerous. 

The earliest scroll sharing similar engraved pattern is dated to 1701; this is the megillah BCM 25 from the Braginsky Collection in Zurich (see http://braginskycollection.com/esther-scrolls/; accessed on 22.04.2020).

The scroll consists of 3 membranes; in it sheet no. 3 originally designed for these scrolls is not used, therefore, the frames with narrative scenes nos. 9-12 are absent. This causes that in the present description, frames nos. 9-12 are the same as frames nos. 13-16 in other exemplars of the scrolls decorated with the same border.

Similar narrative scenes are included in the scrolls with "portrait medallions" (see their descriptions in the Index); some of them are their mirror image.

Suggested Reconsdivuction
History/Provenance
Main Surveys & Excavations
Bibliography

On other scrolls decorated with the same pattern:

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], Prague 2006, 37.

http://braginskycollection.com/esther-scrolls/ (accessed on 22.04.2020)

Short Name
Full Name
Volume
Page
Type
Documenter
Dagmara Budzioch | 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.