Megillat Esther

Megillat Esther

Germany — ca. 1700

She liberated the Jews from Xerxes: the story of the Jewish heroine Esther, kept in a valuable silver box

  1. An outstanding specimen of the so-called Esther-Rolls, a traditional artifact of Jewish culture

  2. The biblical story of Queen Esther, who freed the Jews from the rule of King Xerxes, is read during Purim

  3. This treasure of Judaica was probably made in Germany ca. 1700 and is presented in a precious silver case

Megillat Esther

  1. Description
  2. Facsimile Editions (1)
Description
Megillat Esther

The Megillat Esther belongs among the outstanding specimens of the so-called Esther-Rolls, a traditional artifact of Jewish culture. The biblical story of Queen Esther is read from these manuscript roles in the synagogue during the Feast of Purim. It was Esther who was able to free the Persian Jews from the rule of King Xerxes. In the Megillat Esther, this joyful and exciting history is illustrated in magnificent pictorial décor – a gorgeous special feature! This Megilla, which is found today in the private collection of the Gross family, is a treasure of Judaica that was probably made in Germany ca. 1700, and which is presented in a precious silver case!

Megillat Esther

The Megillat Esther belongs among the outstanding specimens of the so-called Esther-Rolls, a traditional artifact of Jewish culture. The biblical story of Queen Esther is read from these manuscript roles in the synagogue during the Feast of Purim. It was Esther who was able to free the Persian Jews from the rule of King Xerxes. In the Megillat Esther, this joyful and exciting history is illustrated in magnificent pictorial décor – a gorgeous special feature! The Megilla, which is found today in the private collection of the Gross family, is a treasure of Judaica that was probably made in Germany ca. 1700, and which is presented in a precious silver case!

The Joyful Feast of Purim

In the Bible’s Book of Esther – known both in the Christian as well as and in particular in the Jewish Bible – the story of the liberation of the Jews from evil is celebrated: the liberation of the Persian Jews from the rule of Xerxes. Queen Esther, because of her godly life, was able to thwart the plan of Haman to kill all the Jews on the same day. The Jewish Feast of Purim is celebrated on the occasion of this important event to this day. Purim, which usually falls around the middle of March and commemorates the events of the Book of Esther, is a high-spirited celebration!

An Illustrated Megilla

The manuscript roll of the Megillat Esther is an exceptional specimen of a so-called Megilla, a scroll, which is read from in a synagogue during the Feast of Purim. This Esther-scroll comes from the early 18th century. It was presumably made in Germany ca. 1700. Conclusions can be drawn about the temporal and spatial placement of the manuscript from the detailed architectural drawings and the costumes of the figures in the illumination. The two-sided scroll of the Megillat Esther measuring 10.8 x 168 cm is additionally, lavishly illuminated with 18 text plates, which is unusual. Figurative depictions illustrate the stories of the Book of Esther in the finest detail and thus make the Esther-Roll a particular jewel of Jewish culture!

An Outstanding Artifact

The Megillat Esther is stored today in the private collection of the Gross family in Tel Aviv, who have compiled an important collection of Judaica. The exceptional Esther-Roll is one of the most beautiful pieces of the collection! At the beginning of the 20th century, the Megilla was in Vienna, passing through the hands of various owners – e.g. the first Israeli ambassador in Vienna – coming to Israel and the United States and then finally back to its present location in Israel. A precious and artful silver case from the Gross Collection, made in Vienna in 1824 by Lorenz Pfalzer, serves simultaneously as protection and adornment for the precious manuscript roll of the Megillat Esther.

Codicology

Size / Format
1 scroll / 168.0 × 10.8 cm
Origin
Germany
Date
ca. 1700
Style
Illustrations
Text is framed by miniatures in the margins
Content
Book of Esther for reading in a synagogue during the Feast of Purim
Previous Owners
Eliahu Sachar

Available facsimile editions:
Megillat Esther – Privtae Collection (Gross Family, Tel Aviv, Israel)
Facsimile Editions Ltd. – London, 2007
Limited Edition: 295 copies
Facsimile Editions

#1 Megillat Esther

Facsimile Editions Ltd. – London, 2007

Publisher: Facsimile Editions Ltd. – London, 2007
Limited Edition: 295 copies
Binding: A megillah of such high standing deserves an exquisite case. In the Gross collection there is a silver megillah case made by Lorenz Pfalzer in Vienna in 1824. It was designed in an extraordinarily ornate style that Viennese silversmiths maintained until the end of the 19th century, for nearly 80 years. A Russian silversmith from Israel made copies of this case. Being known for his excellent craftsmanship, he was commissioned to make all 295 covers. He used sterling silver and intricately hand cast, finished and polished each one. Weight approximately 262 grams (9¼ ounces). Each individual case is marked and numbered and each edition is accompanied by a signed and numbered certificate.
Commentary: 1 volume (64 pages) by Emile Schrijver, Falk Wiesemann, Muzi Wertheim, William Gross, and Jeremy Schonfield
Language: English
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: €€€ (3,000€ - 7,000€)
Edition available
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