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Walter Bosse Ashtrays

Austrian, 1904-1979

Credited with thousands of works and models for ceramic pieces, Walter Bosse was an intensely prolific designer. The modernist Austrian sculptor and ceramist was best known for his distinctive “Black Golden” series of decorative objects and figurines, particularly his hedgehog ashtrays. Bosse’s mid-century and Art Deco works were popular as gifts for politicians and royalty worldwide, remaining coveted among collectors today.

Bosse was born in Vienna in 1904 to artist parents — his father, Julius, was a portrait painter for the Austrian Imperial Court. Bosse studied at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna from 1918 to 1921 under Austrian sculptor Michael Powolny and Austrian painter Franz Cizek. Later, he continued at the Munich School of Applied Arts in Germany under Austrian architect and designer Josef Hoffmann, a founder of the Vienna Secession movement.

Early in his career, Bosse worked as a designer at several ceramics manufacturers, including Augarten Porcelain Works in 1924, Goldscheider Porcelain Manufactory and Majolica Factory in 1926 and Metzler and Ortloff in 1927. In 1925, Bosse displayed several pieces at the International Exposition of Modern Industrial and Decorative Arts in Paris, which introduced the Art Deco style to a global audience.

In 1931, Bosse opened a shop in Kufstein, Austria, selling ceramic gift items. Owing to the crippling economic effects of the Great Depression, however, Bosse was forced to close his shop in 1937. He returned to Vienna in 1938 and opened another business, Bosse Keramik, where he sold toys, glass, textiles and more. In the late 1940s, Bosse experimented with small-scale brass sculptures and desk accessories coated in black ceramic glaze. With Austrian designer Herta Baller, Bosse formed the Bosse-Baller company to manufacture the “Black Golden” line of figurines, which became wildly popular worldwide.

Despite Bosse’s success, he struggled financially and moved to Iserlohn, Germany, in 1953. Meanwhile, Baller continued to manufacture and sell Bosse’s designs, which were so popular that forgers copied and sold counterfeit editions of Bosse’s works around the world. The 1950s marked the debut of the artist’s whimsically zoomorphic hedgehog ashtrays — these were cast in brass, and a hedgehog ashtray in any other material is not a Bosse original.

Bosse spent the rest of his life embroiled in court battles to protect his designs, leaving him penniless by the time he died. Today authentic Bosse pieces — from wall-mounted sculptures to tableware — continue to be highly sought after by collectors.

Find vintage Walter Bosse serveware, wall decorations and more on 1stDibs.

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Creator: Walter Bosse
Walter bosse ashtay vienna around 1950s
By Herta Baller, Walter Bosse
Located in Wien, AT
Walter bosse ashtay vienna around 1950s Original condition
Category

1950s Austrian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Walter Bosse Ashtrays

Materials

Brass

Walter Bosse Vintage Brass Hand Ashtray for Herta Baller
By Walter Bosse
Located in Vienna, AT
This elegant and heavy ashtray by Walter Bosse for Herta Baller (Model 844) is an original Austrian Mid-Century piece of sculptural character. The object...
Category

Mid-20th Century Austrian Mid-Century Modern Walter Bosse Ashtrays

Materials

Brass

Sculpture by Walter Bosse, Ashtray in Brass, Austria circa 1960, Old Patina
By Walter Bosse
Located in Auribeau sur Siagne, FR
This ashtray is a sculpture from walter bosse, it is in Bronze with a green and gold patina. it has been done circa 1950 in Wien.
Category

1960s Austrian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Walter Bosse Ashtrays

Materials

Brass

Ashtray by Walter Bosse Vienna Around 1950s
By Herta Baller, Walter Bosse
Located in Wien, AT
Ashtray by walter bosse vienna around 1950s Marked on Bottom.
Category

1950s Austrian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Walter Bosse Ashtrays

Materials

Brass

Walter Bosse Fish Midcentury Brass Ashtray or Bowl, Herta Baller, 1950s
By Herta Baller, Walter Bosse
Located in Vienna, AT
A charming modernist bowl or ashtray in the shape of a fish. A very humorous design by Walter Bosse, executed by Hertha Baller Austria in the 1950s. Made of brass, in excellent condi...
Category

Mid-20th Century Austrian Mid-Century Modern Walter Bosse Ashtrays

Materials

Brass

2 Ashtrays by Walter Bosse Vienna Around 1950s 'Marked'
By Walter Bosse, Herta Baller
Located in Wien, AT
2 Ashtrays by Walter Bosse Vienna around 1950s Original condition Pair price.
Category

1950s Austrian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Walter Bosse Ashtrays

Materials

Brass

Walter Bosse Asymmetrical Modernist Black Brass Ashtray by Herta Baller, 1950s
By Herta Baller, Walter Bosse
Located in Vienna, AT
A stylish modernist ashtray with amazing asymmetrical shape. Designed by Walter Bosse, executed by Hertha Baller Austria in the 1950s. Made of brass, in good condition with nice patina.
Category

Mid-20th Century Austrian Mid-Century Modern Walter Bosse Ashtrays

Materials

Brass

Walter Bosse Fish Mid-Century Brass Bowl Ashtray Herta Baller, Austria, 1950s
By Herta Baller, Walter Bosse
Located in Vienna, AT
A charming modernist brass bowl or ashtray in the shape of a fish. A humorous design by Walter Bosse, executed by Hertha Baller Austria in the 1950s. Made of brass, in good condition...
Category

Mid-20th Century Austrian Mid-Century Modern Walter Bosse Ashtrays

Materials

Brass

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Located in Wien, AT
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Located in Wien, AT
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Walter Bosse Sculpture Ashtray
Walter Bosse Sculpture Ashtray
Free Shipping
H 3.15 in W 5.52 in D 3.55 in

Walter Bosse ashtrays for sale on 1stDibs.

Walter Bosse ashtrays are available for sale on 1stDibs. These distinctive items are frequently made of metal and are designed with extraordinary care. There are many options to choose from in our collection of Walter Bosse ashtrays, although black editions of this piece are particularly popular. Many of the original ashtrays by Walter Bosse were created in the mid-century modern style in europe during the mid-20th century. If you’re looking for additional options, many customers also consider ashtrays by Herta Baller, Richard Rohac, and Werkstätte Hagenauer Wien. Prices for Walter Bosse ashtrays can differ depending upon size, time period and other attributes — on 1stDibs, these items begin at $313 and can go as high as $715, while a piece like these, on average, fetch $429.

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