The scroll opens with initial benedictions written in three medallions arranged vertically. All sheets are lavishly decorated in brown ink and although unsigned, on the basis of its style it can be attributed to the scribe and artist Isaac ben Moshe Baruch HaLevi of Kassel. Text columns are written within arcades adorned with elaborate foliate decoration of flowers and acanthus leaves. These pen-and-ink drawings, colored by hand, fully fill all the available space on the upper margin and between the text columns. The lower margins are decorated only with the bases of the columns. The text starts with an incipit of large hand-drawn letters flanked by flowers. Additionally, three words in the text: איש (Es. 2:5), ומרדכי (Es. 8:15), and כי (Es. 10:3) are enlarged and enclosed in frames. They begin the sentences which are recited aloud by the congregants during the reading of the Megillah.
The Book of Esther in Hebrew proceeded with the initial benedictions
The scroll is formed of 4 sheets containing 12 columns of text with varying numbers of lines, e.g. 20, 25, 30, 31. Col. 10 containing the names of Haman's sons is inscribed in 11 lines divided into two half-columns.
The text is inscribed in Hebrew square Ashkenazi script in dark brown-black ink on parchment membranes, which are rather suede.
Each sheet contains 3 columns of the text; the first also contains the benedictions.
An incipit is made of large hand-drawn letters.
The letter ח (Es. 1:6) and ת (Es. 9:29) is highlighted by its size - it is enlarged and bolded. Other enlarged and diminished letters are included in col. 10. The letter ח is additionally highlighted by its form - this is the only letter ח in the scroll that is not composed of two elements joined with a roof.
The letters of the Tetragrammaton are enlarged and bolded (cols. 2, 5, and 6).
Col. 8 includes numerous elongated letters.
The length of the lines of the text varies and they fit the lunette frames exactly.
The sheets in the scroll are glued together.
The name of Isaac ben Moshe Baruch HaLevi, possible maker of the scroll, is known through other megillot Esther and manuscripts which he has decorated in this same characteristic style. Other scrolls featuring similar ornamentation are held in the Magnes Collection of Jewish Art in Berkeley (22.214.171.124) and belong to the Braginsky Collection in Zurich (BCM 103). One of his manuscripts is dated 1718.
The scroll is described in:
Jiřina Šedinová, From the Mss. Collections of the State Jewish Museum in Prague. The Scrolls of Esther, "Judaica Bohemiae" 1979, nr 15/2, 85.
Olga Sixtova, O svitku / Form of the Scroll [katalog k výstavě konané v Galerii Roberta Guttmanna Židovského muzea v Praze od 22. června do 26. července 2006], Praha 2006, 34-35.
The Precious Legacy. Judaic Treasures from the Czechoslovak State Collections, ed. David A. Altshuler, p. 271, object 276.
Images of the scroll are available on http://collections.jewishmuseum.cz/index.php/Detail/Object/Show/object_id/221253 (accessed on 9.11.2020).
Another scroll featuring a similar pattern is described in:
Schöne Seiten. Jüdische Schriftkultur aus der Braginsky Collection, eds. Emile Schrijver, Falk Wiesemann, Evelyn M. Cohen, Sharon Liberman Mintz, Menahem Schmeltzer, Zurich 2011, 284-285.