Authenticating Your Walter Bosse Hedgehog Ashtrays: Types of Baby Hedgehogs

Walter Bosse vintage brass stacking hedgehog ashtray babies with black patina and polished gold highlights

Over my years of collecting, I have come across hundreds of Walter Bosse’s hedgehog ashtrays. Initially I mostly saw the two most common baby hedgehogs in the set: 1) the X leg baby and 2) the fully formed legs baby. But recently I’ve found  3 more rare variations: 1) the single bar leg baby, 2) […]

A mysterious hand: Saks Fifth Avenue, Made in Austria, and Auböck [UPDATE]

Saks Fifth Avenue and Made in Austria marked figa lighter and horseshoe paperweight

I’ve always admired these figa lighters when I’ve come across them in my searches for Austrian-made brass and bronze. The markings have always intrigued me: “Saks Fifth Avenue” in an elegant, hand-drawn script, and “Made in Austria” in the typical sans-serif of an Austrian mark. They do not come up often, and seem to be […]

Auböck Fakes – Wooden Boxes & Brass Paperweights

Comparison between an authentic Auböck "Foot the Bill" wooden box and brass foot paperweights

It’s not often you stumble across an item that ends up being the missing piece in helping to identify hundreds of Auböck fakes out there on the market. Well, today I found that item, and without the original red cardboard box surrounding it, I still couldn’t be sure it was fake. This item just so […]

Walter Bosse Fakes – A History of the Greek Hedgehog Ashtrays

Made In Greece Fake Vintage Hedgehog Ashtray

After finding of one of these “Made in Greece” stamped hedgehog ashtrays with a photo of a box, I figured it was time to do an updated post. Let’s start with the basics. This hedgehog ashtray is made of a white metal, probably a zinc based metal alloy with an applied antiqued patina in a […]

Walter Bosse Fakes – A History of 1МПЗ Russian Hedgehog Ashtrays

Russian Hedgehog Ashtray Fakes

It has taken me almost 8 years of research until I finally made a break in this case 3 days ago. I have focused mainly on authenticating the Walter Bosse hedgehog ashtrays, but I thought I should turn my attention to researching the origins of this forgery. It all started with someone mentioned that they […]

Common Walter Bosse Fakes – “M.I. Germany” Solingen

M.I. Germany Fish and Hedgehog Ashtray Fakes

I’m not sure how exactly I began this long strange journey, but I know it all started with this green hedgehog. I have seen these on the market for years, but something about them always bothered me. I think I have finally been able to get some proof that not only are the fish ashtrays […]

Authenticating Your Walter Bosse Hedgehog Ashtrays: All the Fakes

Collage of 4 Hedgehog Ashtray Fakes

As the years go by I am astounded at the number of different fake sets I’ve been finding. The two main ones you will often find are of course the Greek and Russian sets but there are SO many others out there that I didn’t expect. Some of them seem pretty small batch or handmade, […]

Authenticating Your Walter Bosse Hedgehog Ashtrays: Curious Cases – Steel & Ferrous Metal

Walter Bosse Steel Hedgehogs

I recently came across a few strange metal hedgehog sets and was surprised to find that they were all highly magnetic! That is a trait shared only by ferrous metals, or metal with iron in them. So I figured I should put a post together and talk about all their curious traits and how I […]

How It Works – Lost Wax Casting for Walter Bosse

Walter Bosse Hand Ashtray Master to Wax to Mold

Let’s dive into a little bit about the handmade casting process to understand a little more about what makes Walter Bosse and Vienna Bronze items special. The casting process used is “lost wax casting” or “investment casting.” Here all the steps and love that go into the creation of a Walter Bosse model: 1. Starting […]

Hertha Baller vs Herta Baller? Lets Clear Things Up…

Hertha Baller vs Herta Baller for Walter Bosse

In recent years we’ve began to notice the proliferation of the use of a misspelling, “Hertha Baller”, to describe items made by Walter Bosse and by Herta Baller. So I’d like to clear that up in this post, it’s “Herta Baller” and not “Hertha”. Normally I’m not sure where things like this originate from, but […]