Obj. ID: 37879
Hebrew Illuminated Manuscripts JML Amalek Esther Scroll, Iraq, mid-19th century
The scroll opens with a prefatory panel containing a kind of carpet decoration that is poorly preserved. The Hebrew text of the Book of Esther is written in rectangular text panels surrounded by a hand-painted border. The upper and lower margins of all membranes are adorned with Hebrew inscriptions in large, hand-drawn letters. They are colorless while their background is filled with dense foliate and floral ornaments with trefoils. The letters form complete or fragmentary Biblical quotations mentioning Amalek, an ancient enemy of the Jewish nation, who is believed to be an ancestor of Haman: Ex. 17:13-14, De. 25:17-19, 1Sa. 9:1-2, and 1Sa. 10:24. The spaces between the text panels are filled with similar decoration to this adorning margins.
The scroll is mounted on a wooden turned roller decorated with colorful stones.
For another scroll decorated with large Hebrew letters in the margins see ID 27379.
The length of the sheets in the sheets: 1) 270 mm, 2) 350 mm, 3) 375 mm, 4) 350, 210 mm.
Dimensions of the selected details in the scroll:
- text panel: 49x54 mm;
- decorations between the panels: 15 mm;
- margins: ca. 13 mm;
- an average letter (including col. 18): just over 1 mm;
- letters in the margins: 6 mm.
The roller: ca. 180 mm (height).
The manuscript is preserved in satisfactory condition, although membranes nos. 1, 3, and 4 are damaged and in many places, the decorations are flaked off.
It can be assumed that a part of the opening decoration is trimmed.
The upper margin of the first sheet is seriously damaged and part of the inscription is missing.
The sheets are dirty and their edges are frayed.
There is a large hole in the place where the last sheet is stitched to the roller.
The roller lacks a part of its lower handle; some stones are missing too.
The Book of Esther in Hebrew + several verses from other biblical books written on the margins
The scroll is formed of 5 sheets containing 22 columns of text with 15-17 lines, except for col. 1 with 7 lines and col. 18 with 11 lines divided into two parts.
The number of columns of the text per sheet: no. 1 - 4, nos. 2 - 4, no. 5 - 3.
The text is inscribed in the Hebrew square Oriental script, in black ink, on parchment membranes whose both sides are similar and difficult to distinguish on which side the text is inscribed.
The letters ח (Es. 1:6) and ת (Es. 9:29) are slightly larger than other letters in the scroll.
The ruling is slightly visible in some parts of the scroll.
The pricking is invisible.
The membranes in the scroll are stitched together.
The former number of the manuscript - N22 - in the first panel is written in pencil.
No bibliography on the scroll is available.