Obj. ID: 23784
Hebrew Illuminated Manuscripts IM Griselini-Related Esther Scroll, Venice (?), mid-18th century
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 inscribed. On the arcades is placed a balustrade with cartouches flanked by flowers and pairs of birds - turkeys, roosters, parrots, or hoopoes - with their heads turned away; these sections are interspersed by vases with flowers or small citrus trees. Above each cartouche, a peacock (or a turkey?) or a double-headed eagle is placed. Lower margins are adorned with scenes illustrating the narrative of the Book of Esther in rectangular frames that are separated by the columns' bases. The same pattern repeats along with the scroll and only the narrative scenes on the subsequent sheets are different. The text is inscribed in 19 columns and the last panel is left blank.
This image belongs to the ''Ursula and Kurt Schubert Archive'' in the Center for Jewish Art.
The Book of Esther in Hebrew
The scroll is formed of 5 membranes containing 17 (?) text columns with 19 (?) lines per column except for col. 16 inscribed in 11 lines divided into two half-columns.
The text is inscribed in black ink, in Hebrew square Italian script on parchment membranes.
The membranes in the scroll are stitched together.
The scrolls decorated with this pattern are discussed in:
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.
Victor Klagsbald, Catalogue raisonné de la collection juive du Musée de Cluny, Paris 1981, p. 74-75, object 74.
A short description in French and several photographs are available on https://www.mahj.org/en/decouvrir-collections-betsalel/rouleau-d-esther-50121 (accessed on 24.05.2020).