Emmy Roth (1885 – 1942) German / Israeli Silversmith

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Inkwell circa 1925 by Emmy Roth
Inkwell circa 1925 by Emmy Roth

German Jewish silversmith

Emmy Roth (1885 – 1942) was a German Jewish Silversmith.

Early Career

She did a gold and silversmith apprenticeship at Conrad Anton Beumers in Düsseldorf, as well as apprenticeships in other gold and silversmith workshops.

In 1916, she established her workshop in Berlin-Charlottenburg. Her early work was influenced by the Baroque, but her later work was more straightforward, as evidenced by her fruit dish in The Studio, 1929. She belonged to the Deutcher Werkbund. She hammered metal into various useful objects, including lids that doubled as fruit bowls and extendible candelabra. She was noted for her art that was both innovative and perfectly proportioned.

Silver and ivory coffee pot circa 1930 designed by Emmy Roth
Silver and ivory coffee pot circa 1930 designed by Emmy Roth

Recognition

Since 1925, Roth had participated in trade shows, including the German Building Exhibition in Berlin in 1931 and the Paris World Exhibition in 1937 in the Israeli pavilion. She also received orders from other countries, thanks to an article in the New York art journal “Creative Art” (1929). Ida Dehmel created the Association of German and Austrian Artists’ Associations of All Genres (GEDOK) in 1926, and Roth was a member of it. She went to France after the National Socialists were put into power in 1933.

Art Deco Silver Set with Sugar Bowl, Milk Jug, and Tray by Emmy Roth
Art Deco Silver Set with Sugar Bowl, Milk Jug, and Tray by Emmy Roth

She chose to leave Europe two years later and travel to Palestine, initially to Jerusalem and then to Tel Aviv. Some of the pieces she brought with her were shown in Tel Aviv in 1936. She manufactured jewellery and Jewish ritual objects when there were no orders for larger pieces of silver.

bowl and spoon, designed by Emmy Roth
bowl and spoon, designed by Emmy Roth

Carl J.A. Begeer met her at the ‘Europaisches Kunstgewerbe’ show in Leipzig in 1927. Between 1935 and 1938, she worked in the Netherlands at Zilverfabriek Voorschoten, where she manufactured plain Modern table silver for industrial manufacturing. She moved to Palestine in 1940 and died in Tel Aviv in 1942.

Sources

Byars, M., & Riley, T. (2004). The design encyclopedia. Laurence King Publishing.

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