A DECORATED AND ILLUMINATED MINIATURE ESTHER SCROLL HOUSED IN A FINELY ENGRAVED SILVER CASE, [JERUSALEM: CA. 1930]
6,000 - 8,000 USD
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- Length: 5 7/8 inches
Scroll of 4 membranes (3 1/8 x approx. 64 1/4 in.; 79 x approx. 1530 mm) made of parchment; written in Hebrew square script in black ink in sixteen roundels with twenty-four lines per roundel; ruled in blind. Elaborately decorated borders in gouache and shell gold. Text and decoration on opening roundel largely abraded; more minor abrasions in upper and lower edges at various points; light staining; some paint flaking. Housed in a contemporary silver gilt case (height: 6 1/8 in.; 155 mm), elaborately chased with foliate patterns and decorations; slight damage to bottom of case.
The design and imagery of this Esther scroll may be clearly traced to the pioneering efforts of Jerusalem’s Bezalel School of Arts and Crafts, founded in 1906 by father of Israeli art Boris Schatz (1866-1932). The text of the Book of Esther was a particularly popular subject among the rapidly growing community of decorative artists working in the Land of Israel in the early twentieth century. In the present example, in addition to a program of decoration that features an abundance of vibrant colors and shell gold, there is a depiction of the dramatic scene of the hanging of Haman’s ten sons.