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Walter Bosse Tableware

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 Bell, 1950s
By Walter Bosse
Located in Costa Mesa, CA
Walter Bosse Bell, 1950s.
Category

20th Century Austrian Mid-Century Modern Walter Bosse Tableware

Materials

Brass

Walter Bosse Monkey Salt and Pepper Shakers Set, Herta Baller, Austria, 1950s
By Walter Bosse, Herta Baller
Located in Vienna, AT
A charming Austrian midcentury shaker set from the 1950s, displaying a cute monkey holding salt and pepper shakers. A humorous design by Walter Bosse, manufactured by Hertha Baller i...
Category

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

Materials

Glass

Walter Bosse Rooster Dinner Bell, 1950s
By Herta Baller, Walter Bosse
Located in Wien, AT
Walter Bosse Rooster dinner bell, 1950s Original condition.
Category

1950s Austrian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Walter Bosse Tableware

Materials

Brass

Walter Bosse Brass Cat Figurine Jewelry Ring Holder, Herta Baller Austria, 1950s
By Walter Bosse, Herta Baller
Located in Vienna, AT
A charming Austrian brass cat figurine originally made to be used as a pretzel holder, a decorative piece, very suitable as a ring holder. A very hu...
Category

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

Materials

Brass

Walter Bosse Rooster Dinner Bell, 1950s
By Walter Bosse, Herta Baller
Located in Wien, AT
Walter Bosse rooster dinner bell, 1950s Original condition.
Category

1950s Austrian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Walter Bosse Tableware

Materials

Brass

Walter Bosse Donkey Salt and Pepper Shaker Set, Herta Baller, Austria, 1950s
By Walter Bosse, Herta Baller
Located in Vienna, AT
A charming Austrian midcentury Shaker set, displaying a donkey. A very humorous design by Walter Bosse, executed by Hertha Baller Austria in the 195...
Category

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

Materials

Metal, Brass

Walter Bosse Brass Dinner Bell Displaying a Cat by Herta Baller, Austria, 1950
By Herta Baller, Walter Bosse
Located in Vienna, AT
A charming midcentury table bell displaying a cat. A very humorous design by Walter Bosse, executed by Herta Baller Austria in the 1950s. Made of brass, in very good condition.
Category

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

Materials

Brass

Hertha Baller Pipe Holder, Vienna, circa 1950s 'Marked'
By Herta Baller, Walter Bosse
Located in Wien, AT
Hertha Baller pipe holder, Vienna, circa 1950s (Marked) Original condition.
Category

1950s Austrian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Walter Bosse Tableware

Materials

Brass

Walter Bosse Donkey Salt and Pepper Shaker Set, Herta Baller, Austria, 1950s
By Herta Baller, Walter Bosse
Located in Vienna, AT
A charming Austrian Mid-Century shaker set, displaying a donkey. A very humorous design by Walter Bosse, executed by Hertha Baller Austria in the 1950s. Made of metal and wood. In go...
Category

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

Materials

Metal

Walter Bosse Brass Cat Wine Bottle Holder by Herta Baller Vienna, Austria, 1950s
By Herta Baller, Walter Bosse
Located in Vienna, AT
A sculptural mid-century wine caddy / bottle holder from the 1950s, displaying a cat. A humorous design by Walter Bosse and manufactured by Hertha Baller in Vienna, Austria. Construc...
Category

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

Materials

Brass

Letter Holder by Walter Bosse
By Herta Baller, Walter Bosse
Located in Wien, AT
Letter holder by Walter Bosse.
Category

1950s Austrian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Walter Bosse Tableware

Brass Salt Shaker by Walter Bosse for Hertha Baller
By Herta Baller, Walter Bosse
Located in Vienna, AT
Brass salt shaker by Walter Bosse from the 1950s. The shaker is made from white plastic.
Category

1950s Austrian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Walter Bosse Tableware

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Previously Available Items
Walter Bosse Dachshund Dinner Bell, 1950s
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Walter Bosse dachshund dinner bell, 1950s Original condition.
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Walter Bosse Dachshund Dinner Bell, 1950s
Walter Bosse Dachshund Dinner Bell, 1950s
H 4.73 in W 2.76 in D 3.55 in
Seahorse Bell by Walter Bosse, circa 1950s
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Seahorse bell by Walter Bosse, circa 1950s Original condition.   
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Brass

Seahorse Bell by Walter Bosse, circa 1950s
Seahorse Bell by Walter Bosse, circa 1950s
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Walter Bosse Brass Dinner Bell Displaying a Cock by Herta Baller, Austria, 1950
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Walter Bosse Donkey Salt and Pepper Shaker Set, Hertha Baller, Austria, 1950s
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Midcentury Salt, Pepper and Paprika Set, by Walter Bosse Austria, 1950s
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Brass

Walter Bosse Fish Brass Sculpture Toothpick Stand, Hertha Baller, Austria, 1950s
By Herta Baller, Walter Bosse
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A toothpick holder in the shape of a fish. A very humorous design by Walter Bosse, executed by Hertha Baller Austria in the 1950s. Made of solid brass, in good condition with patina.
Category

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

Materials

Brass

Walter Bosse Donkey Salt and Pepper Shaker Set, Hertha Baller, Austria, 1950s
By Herta Baller, Walter Bosse
Located in Vienna, AT
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Mid-20th Century Austrian Mid-Century Modern Walter Bosse Tableware

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Walter Bosse Dining Bell
By Herta Baller, Walter Bosse
Located in Wien, AT
Walter Bosse dining bell Original condition.
Category

1960s Austrian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Walter Bosse Tableware

Materials

Brass

Walter Bosse Dining Bell
Walter Bosse Dining Bell
H 5.12 in Dm 3.55 in
Walter Bosse Brass Dinner Bell Displaying a Cock by Herta Baller, Austria, 1950
By Herta Baller, Walter Bosse
Located in Vienna, AT
A charming Mid-Century table bell displaying a cock. A very humorous design by Walter Bosse, executed by Hertha Baller Austria in the 1950s. Made of brass, in very good condition.
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Mid-20th Century Austrian Mid-Century Modern Walter Bosse Tableware

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Brass

Walter Bosse Mid-Century Horse Head Brass Ashtray, Hertha Baller, Austria, 1950s
By Herta Baller, Walter Bosse
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A large modernist ashtray, displaying the head of a horse from the 1950s. Designed by Walter Bosse, executed by Hertha Baller in Austria. Made of brass. An attention-grabbing and sol...
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Walter Bosse Cat Figurine Cork Screw by Hertha Baller, Austria, 1950s
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Located in Vienna, AT
A charming Austrian Mid-Century bottle opener displaying a cat. A very humorous design by Walter Bosse, executed by Hertha Baller Austria in the 1950s. Made of brass, in excellent co...
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Walter Bosse tableware for sale on 1stDibs.

Walter Bosse tableware 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 tableware, although black editions of this piece are particularly popular. Many of the original tableware 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 tableware by Herta Baller, Richard Rohac, and Berndorfer Metallwarenfabrik. Prices for Walter Bosse tableware can differ depending upon size, time period and other attributes — on 1stDibs, these items begin at $201 and can go as high as $890, while a piece like these, on average, fetch $632.

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