Lot 183 of 429:
Manuscript illustrated scroll of Book of Esther  

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Lot closed - unsold
$4,000 - $6,000

Manuscript scroll of the Book of Esther, in Hebrew, with hand-painted scenes and decorations


No place


19th century?


Manuscript on soft sheepskin vellum. Approximately 29 panels, with hand-painted scene at the bottom of each panel, pictorial decorations at the top, and painted stone columns between each panel. Approximately 550 cm (18 ft.) in length, 25.8 cm (11¼") high; with decorative ivory or bone roller.

Superb illustrated Hebrew scroll of the Book of Esther, one of the five Scrolls (Megillot) in the Hebrew Bible. It relates the story of a Hebrew woman in Persia, born as Hadassah but known as Esther, who becomes queen of Persia and thwarts a genocide of her people. The captivating hand-painting miniatures include scenes of battles, hangings, circumcision (or castration?), royal audiences, scholars, feasts, and more. The outer portion of the scroll is backed with silk, with ribbon ties.

Lot Amendments

Some fraying to ribbon ties and outer silk; roller with a few chips; crackling and rubbing to some of the earlier (i.e. right hand) panels, occasional other minor wear, a few instances of partial splitting where the sections are joined; overall very good, quite arresting.

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