Book of Esther

Book of Esther

Presented in the splendor of Renaissance illumination: Queen Esther saves the Jews from certain annihilation by the scheming Haman

  1. After becoming the wife of King Ahasuerus, Esther foils a plot to kill all the Jews in Persia without divine intervention

  2. It is one of only two books in the Hebrew Bible that does not explicitly mention God

  3. This uplifting story is illustrated with musicians, cherubs, and classical architectures in bas-de-page miniatures

Book of Esther

Price Category: € (under 1,000€)
Edition available
Price: Login here!
  1. Description
  2. Single Page
  3. Facsimile Editions (1)
Description
Book of Esther

In the Book of Esther, a beautiful Jewish maiden living in Persia catches the eye of King Ahasuerus, who has set aside his wife. After becoming his queen, she foils a genocidal plot against the Jews by the scheming advisor Haman. The story is now one of the five scrolls of the Hebrew Bible and is the foundation of the festival of Purim. This ancient festival is presented here in the splendor of Renaissance décor.

Book of Esther

The Book of Esther is one of the five scrolls in the Hebrew Bible and its story forms the backbone of the festival of Purim, which commemorates the deliverance of the Jews from a genocide by the Persians. After being selected by King Ahasuerus, who is believed by most modern scholars to have been King Xerxes I (519-465 BC), the Hebrew woman Esther becomes Queen of the Persians and uses her influence to thwart the vizier Haman’s desire to kill all the Jews in the Persian Empire. Instead, Haman, his sons, and their followers are the ones who are massacred. The text of the Book of Esther is interesting in that it is one of only two books in the Hebrew Bible that does not explicitly mention God. Unlike other apocalyptic texts like the Book of Daniel, in which the Jews are saved by divine intervention, the crisis depicted in the Book of Esther is resolved solely through human action. The story is considered to be of such importance that it is read twice during Purim. Here the story is presented in a lovingly illuminated Renaissance scroll rendered in delicate pastel colors. Human figures play instruments, cherubs hold up crowns, great vases hold flowers, and classical architectures surround the splendid Hebrew text. Bas-de-page miniatures in floral frames illustrate the events of the text. It is a refined work of illumination worthy of this historic Jewish festival.

Codicology

Alternative Titles
Buch Esther
Style
Language

Available facsimile editions:
Book of Esther  – MS A 14 – Hungarian Academy of Sciences (Budapest, Hungary)
Helikon – Budapest, 1989
Limited Edition: 5,500 copies
Single Page

Book of Esther

The King Dethrones Queen Vashti

The narrative begins with King Ahasuerus declaring a feast lasting 180 days for the officials and servants from all of his provinces, which is followed by another feast lasting 7 days for all the inhabitants of his capital, Shushan. After Queen Vashti refuses his summons to appear before the court in her crown to display her beauty, the King sets her aside on the advice of his counsellors.

These first two scenes are depicted in the bas-de-page miniatures embedded in the architectural frames presenting the text. The artistic program of the scroll presents scenes at the bottom of each page while the upper register alternates between cherubs flanking inscriptions and allegorical female figures holding various plants, musical instruments, etc.

Eszter Könyve
Facsimile Editions

#1 Eszter Könyve

Helikon – Budapest, 1989
Book of Esther  – MS A 14 – Hungarian Academy of Sciences (Budapest, Hungary)
Book of Esther – MS A 14 – Hungarian Academy of Sciences (Budapest, Hungary) Copyright Photos: Ziereis Facsimiles

Publisher: Helikon – Budapest, 1989
Limited Edition: 5,500 copies
Commentary: 1 volume by Marianna H. Takács
Language: Hungarian
1 volume: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size) Reproduction of the entire original document as detailed as possible (scope, format, colors). The binding may not correspond to the original or current document binding.
Price Category: € (under 1,000€)
Edition available
Price: Login here!
You might also be interested in:
Golden Koran
Golden Koran
Iran or Iraq – 11th century

A real, gold-shining unicum: the Quran in black Naskhi script on gold-coated paper

Experience More
Liber scivias
Liber scivias
Monastery of Rupertsberg (Germany) – ca. 1175 The lost original manuscript was copied by hand between 1927 and 1933 by nuns in Abbey of St. Hildegard

Lost in World War II: one of the main works by the famous abbess and visionary Hildegard von Bingen with her theological-cosmological findings

Experience More
Blog articles worth reading
Filter selection
Publisher