Illustrated Megillat Esther (Book of Esther) – Ferrara (Italy) 1616
The National Library has in its collection several illustrated Megillot Esther, but the most unique one of all is also the most ancient, and perhaps one of the earliest Megillot Esther in the world, dating from the year 1616. The Megilla was written and illustrated by Moshe ben Avraham Peshkarol in the city of Ferrara, Italy. The scroll is over four meters long and 27 cm tall. It was ordered for a man named Mordechai ben Eliyahu Halevy, who lived in Brescello, a small town near Parma. We are privy to this biographical information because it is written in the Megilla itself.