Esther Scroll (VIII.6)
Italy, Venice (?)
Printed and hand-colored border Ink and gouache on parchment, 4 membranes, 19 text columns, 22 lines per column 117 × 1164 mm (4.6 × 45.8 in.) Wooden roller, 310 mm (12.2 in.)
A lavishly decorated and illustrated scroll with an engraved and hand colored border. Text set within elaborate arcades. In the upper margin, a balustrade with decorative elements including blank cartouches accompanied by lions and deer, alternating with twin-tailed mermaids accompanied by roosters and doves. Both motifs are separated by the flower-filled vases. The text panels are enframed, and separated by double pillars with decorative capitals and bases. Every sheet contains five arcades excerpt for the last one on which has only four text columns and part of the fifth one. The lower margin is filled with illustrations enclosed in oval frames. This scroll is lacking the first five narrative scenes that should have been printed on the first sheet. Instead the sheet contains the same illustrations as found on the third sheet. All the scenes depicted in this scroll bear a close relationship with the narrative illustrations designed by the Italian engraver Francesco Griselini in the 1740s. Two narrow decorative bands run along the entire scroll and embellish the upper and lower margins.