Esther Scroll (VI.4)
Italy, Rome (?)
Scribe: Eliah son of Ephraim di Cave (אליה בן אפרים מקאווי) Ink and gouache on parchment, 9 membranes, 40 text columns, 14 lines per column + benediction sheet 305 × 7005 mm (12.0 × 275.8 in.) + 295 × 780 (11.6 × 30.7 in.) Turned wooden roller, 480 mm (19.0 in.)
The scroll opens with the coat of arms of the di Cave (די קאווי) family. It is enclosed in double rectangular frame. The central part features a decorative cartouche with two rampant lions standing on either side of a palm tree. Above the cartouche are theatrically draped curtains topped by a crown. In the lower border, a lozenge-shaped cartouche is flanked by two lions. Previously it contained an owner’s inscription but the text has been abraded.
A separate benediction sheet is profusely decorated with flowers, lions, birds and double-headed eagles. In the upper margin is a cartouche flanked by two birds that contains the remains of a palm tree, probably similar to that depicted in the opening panel of the scroll. In the lower margin a lozenge-shaped cartouche contains a colophon inscribed in Hebrew with the name of the scribe/owner Eliah son of Ephraim di Cave (אליה בן אפרים מקאווי) and the date 1670 written as chronogram. Benedictions and additional texts are written within arcades and the text columns are separated by the pillars.