Obj. ID: 38212
Hebrew Illuminated Manuscripts BCRS Klagsbald Type Esther Scroll, Venice (?), second half of the 17th century
The scroll represents the Klagsbald type (for the explanation of the name see "Additional Remarks"), lavishly decorated megillot in which a decorative border is printed as a copper engraving and colored by hand, while the Hebrew text of the Book of Esther is penned by a scribe. The opening section is exhaustively filled with a rich, symmetrical decoration formed of tendrils, flowers, and animals, all surrounding a poorly preserved flower. The upper and lower margins are adorned with repeating endless knot motifs, alternating with 20 rectangular frames enclosing one to three scenes that narrate the Book of Esther. In the scroll from the Palermo collection, the background behind them is painted in carmine, and some traces of gold paint are still visible on the endless knot motifs. The ten text panels, in which nineteen text columns are included, are interspersed by stylized floral decoration. The same scheme repeats on all four membranes forming each megillah from this group. The pattern ends with a symmetrical decoration composed of large flowers and foliate ornaments.
The scroll is accompanied by a separate benedictions sheet decorated with a floral frame whose style is not related to the ornamentation of the megillah.
The frames on the upper margins are numbered with Arabic numerals.
On the blank side of the benediction sheet, a seal of the Library, as well as two numbers (III.D.17 and 194232), can be seen.
*Manuscripts and Printed Books | Esther scroll (megillat Esther) | with printed border
*Manuscripts and Printed Books | Esther scroll (megillat Esther) | in ha-melekh layout
*Manuscripts and Printed Books | Esther scroll (megillat Esther) | with benedictions
*Manuscripts and Printed Books | Esther scroll (megillat Esther) | with piyutim
| Ms. III.D.17
In general, the manuscript is preserved in fair condition, but the text is well preserved.
The opening decoration is seriously damaged; its parts are missing and the membrane is torn in several places.
Coloring in some parts of the decoration is faded (e.g. in the final section of the scroll).
The floral decoration of the benediction sheet is poorly preserved.
The Book of Esther in Hebrew, accompanied by a separate benedictions sheet with initial and final benedictions and portions of the piyut Shoshanat Yaakov.
The scroll is formed of 4 sheets containing 19 columns of text with 24 lines each, except for col. 16 which has 11 lines divided into two half-columns.
Sheets nos. 1-3 contain 3 columns of the text, and sheet no. 4 contains a single column.
The text is written in Hebrew square Italian script in black ink on parchment membranes.
The letters ח (Es. 1:6) and ת (Es. 9:29) are enlarged. Other enlarged and diminished letters are included in col. 16.
The membranes in the scroll are stitched together.
Benedictions – every formula starts with enlarged and bolded opening word ברוך. The name of God is replaced by 2 letters י and a ligature of א and ל letters. In their text, a ligature of א and ל letters is included too.
The text is copied in a different handwriting than the scroll itself.
Bibliography concerning this manuscript is unknown but other scrolls sharing the same pattern are described e.g. in:
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.
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, 1:119-128.