Megillat Esther

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Published by Facsimile Editions

Megillat Esther (Book of Esther)
Custom Project
Size closed: 205 x 336mm - Concertina: 7.4 metres
Private Collection

The Brief

The client had commissioned an artist to illustrate the Book of Esther but had not yet given consideration as to how he would like the illustrations to be displayed.

We were presented with original artwork on parchment panels mounted on wood, painted in various media including gold, silver and lacquer and asked to create 'a book'.

As the text was especially meaningful to the client he wanted a binding that was traditional yet at the same time modern and striking.

The Project

Production of this facsimile required innovation at every stage. The artwork panels were printed in six colours on neutral pH archival paper with lacquer, powdered gold, flat gold and silver.

The scribe's Hebrew calligraphy was reproduced in solid black silk-screen and raised to exactly reproduce his original hand-written text.

The structure of the artwork lent itself to a traditional concertina-style binding. The leather marquetry design for the binding's cover was inspired by the manuscript's opening panel which was recreated digitally with each element laser-cut in red, yellow and blue Pentland Goatskin to its precise shape for assembly (watch this time-lapse to see how a leather marquetry design is created). The nearly 200 yellow spots, some just 1mm in diameter, are painstakingly inserted by hand into the cover of each binding.

Marbled paper matching the manuscript's colour palette was custom-made in Florence and used to cover the slip-case, commentary volume and facsimile endpapers.

The edition of 64 identical copies was produced in 18 months.

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