Lot 2: Illustrated Vellum Esther Scroll - Europe, 18th Century
November 15, 2016
Jerusalem, IsraelLive Auction
Description: Illustrated Esther scroll, on vellum. [Holland or Italy, 18th century?]. Ink and paint on vellum. "HaMelech" scroll (most of the columns begin with the word "HaMelech" [The King]). 5 vellum membranes, 16 columns, 23 rows per column. Tall branches with leaves and colorful flowers rise between the columns. At the top of each column are birds (three kinds of birds in all), flowers and fruit (pomegranates or apples on every other column). Preceding the first column is an illustration depicting a king seated on his throne, receiving a book from an angel. Beneath eight of the next columns are illustrations depicting scenes from the Book of Esther (most of the illustrations were inspired by a group of Esther scrolls decorated with copperplate engravings, made in Holland or Germany in the early 18th century): "Let them gather all the beautiful young virgins", King Ahasuerus seated on his throne, Haman leading Mordecai on his horse, a Purim festival, "The writing was in the name of King Ahasuerus and sealed with the king's ring", "On that night the king could not sleep; and he gave orders to bring the book of memorable deeds, the chronicles", "as Haman was falling on the couch where Esther was", the wedding of Esther and Ahasuerus. In the column containing the names of Haman's sons is an illustration depicting a ten-story gallows on which the ten sons are hung. Vellum height: 24 cm. Fair-good condition. Tears to the beginning of the first membrane, some reinforced with adhesive tape. Stains. Corrections in different ink in several places.