Obj. ID: 35515
Hebrew Illuminated Manuscripts Historisches Museum Frankfurt Esther Scroll Based on Gaster I Scrolls, Germany, 18th century
The ornamentation is based on Gaster I scrolls, but the scroll is longer than the prototype.
On the upper and lower margins, there are 20 cartouches in total.
The floral pattern appears 24 times in the scroll.
Every panel includes a single column, whereas in Gaster I type scrolls, there are two columns per panel.
Some details were originally painted gold; at present, those parts are rather brown.
Sketches in pencil are still noticeable. In some places, the original drawing is not colored.
The background is painted in two different shades of pink color.
No two endless knot patterns in the scroll are identical.
The restoration took place in 2004.
The length of the sheets in the scroll: 1) ca. 570 mm, 2) ca. 610 mm, 3) ca. 520 mm.
Dimensions of the selected details in the scroll:
- an average text column: ca. 65x80 mm;
- floral pattern: 80x12 mm;
- cartouche: 30x100 mm;
- an average letter: 2 mm (height).
The case: 185 mm (height).
The Book of Esther in Hebrew
The scroll is formed of 3 sheets containing 22 columns of the text with 22 lines except for col. 19 which has 11 lines divided into two parts.
The number of columns per sheet: no. 1 - 7, no. 2 - 8, no. 3 - 7.
The text is written in Hebrew Ashkenazi square script with tagim on selected letters, in black and shiny ink, on the flesh side of parchment sheets.
The letters ח (Es. 1:6) and ת (Es. 9:29) are enlarged and bolded. Other enlarged and diminished letters are included in col. 19.
Every word המלך appearing at the head of the columns of text is decorated with an ornament that is attached to the flag of ל letters. The same ornament is added to the word המלכה referring to Esther. Additionally, to the letters ה in the words המלך tagim are added.
The letters of the Tetragrammaton are marked (cols. 11, 12, and 14).
Three letters are highlighted in the text: ו and ע in the last line of the column listing the sons of Haman and ע in the final word of the Megillah.
In col. 14 there are words written in larger letters.
The ruling is made with a hardpoint; the lines are only inside the text panels.
The membranes in the scroll are glued together.
Mendel Metzger, Eine illustrierte Estherrolle der zweiten Hälfte des 18. Jahrhunderts im Historischen Museum Frankfurt am Main, mit einem Anhang über Megilla-Hülsen, „Schriften des Historischen Museums Frankfurt am Main” 13 (1972), 95-116.
Monumenta Judaica. 2000 Jahre Geschichte und Kultur der Juden am Rhein; eine Ausstellung im Kölnischen Stadtmuseum 15.10.1963 – 15.03.1964, ed. M. Garding, Köln 1964, object no. E 671.
Synagoga. Jüdische Altertümer Handschriften und Kultgeräte. Historisches Museum Frankfurt am Main, 17. Mai – 16. Juli 1961, Frankfurt am Main 1961, object no. 137.
Dagmara Budzioch, Dekorowane zwoje Estery z Żydowskiego Instytutu Historycznego w Warszawie na tle tradycji dekorowania megillot Ester w XVII i XVIII wieku. Zarys problematyki [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], Warszawa 2019, 1:151-152.