Purim begins with the Fast of Esther at sundown this evening. The ceremony begins with the reading of the Megillah, or Scroll of Esther. Here we present the 2007 facsimile of an 18th-century megillah held by the Gross Family of Israel (one of the finest collections of Judaica in the world). The facsimile was produced by Facsimile Editions of London in an edition of 295 copies. This company is well known for producing state-of-the-art facsimiles of Hebrew illuminated manuscripts. This was their first attempt at printing a reproduction directly onto sheepskin parchment, rather than the usual method of having paper milled to the weight and texture of parchment to create a simulation. The original scroll case was also carefully reproduced by hand in sterling silver.
This particular scroll includes miniatures produced by an anonymous artist of virtually every scene of the story. A curious aspect of this megillah is that the text was written after the illuminations were completed; a reversal of the common practice.
Buddhist Cosmological Scroll (Detail), Localization of Viscera in the Torso, Interconnecting Blood Vessels and Channels, Tree of the Body in Health and Illness, Tree of Treatment, Tree of Diagnosis, Buddhist Cosmological Scroll (Detail), Localization of Viscera in the Torso (Detail). Tibet (top to bottom). 1500s-1700s.