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Walter Bosse hedgehog ashtrays

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    Posted 5 years ago

    (104 items)

    A set of Walter Bosse hedgehog ashtrays. No marks.

    After checking I believe these are the real ones
    What do you think?

    More info from
    At the end of 1952, Walter Bosse moved from Austria, where he lived since his birth in 1904, to Western Germany. He settled in the area of Iserlohn, because creditors were chasing him and his friends and business partners were cheating him. He wanted to concentrate on his job of being an artist. This time was very productive for Bosse, and he created an entire collection of new designs in the late 1950s. During that period, the hedgehog ashtray set was born. It was a revolutionary design, and quickly became popular worldwide. He was not able to even keep up with all the international orders and looked for partners to perform the casting on his behalf. Some foundries used his moulds and masters without discretion and sold models illicitly without his knowledge. Meanwhile, many thousands of copies based on Bosse’s design were being produced and sold throughout the world. The Russian airline Aeroflot even produced a set as a gift given to their frequent flyers. Copies were made in Spain, Greece, England, Austria and Germany. Bosse knew about this, but he kept on selling his hedgehogs at the Frankfurt International Fair for many years. Interestingly enough, Bosse’s hedgehogs could have made him a millionaire: Woolworth offered Bosse a several million dollar contract for the copyright of the ashtray set but Bosse would not agree. He feared that with mass-production, the hedgehogs would lose the charm and quality of his originals.
    Bosse spent most of his later years fighting copyright cases for his items, mostly over this set of hedgehog trays and hand-shaped ashtrays. They were among his most prolifically stolen designs. Unfortunately, he was not able to benefit from the court’s decision. Bosse died soon after the courts decision to award him copyright of his items. His was the first decision of its kind and a landmark case that would live on and benefit all arts and crafts makers and designers from that point forward.

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    1. vetraio50 vetraio50, 5 years ago
      The have no patination .... must have been recently cleaned. But they look like the real thing to me.
    2. Agram.m Agram.m, 5 years ago
      Quite design!
    3. chipfree, 4 years ago
      Its a big job with lots of research required if your interested enough to find out but there are differences with the foreign lookalikes & even within Bosse's own range .Your Hog looks just like mine which i believe to be genuine , the ears eyes and snout quills look like authentic verified pieces I've seen on the net . And the sufaces are smooth & not textured . Searching sites like The designs of Walter Bosse/Flickr , Modern vienna bronze/Walter Bosse & lots of other sites , & with looking on ebay , etsy etc . From what I've read & seen there's also a long and short nose/snout versions between the molds . Also early molds had the baby hog with 4 seperate little ( around 4 mm long ) rounded feet with 11 outer tynes/quills + the 3 inside where-as the later molds had the incised + type lower feet and 12 outer tynes/quills around the perimeter + 3 inside . A lot were unbranded some marked made in germany and New reproductions from the original molds I believe are marked Bosse Austria . Then theres the Foreign versions . They were made from a lighter metal/alloy & not the Brass heavyweights like Bosse plus they have a textured fur like surface on their bodies & they're branded underneath ,Too easy . Theres 2 Russian versions I've seen . I have a set of the Aeroflot hogs & under the Large one between the front legs it has roughly an O with 3 decreasing sized dashes that look like wings either side . The other Russian version has what looks like ELw marked on the base . And the Greek ones have Made in Greece .
      This is basically a Bosse guide for dummies , like me but hopefully of some help .
      A few years ago I didnt even know who Bosse was so have fun researching this enigma as theres a lot more to him than meets the eye . Cheers Les
    4. PhilDMorris PhilDMorris, 1 year ago
      The more ashtrays you add, the better the hedgehog !~
    5. chipfree, 1 year ago
      Hi max , phill , hel1 , I hope nobody takes offence and I dont know if this is politically correct or the right forum to make a joke but , What is the difference between a Hedgehog and a Police car ? Well , with the Police car the Pricks are on the inside . I hope people can laugh and see some of the humour and not focus on the negative , posted by some unknown joker .
    6. ModernViennaBronze, 7 months ago
      You are correct, this is definitely an authentic set of hedgehogs by Walter Bosse. It looks like this set never had an applied patina and were manufactured this way, with the polished brass finish. This set is probably from the 1960s. They are almost always unmarked. You can check out my post : "Authenticating Your Walter Bosse: No Black Patina, is my Item Real?"

      and my post: "Authenticating Your Walter Bosse Hedgehog Ashtrays: Part 2 – Rare Models and Marks" for info on sets like this one you have.

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