Superb Agate Cameo—"Moses in the Bullrushes"
Lot 1034
Superb Agate Cameo—"Moses in the Bullrushes"
US$ 35,000 - 45,000
£21,000 - 27,000
Lot Details
Superb Agate Cameo—"Moses in the Bullrushes"
By Dieter and Andreas Roth
Base by Manfred Wild
Idar-Oberstein, Germany

This museum-quality blue and white agate cameo of enormous size depicts the Old Testament story of the discovery of Moses in the bulrushes. Master Carver Dieter Roth and his son, Andreas, sought to revive the classical tradition of the religious cyclus –and created intimate religious images in a cyclical sequence rendered in a way that has never before been realized—in glorious, translucent agate. The series, entitled Die Bibel in Stein (The Bible in Stone), was carved between 1986 -1998. This particular depiction closely borrows from the same scene engraved by French graphic artist Gustave Doré.

The reverse signed, "Die Auffindung Mose", 2 Mose 2,5,6 nach Gustave Doré" graviert von Andreas u. Dieter Roth, 2007." Measuring 8 1/2 x 7 in. The base, designed by Manfred Wild, is fabricated from a slab of obsidian over a slab of rock crystal, rimmed in 18K gold with substantial quantities of gold utilized in the papyrus-motif columns, weighing approximately 302 grams. Stamped 750, signed monogram EB for Emil Becker. Height 9 1/2 in


  • Accompanied by a copy of the book: Die Bibel in Stein, Grosskameen von Dieter Roth, 1986-1998, by Dr. Armin Peter Faust. The original "Auffindung Mose", is illustrated on page 25. The present offering was carved after this piece depicted in the book which is currently part of the Kobe Museum's permanent collection. It had been commissioned by a Japanese patron of Dieter and Andreas Roth. After the Japanese patron passed away, an American patron commissioned the present example from the artists. It is both larger and finer than the cameo in Japan.

    The story of Moses takes place in remote Egypt. Doré depicted the little babe in his ark of bulrushes being drawn to shore by one of the attendants of the Egyptian princess, who stands under the downy plumes of her two fan-bearers giving directions in regard to the child, whose beauty has won her heart. The flowing stream, the waving reeds, the regal costume and state of the Princess and her retinue, are lovely surroundings of the slumbering child, before whom lies so great and wondrous a destiny.

    Dieter Roth
    Born on May 3, 1948 in Idar-Oberstein, Roth entered the glyptography course (the art or process of carving or engraving on precious stones) at the Professional Training School in 1963 while working in the atelier of cameo master Richard H. Hahn. After finishing the course in three and a half years, he passed the Glyptography Master Examination in 1973. He carved many works in the Hahn Atelier where he remained until 1978. He subsequently established the Roth Atelier where he works to the present. His cameos feature smooth surfaces and feminine images. Dieter Roth has been an officially recognized artist with the German government since 2006.

    Andreas Roth
    Born on August 7, 1973 in Idar-Oberstein, Andreas is the son of gemstone engraver Hans-Dieter Roth. He performed his apprenticeship with his father in 1993 and completed his Mastercraftman's Diploma in Gemstone Cutting and Engraving in 1999. Working in his father's firm since 1996 he established his own firm in 2008.

  1. Claudia Florian, G.J.G
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