Auction 48 Rare and Important Items
Dec 2, 2015 (Your local time)
 8 Ramban St, Jerusalem.
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LOT 2:

An Illustrated, Hand-Colored, Esther Scroll – Amsterdam, 18th Century

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Start price:
$ 15,000
Auction house commission: 23%
VAT: On commission only

Esther Scroll, scribal handwriting (ink) on parchment, illustrated with hand-colored engravings. Amsterdam, circa 1720.
Four parchment membranes, 16 columns, 26 lines per column. Square Ashkenazic script. Wooden roller (upper part missing).
This scroll, produced in the first decades of the eighteenth century, belongs to a group of several engraved Esther Scrolls produced in Europe around the turn of the 17th-18th century.
The engravings depict detailed narrative scenes from the Book of Esther along the lower borders of the columns, and portraits of the characters of the story above the text. Stylized pillars separate the columns, each with a different decoration. Below their bases (in cartouches) appear various views: gardens, houses, sail boats, a rider on a horse, and more. The pillars are topped with flowers, fruit, stars, angels, and more. The opening panel contains the benedictions recited before the reading of the scroll, surrounded by a series of engravings: Queen Esther, wedding of Esther and Ahasuerus (on top); Bigthan and Teresh, the hanging of Haman and his sons (center); Mordechai sitting at the town’s gate refusing to bow to Haman, Haman leading Mordechai on the horse, Esther and Mordechai writing the Purim letter (lower part).
The panel after the final column contains “Harav et Riveinu” blessings and the hymn “Asher Heni” (“Shoshanat Ya’akov”). On the lower border are portraits of the Scroll’s heroes, each holding a shield inscribed: “Arur Haman asher bikesh leavdi”, “Baruch Mordechai HaYehudi”, “Arura Zeresh eshet mafchidi”, “Berucha Esther Ba’adi”, and “Hervona zechura letov”.
Height of parchment: 21 cm. Length of scroll: 182 cm. Overall good condition. Some tears at the beginning of first membrane. Some tears. Stains. The end of the wooden roller is missing.
For further information, see: “The Stieglitz Collection, Masterpieces of Jewish Art”, Chaya Benjamin (The Israel Museum, 1987), p. 188.
Exhibition: New York, Hebrew Union College, Jewish Institute of Religion, The Collector’s Room: Selections from the Michael and Judy Steinhardt Collection, 1993, no. 64, p. 25.

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