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Obj. ID: 66
Hebrew Illuminated Manuscripts
  NLI Moshe ben Avraham Pescarolo Esther Scroll, Ferrara, 1616

© Center for Jewish Art, Photographer: Unknown,

One of three currently known lavishly illustrated scrolls produced by Moshe ben Avraham Pescarolo. The opening sheet of the scroll is trimmed into a conical shape on which the inscription in Hebrew is inscribed (see ID 2739). The rectangular text panels are surrounded by a variety of decorative motifs. The upper margin of each membrane is filled with figurative scenes in rectangular frames depicting the narrative of the Book of Esther supplemented with midrashic tales. They are captioned in Hebrew with short quotations from the Book of Esther or clear references to this text. The scenes are separated by stylized herms, resembling male or female half-figures, each resting on a pedestal of inverted volutes. The lower margin - which is narrower than the upper one - is decorated with panels containing foliate scrolls - some with animals, hybrids, birds, butterflies, fruit, and floral motifs. The text panels are separated by a repeating floral motif: an upright floral branch in a vase. All details are framed in variegated panels.

The scroll is mounted on a wooden handle.

15 image(s)

sub-set tree:

Name/Title
NLI Moshe ben Avraham Pescarolo Esther Scroll | Unknown
Object Detail
Date
1616
Synagogue active dates
Reconstruction dates
Historical Origin
Unknown
Community type
Unknown |
Congregation
Unknown
Location
Unknown |
Site
Unknown
School/Style
Unknown|
Period
Unknown
Period Detail
Collection
Documentation / Research project
Unknown
Material/Technique
Ink and paints on parchment
Material Stucture
Material Decoration
Material Bonding
Material Inscription
Material Additions
Material Cloth
Material Lining
Tesserae Arrangement
Density
Colors
Construction material
Measurements
Height
261-274 mm
Length
Width
Depth
Circumference
Thickness
Diameter
Weight
Axis
Panel Measurements
Condition
Extant
Documented by CJA
Surveyed by CJA
Present Usage
Present Usage Details
Condition of Building Fabric
Architectural Significance type
Historical significance: Event/Period
Historical significance: Collective Memory/Folklore
Historical significance: Person
Architectural Significance: Style
Architectural Significance: Artistic Decoration
Urban significance
Significance Rating
Languages of inscription
Unknown
Type of grave
Unknown
0
Ornamentation
Custom
Contents
Book of Esther in Hebrew
Codicology

The scroll is composed of 6 sheets, 29 text columns of inconsistent text space (98-117) x (70-80) mm, with 15 lines in most columns. it is written in light brown ink on the flesh side, in square Italo-Sefardic script.

Membranes in the scroll are stitched together.

It was ruled with a stylus, with 2 vertical lines and 15 horizontal lines. Additional ruling for the frames was done in by plummet and ink.

Pricking is not discernible.

Scribes
Script
Number of Lines
Ruling
Pricking
Quires
Catchwords
Hebrew Numeration
Blank Leaves
Direction/Location
Façade (main)
Endivances
Location of Torah Ark
Location of Apse
Location of Niche
Location of Reader's Desk
Location of Platform
Temp: Architecture Axis
Arrangement of Seats
Location of Women's Section
Direction Prayer
Direction Toward Jerusalem
Coin
Coin Series
Coin Ruler
Coin Year
Denomination
Signature
Colophon

The colophon is written on the bottom of column 29 within a blue panel: "מעשה ידי צעיר זעיר משה בכמה"ר(בן כבוד מורנו הרב רבי)אברהם פשקרול זלהה ש’ע’ז’ פה קרית פירארה" "Made by the young Moses son of our honored teacher Rabbi Abraham here in the city of Ferrara, 1616".

Scribal Notes
Watermark
Hallmark
Group
Group
Group
Group
Group
Trade Mark
Binding
Decoration Program
Summary and Remarks

The artist's family had immigrated from Germany to Italy one generation before Moshe ben Avraham, and some of its members were book printers.

In scholarly literature, different spellings of the surname can be found; the most popular are Pescarol and Pescarolo. Other variants include: Pascarolo, Pascarol ("פַּשְׂקַרוֹל"), Piscarol, Pescarolo, Poscarel, Poscarela, Pescaroli, Pescaraolo. See M. Mortara, Indice alfabetico dei rabbini e scrittori Israeliti, Padova 1886, p. 49.

Suggested Reconsdivuction
History/Provenance
Hebrew inscription of one of the owners of the manuscript (Mordecai Joseph son of Eliyahu Ha-Levi from Brescello) opens the scroll. Acquired in 1983.
Main Surveys & Excavations
Bibliography

This bibliography lists publications on all three currently known megillot Esther made by Moshe ben Avraham Pescarolo:

Florence Mansano Soulam, בסוד מגילותיו של הסופר-המאייר משה בן אברהם פשקרול: ניתוח מגילות פשקרול בתוך הקונטקסט ההיסטורי של איטליה בראשית המאה השבע-עשרה [Unveiling the Secrets of the Scrolls of Moshe Pescarolo Scribe and Artist. An Analysis of Pescarolo’s Scrolls in the Historical Context of Italy in the Early 17th Century], doctoral dissertation: Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 2006.

Mendel Metzger, The John Rylands Megillah and Some Other Illustrated Megilloth of the 15th to 17th Centuries, "Bulletin of the John Rylands Library" 1962 (45), 148–184, esp. 166–171.

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 megillot Ester w XVII i XVIII wieku. Zarys problematyki], Warsaw 2019, 1:89-92.

Dagmara Budzioch, Midrashic Tales in Seventeenth and Eighteenth-century Illustrated Esther Scrolls, "Kwartalnik Historii Żydów” 2017, no 3 (263), 405–422, esp. 408, 410, 411, 414, 415.

Dagmara Budzioch, Italian Origins of the Decorated Scrolls of Esther, "Kwartalnik Historii Żydów" 2016, no 1 (257), 35–49, esp.. 40–43.

A Spectacular 400 Year-Old Scroll of Esther available on https://blog.nli.org.il/en/book-of-esther-ferrera/ (accessed on 16.10.2020).

Short Name
Full Name
Volume
Page
Type
Documenter
Tova Szeintuch; Dagmara Budzioch | 29.1.2017; 2020
Author of description
Dagmara Budzioch | 2020
Architectural Drawings
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Computer Reconstruction
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Section Head
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Language Editor
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Donor
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Negative/Photo. No.