Large Esther Scroll, with Illustrated First Membrane and Elaborate Leaf of the Blessings for the Megillah Reading – Handwritten by the Young Girl Luna Ambron – Italy, 1767

Opening: $10,000
Estimate: $20,000 - $40,000
Sold for: $212,500
Including buyer's premium
Large Esther scroll, with elaborate leaf of the blessings for the Megillah reading, decorated in bright colors; handwritten by the young girl Luna daughter of Yehuda Ambron. Presumably Rome, Italy, 1767.
Ink and paint on parchment; wood, turned and carved.
Large Esther scroll, written in Sephardic-Italian script on two parchment membranes, 21 columns, 19 lines per column. First membrane with decorative right edge; first column preceded by a large colorful floral illustration. The initial word "Vayehi" is written in large, ornamental letters. The scroll is mounted on a wooden roller with a tiered finial.
Large, elaborately decorated parchment leaf enclosed, with the blessings for the Megillah reading and the piyyut "Korei Megillah" by R. Avraham ibn Ezra. The text is set in an architectural frame comprising four marble arches. The arches are decorated with branches and flowers, and rest upon five stylized marble pillars, the whole topped by an illustration depicting Haman leading Mordechai on the horse, preceded by two trumpet-blowing figures and followed by four additional figures. Two additional illustrations appear at the foot of the leaf: one depicting Haman hanging on a pole flanked by two figures, and a second depicting three other figures. The upper illustration is flanked by two heraldic shields featuring a lion and crescent – the coat-of-arms of the Ambron family. The initial words of the blessings and piyyut are inscribed in large, ornamental letters.
A colophon below the liturgical text reads: " With the help of G-d, the writing of these blessings with the scroll was completed, on 10th Adar I 1767... [by] the modest and pleasant girl, Luna, daughter of the honorable and wealthy Yehuda Ambron, in the 14th year of her life... May we merit to see miracles and wonders speedily in our times...".
The colophon attests that the scroll and the blessings recited prior to the Megillah were copied by the young girl Luna Ambron. Of the manuscripts written by women, only two Scrolls of Esther are known, both originating in Italy. A.M. Habermann, in his article "Nashim Maatikot" (Kiryat Sefer XIII [Nissan 1936], pp. 114-120), lists a Scroll of Esther written by Anna, daughter of David Giuseppe Piperno (1840). Another, earlier Scroll of Esther, written by Estellina, daughter of Menachem of Venice in 1564, is found in the Bragisnky Collection (S102).
The wedding of Luna daughter of Yehuda (Leone) Ambron with Yaakov David son of Mordechai (Angelo) Di Segni was celebrated in Livorno on 14th Nissan 1776, and her ketubah is documented in the book Le Ketubbòt della famiglia Ambron by Lionella Viterbo Neppi Modona (Florence, 2016).
Height of parchment: 25.5 cm. Roller: 40 cm. Leaf of blessings: 57X26 cm. Overall good condition. Minor blemishes, creases and tears to leaf of blessings. Minor stains and blemishes to scroll. Lacking lower part of roller.
Esther Scrolls and Parchment Manuscripts
Esther Scrolls and Parchment Manuscripts