Illustrated manuscript, Etz Chaim, Torah learned from the Ari HaKadosh by his disciple Rabbi Chaim Vital. [Eastern Europe, second half of 17th century].
Eloquent Ashkenazi writing. This composition was edited by Rabbi Meir Poppers, with introductions by him and by Rabbi Chaim Vital. Variations in the text, compared to the printed editions. Glosses on sheet margins by the scribe who wrote the manuscript and by another writer, most glosses by Rabbi Ya'akov Tzemach, Rabbi Meir Poppers and other known glosses. Some are additions or corrections from a different manuscript [the glosses were not closely examined]. At the end of the second volume are replacement leaves in the handwriting of the scribe, and indexes by another writer.
The manuscript is illustrated throughout, with impressive artistic illustrations, in ink colored in hues of gold, gray and brown. The illustrations adorn the opening of each Heichal [the composition is divided into Heichalot, each Heichal is divided into chapters]. All the illustrations differ one from another. Some illustrations are designed as architectural structures in the Eastern European style [onion-shaped roof domes, castles and tower turrets crowned by flags]. Illustrations of fowl, deer and lions. Decoration in floral and leaf patterns. In the third Heichal, Heichal Keter (Crown), is an illustration of a crown, with a lion on each side. The sixth Heichal has an illustration of a pair of winged lions with heads of birds. At the end of the manuscript is a medallion adorned with leaf patterns, with a pair of eagles on its top, and clusters of grapes on the edges [the inside of the medallion is empty. Apparently, it was intended to be used by the scribe to write a colophon]. Illustrated decoration at the ends of Heichalot 1 and 2.
Complete manuscript. 3, 257, 2,  leaves. Good-fair condition. High-quality paper, most leaves in good condition. Several leaves restored with glued paper [on the text in several places and on an illustration on the first title page]. Stains, few moth holes. Tears and damages to several leaves. Ancient vellum binding.