The manuscript represents the Griselini-Related scrolls whose decoration imitates the scheme designed by Francesco Griselini (see "Griselini scrolls" in the Index). All Griselini-Related scrolls are formed of five sheets with four text panels per membrane and are produced in the mixed technique of the decorative border that is printed and hand-written text. Its general composition is the same as in the Griselini scrolls and only minor details - dogs present in the narrative scenes and the checkered floor - differ them.
The scheme is based on the row of arcades under which individual columns of the Hebrew text of the Book of Esther are written (in the scroll from the JM in New York, the text is copied in 19 columns and the last panel is left blank). The text panels are separated by columns whose shafts are decorated with varying patterns and whose bases contain floral designs. The upper margins feature cartouches flanked by flowers, pairs of turkeys, roosters, parrots, or hoopoes with their heads turned away from each other on top of a balustrade; all four pairs of birds are printed in the same sequence continuously. On top of the cartouches between turkeys and parrots, there are crowned double-headed eagles, whereas turkeys or peacocks are placed above cartouches between roosters and hoopoes. Vases, flowers, and small citrus trees are interspersed regularly throughout the birds.
The lower margins are decorated with figurative scenes illustrating the narrative of the Book of Esther. They feature Italian architecture and are enclosed in rectangular frames separated by the columns' floral bases.
The same pattern repeats along with the scroll and only the narrative scenes on the subsequent sheets are different.
Length of the membranes in the scroll: 1) ca. 525 mm, 2) 465 mm, 3) 460 mm, 4) 460 mm, 5) min. 525 mm (the membrane is rolled and it is difficult to unroll it in full.
Dimensions of the plate used for printing: ca. 255 x465 mm.
The printed border and the text are preserved in very good condition.
The first membrane is seriously damaged (it is stained, there are some losses in it, and the edges are not straight) and yellowed.
There are some stains on the third membrane.
The Book of Esther in Hebrew
The scroll is formed of 5 sheets containing a total of 19 columns of the text with 22 lines each, except for col. 16 with 11 lines divided into two half-columns.
The first four membranes contain four columns and the last membrane contains three columns.
The text is inscribed in the Hebrew square Italian script with tagin in black ink on the flesh side of the parchment membranes that are thick and very stiff. The side of the text and decorations is matte and brighter than the blank side that is rather yellow and more glossy.
The letter ח (Es. 1:6) is slightly larger and highlighted by its form (it is formed of two elements joined with a roof). The letter ת (Es. 9:29) is slightly bigger too. Enlarged and diminished letters are included in col. 16.
The ruling is barely visible.
The pricking is invisible.
The membranes in the scroll are stitched together.
The last lunette is blank.
No bibliography on the scroll is available but scrolls sharing the same pattern are discussed for example in:
Victor Klagsbald, Catalogue raisonné de la collection juive du Musée de Cluny, Paris 1981, p. 66-67, object 74.
Mendel Metzger, The Earliest Engraved Italian Megilloth, Bulletin of the John Rylands Library 1966, 48/2, 381–432, esp. 416-432 (here the scrolls are called "post-Griselini").
Dagmara Budzioch, 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 [Polish: Dekorowane zwoje Estery z Żydowskiego Instytutu Historycznego w Warszawie na tle tradycji dekorowania megilot Ester w XVII i XVIII wieku. Zarys problematyki], Warsaw 2019, 1:135-138.