Illustrated Esther Scroll on Parchment – Germany, the 18th Century

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Illustrated Esther Scroll. [Germany], the 18th century.
Illustrated parchment; wooden case.
The initials of G-d's name are enlarged (G-d's name is not mentioned in the scroll but "dorshei remazim" [interpreters of hidden hints] found initials and notarikon of G-d's name and of other Holy Names. The custom to stress these initials is especially common by Chassidim).
The scroll is illustrated in a naive style. The illustrations are based on the type of scrolls written in the 18th century adorned with copper etchings in which illustrations of the story of the megilla are incorporated into decorations and landscape drawings. Between the columns are pillars in various styles.
Before the first column are the blessings recited before the megillah reading with the title "Megillah Blessings" surrounded by illustrations. At the top of the description sit the king and the queen – Esther and Achashverosh on the day of their wedding. The blessings are flanked by illustrations of Bigtan and Teresh and Haman and his sons on gallows. At the bottom, Haman is seen leading Mordechai on a horse on the background of an architectural description (possibly, a synagogue).
On the upper margins, above the columns are images of Putti angels integrated with acanthus leaves. Between the columns are architectural pillars with varied multi-colored capitals. They are topped with alternating decorations: a flower vase, a fruit basket and a crown. The bases of the pillars are also varied and enclose faces and geometric decorations.
The Megillah characters are encircled under the columns, in attire characteristic of those times: Achashverosh holding a scepter, Esther holding a flower in one depiction and a feather in another and Mordechai with a book and a writing utensil. On the column with the names of the ten sons of Haman is a drawing of a tree from which Haman’s sons are hanging with a long ladder leaning on the tree and a hangman with a helper busy with their charges.
On the last column are the blessings. The title “Baruch” is enlarged. Before the piyut Shoshanat Ya’akov, “Tzu Margansh—bet min an” is written in Yiddish-Deitsch (German in Hebrew letters).
At the bottom are five characters of the megillah story. Each is holding a shield with an inscription: “Cursed be Haman who wished to annihilate me”, “Blessed is Mordechai the Jew”, “Cursed be Zeresh…”, “Blessed be Esther” and “Charvona is remembered for the good (he did)”.
The height of the parchment: 18.5 cm. 26 rows on each sheet. Good-fair condition, several holes, restoration with paper in several places, worn faded ink, the case is damaged.
See a scroll with copper etchings in: “The Stieglitz Collection: Masterpieces of Jewish Art”, Chaya Benjamin (published by the Israel Museum), p. 188.
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Rare and Important Items