Auction 30
Books, Manuscripts, Rabbinical Letters

Lot Number 1

“Megillat Esther” on Parchment – With Illustrations, Aristocratic

Unsold
Opening
10,000$
Lot Number 1

“Megillat Esther” on Parchment – With Illustrations, Aristocratic

"Megillat Esther" on parchment. [Venice – Italy, close to 1538].
Written by a Jewish scribe, in square writing in Italian-Sefardi style. Ownership inscriptions and adornments in colored ink by a Christian owner from Venice, from 1538. The megilla is adorned along its entire length with a variety of colorful illustrations.
The megilla is dated under the last verse of the megilla, with an illustration of a cross between two date branches under a crown, with the Hebrew inscription "In Venice 1538". In the empty space on the last sheet are emblems of aristocratic families (Herald emblems) and ownership marks: a shield with a winged lion holding an open book (emblem of Venice), above is a ribbon with Hebrew writing "In Venice"; monogram, made of owner's initials, BR; blue shield with a gilt lion on it, placed between two olives braches under an aristocrat's crown; other shields, symbols and Hebrew letters whose meanings are unclear.
Between the megilla columns are colorful illustrations [apparently from a later period of time] with hidden and symbolical characteristics, perhaps expressing the spirit of a member of a hidden association (Freemasonry?): Burning candles the shape of the letter X (the cross of Adrias the Holy), surrounded by a wreath of leaves; an anchor, with a fire burning underneath; a harp with a branch of yellowed leaves; a classic-style gravestone, under a weeping willow; a lit candle (upside down) and two horns of goblets (?) gathered in a winged ring; an elaborate scepter with a snake wound around it. Attached to the scepter is a yellow flag with an imitation-Hebrew inscription; X shaped gold key and silver key, imitation of the Pope's emblem, wound with a green ribbon (made as a kabalistic symbol in mysterious circles); an open book, with imitation-Hebrew letters on a gold scepter and flowers wound in a light-blue robe. All these are placed inside a gold coronet in the shape of an aristocratic crown; a rolled scroll, with an antique oil-lamp with a snake-shaped handle and branches of leaves; Gladiolus leaves and a wreath of roses; a goblet and a scythe (symbol of death); a skull on the background of a black flag; Two Tablets of Law, arranged X-like inside a cloud, emitting rays of light. Under them are grape clusters; two doves holding a letter.
8 parchment sheets (sewn with sinews. The stitches are covered with pieces of parchment). Height of parchment: approximately 30 cm. Good-fair condition. Stains, faded ink and peeling paint in several places and in some illustrations.
The article was written according to the enclosed article, an opinion on the scroll, the date it was written and the significance of its illustrations, by Prof. Shlomo Zucker of the Department of Manuscripts of the National Library.

Unsold
Opening
10,000$

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