Esther Scroll (XIV.7(A)
Italy, Venice (?)
Second half of the 17th century
Hand-painted, printed and hand-painted border Ink and gouache on parchment, 5 membranes, 19 text columns, 24 lines per column 265 × 2525 mm (10.4 × 99.4 in.) Wooden roller, 545 mm (21.5 in.)
A lavishly decorated and illustrated megillah belonging to the Gaster II type. The scroll opens with an image of a vase, filled with flowers and leaves, standing on the pedestal. The main body of the decoration on the scroll consists of a row of arcades enframing the text columns. Over the arcades is a balustrade on which pairs of birds are placed. They are either turkeys or roosters with their heads turned away. Between each two of them is placed a cartouche and over each of them is depicted either a double-headed eagle (it accompanies the pairs of turkeys) or a peacock (it accompanies the pairs of roosters). Between the pairs of birds are placed the flower- filled vases. The lower margin contains illustrations enclosed in rectangular frames separated by the bases of the pillars that are decorated with flowers. The illustrations seem to be printed from the separate metal plates and then colored by hand. The scroll ends with symmetrical floral decoration.