Obj. ID: 38674
Hebrew Illuminated Manuscripts Museo Ebraico Sabbioneta Klagsbald Type Esther Scroll, Venice (?), second half of the 17th century
The scroll represents the Klagsbald type (for the explanation of the name see "Summary and 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 symmetrical composition of large flowers and foliate ornaments which, uniquely in this manuscript, is the same as the final decoration, unlike the other Klagsbald scrolls' opening sections. 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 Sabbioneta collection, the background behind them is painted in carmine and some traces of gold paint are still visible. The ten text panels, each containing a single column of text (though usually in the Klagsbald scrolls, the text is written in nineteen text columns), are interspersed by stylized floral decoration. The same scheme repeats on all four membranes forming each megillah from this group.
The scroll is mounted on a wooden roller.
The opening decoration of this scroll differs from all other megillot sharing this pattern.
Some details - such as endless knot patterns - in the scroll are painted with gold paint.
The manuscript is displayed on the permanent exhibition in the Museo Ebraico.
The roller: 275 mm (height).
The manuscript is preserved in satisfactory condition but the state of preservation of the membranes varies. The membranes are crumpled. The fourth membrane is in the best condition, with its decorations and text preserved.
In many places, green paint has flaked off and the text is damaged.
The pattern in this exemplar is poorly printed.
Some sewings are torn.
The Book of Esther in Hebrew
The scroll is formed of 4 sheets containing 10 wide columns of the text with 23-25 lines each, except for col. 8 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 with tagin, in black ink on the flesh side of parchment membranes.
The letters ח (Es. 1:6) and ת (Es. 9:29) are enlarged and bolded. Other enlarged and diminished letters are included in col. 8.
There are some corrections and erasures in the text.
The ruling is made with a hardpoint but it is barely visible.
The pricking is invisible.
The membranes in the scroll are stitched together.
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.