Esther Scroll (IX.6)
Italy, Rome (?)
Printed border designed by Andrea Marelli Ink on parchment, 10 membranes, 19 text columns, 23 lines per column + benediction sheet 170 × 2242 mm (6.7 × 88.4 in.) + 160 × 230 (6.3 × 9.1 in.)
One of three extant copies of Esther scrolls decorated with engravings by Andrea Marelli. The
border engravings were originally created to enframe decorative letters in the manual of the
Latin alphabet calligraphy Il perfetto scrittore by Francesco Giovanni Cresci, printed in Rome
in 1570. In this scroll each sheet is decorated with a differently designed border that encloses
a double column of text (except for the last panel that contains a single text column). The
borders are formed from garlands of fruits, masks, grotesque figures, satyrs and satyresses,
pagan goddesses, atlases, putti, and accompanied by animals, both real (dogs, ostriches) and
fantastic ones (such as dragons, unicorns). An accompanying benediction sheet is decorated
in the same style as in the scroll. The text is written in a single column.
Other examples of scrolls decorated with this engraved border are held in the British Library,
London (MS. Or. 13028) and in a private collection in Zurich.