Length of the sheets in the scroll: 1) 540 mm, 2) 465 mm, 3) 465 mm, 4) 465 mm, 5) ca. 500 mm + a narrow strip of parchment joining the scroll with a roller.
Dimensions of the selected details in the scroll:
- the print is 460 mm (width);
- frame with the narrative scene(s): 28x75 mm;
- an average letter: 3 mm (height).
The roller: ca. 470 mm.
The manuscript is well preserved. Only the first sheet is slightly damaged and some damages are visible in the text too.
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 the hand-written text. Its general composition is the same as in the Griselini scrolls and only minor details such as dogs present in the narrative scenes and the checkered floor, differ them.
The opening section of the scroll is trimmed into a decorative shape. The scheme is based on the row of arcades under which individual columns of the Hebrew text of the Book of Esther are inscribed. The text panels are separated by columns whose shafts are decorated with varying patterns and whose bases contain floral designs. The upper margins feature cartouches flanked by flowers, pairs of turkeys, roosters, parrots, or hoopoes with their heads turned away from each other on top of a balustrade; all four pairs of birds are printed in the same sequence continuously. On top of the cartouches between turkeys and parrots, there are crowned double-headed eagles, whereas turkeys or peacocks are placed above cartouches between roosters and hoopoes. Vases, flowers, and small citrus trees are interspersed regularly throughout the birds.
The lower margins are decorated with figurative scenes illustrating the narrative of the Book of Esther. They feature Italian architecture and are enclosed in rectangular frames separated by the columns' floral bases.
The same pattern repeats along with the scroll and only the narrative scenes on the subsequent sheets are different.
The manuscript is mounted on a wooden carved roller.
The Book of Esther in Hebrew
The scroll is formed of 5 sheets containing a total of 20 columns of text with 23 lines each, except for col. 17 with 11 lines divided into two half-columns. In the first line of the column, only one or two words are written.
The last several lines in col. 16 are penned in very narrow letters. In col. 17, above the names of Haman's sons, several lines of the text are inscribed. It seems this section was erased and copied again in col. 16, therefore the letters must be very narrow to fit the column.
Every sheet contains 4 columns of text.
The text is inscribed in the Hebrew square Italian script with tagin, in black ink on the flesh side of the parchment membranes that is bright and matt. The blank side of the sheets is very different - it is yellow, very smooth, and traces of hair are well visible.
The letter ח (Es. 1:6) is highlighted by its form - it contains two elements joined with a roof and it is larger than an average letter in the scroll. The letter ת (Es. 9:29) is enlarged and bolded. Other enlarged and diminished letters are included in col. 17.
The ruling and pricking are invisible.
The membranes in the scroll are stitched together.
Blots of ink are visible on some frames surrounding the illustrations.
Victor Klagsbald, Catalogue raisonné de la collection juive du Musée de Cluny, Paris 1981, p. 66-67, object 74.
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.