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Monthly Archives: May 2013
And now, proudly reintroducing Walter Bosse’s legendary nesting hedgehog ashtrays. Modern Vienna Bronze has released a limited edition of 20 sets of Walter Bosse’s iconic six nesting hedgehog ashtrays, with handmade wooden crates and letterpress-printed certificates of authenticity. These famous nesting creatures have not been available since the 1960s, and now is your chance to own them in brand new condition, straight from Bosse’s original master molds.
This limited edition batch will be available exclusively through Fab.com, along with corkscrews and a selection of miniatures starting today. Quantities are extremely limited, so get them while they are still available!
A little bit about the process: Each box is a custom made sliding lid wine box made of solid pine. We fitted the lid with some extra support struts and hand painted the sides in matte black. The art was done with custom hand-cut Walter Bosse stencils. We think they came out pretty nicely!
Enjoy the gratuitous macro shots!
Next up, we thought we’d share some up close and personal photos of the letterpress Certificate of Authenticity cards we produced specially for the upcoming sale.
A little bit about the process: Each card was hand printed with a Heidelberg Windmill on duplexed Eames solar white paper. The back was printed knockout in black and the front was printed with black and gold ink. The gold ink on the logo was then brushed with metallic gold dust, brushed with a feather an left to dry. The result gives it a unique textured metallic finish. Definitely a labor of love but we think it was worth it!
Enjoy more gratuitous macro shots!
Many thanks to Jean from NOTCOT for posting the video of our new Hedgehogs!
Proudly reintroducing Walter Bosse’s legendary nesting hedgehog ashtrays.
Modern Vienna Bronze has released a limited edition of 20 sets of Walter Bosse’s iconic six nesting hedgehog ashtrays, with handmade wooden crates and letterpress-printed certificates of authenticity. These famous nesting creatures have not been available since the 1960s, and now is your chance to own them in brand new condition, straight from Bosse's original master molds.
Check out our little promotional video of the hedgehogs in motion:
Each set comes packed in a custom, solid wooden crate, nestled in shredded paper bedding. The boxes are topped with a sliding slatted wooden lid, and decorated with hand painted hedgehog silhouette and Walter Bosse graphics on the sides. The certificates of authenticity have been masterfully letterpress printed, with hand-applied gold dust on the logo.
Where can I get my Walter Bosse hedgehog set?
IN OUR SHOP
This limited edition batch is available through the Modern Vienna Bronze shop. Quantities are extremely limited, so get them while they are still available!
A note on history and authenticity
In 1952, Walter Bosse moved from Austria, his home since 1904, to Iserlohn in Western Germany. During this period spent in Germany, Bosse was prolific. Myriad new creations were produced, and in the late 1950s, the hedgehog ashtray was born. The revolutionary new design was immediately successful, and Bosse was not able to keep up with demand on his own. He sought partnerships with larger foundries, but his business relationships were fraught with trouble. Some of his suppliers would use his molds without authorization, casting additional models to be sold from underneath him. Others simply created their own facsimiles (with varying degrees of allegiance to the originals). Even the Soviet airline Aeroflot produced their own unauthorized sets as promotional gifts for frequent flyers. Thousands of copycat hedgehog ashtrays flooded the market, with examples identified from Spain, Greece, England, Germany, and Austria. Many of these vintage forgeries are being sold online today using Walter Bosse’s name. Bosse persevered despite the difficulty he had in protecting his work, and continued to sell his own sets. At one point, Woolworths offered Bosse millions in exchange for the right to produce the hedgehogs in mass quantities, but Bosse refused, recognizing that mass production on such a scale would necessarily impact the quality and craftsmanship of the merchandise, and ultimately hurt his name.
Bosse fought hard against the counterfeiters, making tremendous personal sacrifices to protect the integrity of his work and his name. His legal battles set precedents in the protection of copyright and intellectual property for creative artists. We look at this new generation of hedgehogs as an opportunity to honor Bosse’s work and legacy, adhering to the same high standards of materials and workmanship to which he devoted his life.
How to identify a real set of Bosse hedgehogs
Here are some of the characteristics that help to indicate the differences between an original Bosse hedgehog ashtray set and a reproduction:
- Bosse’s set of hedgehog ashtrays consists of six individual parts.
- The length of the largest hedgehog is about 115mm.
- Bosse’s hedgehogs were cast only in brass.
- Bosse originals were polished and patinated in a manner consistent with those shown in our photographs.
- The eyes of the hedgehogs are small, concave indentations; many fakes and forgeries feature protruding, convex eyeballs.
- Many fakes include textured fur on the sides of the hedgehogs; this is incorrect and indicates a copy. The surfaces of original Walter Bosse hedgehog ashtrays are smooth.
As an additional mark of authenticity, our reintroduced Bosse hedgehog ashtrays are marked with “Bosse Austria” on the underside of the largest hedgehog between the front legs.
We are proud to be able to give Walter Bosse collectors worldwide a new chance to own the design that best represents his life’s accomplishments.
More information on spotting the differences between original Walter Bosse hedgehogs and fakes can be found here.
IN OUR SHOP
Thought we would share some experimental behind-the-scenes shots for the newly released Bosse hedgehogs, their letterpress certificates and the wooden box. We decided to see how a black backdrop looked so we thought we’d call the set Les Hérissons Noirs.
I think they came out looking pretty classy! We probably won’t be able to use them anywhere but they are here for you to enjoy. What do you think? Better than the white backdrop?
Stay tuned! This limited edition batch will be available exclusively through Fab.com starting on Friday, May 31st.
TO BE NOTIFIED
We were recently given a very generous donation of vintage original masters by Walter Bosse and Herta Baller. These include bronze sculptures and everyday objects used for casting which are about 20% larger than finished items cast from these masters.
All have been sitting unused since the 1950s and came from the original collection of the Bosse/Baller company in Austria. Most are rusty from having been left in their raw state but some were given a patina and polishing. Most are very rough and were never used in production. A few items are completely finished items whose masters were lost, but the finished item was kept for later casting.
Enjoy the images below and in the Virtual Museum as well!