Bosse Blog

Common Walter Bosse Fakes – Fish Ashtray

Fake Walter Bosse Fish Ashtray

We’re not sure who started the rumor that this big ol’ fish ashtray was by Walter Bosse. This guys is not as much a fake, but is more of an original by another artist working with blackening brass. They are most often found in Europe so we’re thinking they might be from another artist working in Austria around the same time. The style is definitely more realistic and heavily detailed, unlike Bosse’s work (Bosse mostly worked in a simple modernist style, with simple holes or dots for eyes). These fish ashtrays often seem to have a grey or greenish tint to the patina, which was the result of not sealing the patina properly or letting the object sit in the acid bath too long. These fish are never marked.

Don’t let all the listings out there fool you! This is NOT a Bosse. We’ve even seen these listed for $500 on 1stDibs as designed by “Walter Bosse for Hagenauer”. Bosse never worked for Hagenauer, they were competitors! Sellers often want to make the item their selling to seem the most valuable or rare so they’ll attach as many famous names to it as possible. These ashtrays are fairly common and would carry a value of around $40-$60 depending on condition.

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Common Walter Bosse Fakes – England

Walter Bosse England Fakes Collection

Some of the most common Walter Bosse fakes out on the market right now are a collection of items from England. Almost always unmarked, the most common items are giraffes, horses, firehorses, dachshunds, donkeys, cats, gazelles, kangaroo, ducks, geese, and elephants. Sometime in the 1960s–’70s, a company in England started making copies of a few select Bosse models, and even went so far as to try and copyright them. We’ve seen a few marked items, and they are most often hand ashtrays and corkscrews. You can even find a patent number on the bottom of some of the items. After doing a bit of research on one of these patent numbers, we found it was associated with a generic casting company in England in the ’60s. They were most likely making these items on the side to make some extra money.

Is my item an authentic Walter Bosse or a copy from England?
Walter Bosse Real vs. Fake English Firehorse Though some of the items are direct copies of Bosse’s work (like the firehorse, elephant, and donkey) many are not Bosse’s work at all. In the case of the firehorse, the English fakes just have the tips of the mane and tail polished, and not the whole mane or tail. These are also slightly smaller as they were most likely cast from a Bosse casting, not the original master. Similar to the Taxco fakes out there, these items were most likely imagined by an artist working for the casting company in the style of the items taken directly from Bosse. These English castings can be identified by their shiny black painted surface, which chips easily. They were not familiar with Bosse’s patina process, so they used black paint instead.

Any questions? Feel free to ask!

Check out all the fakes below:

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52 × BOSSE: Bonus!

So we have finally reached the end of our project. Did you enjoy it? Here are some extra bonus shots that didn’t make it into this year’s posts. What do you think, should we do another year?

Walter Bosse Rabbit
Walter Bosse’s 6040 Rabbit on a log.
Walter Bosse Lion
Walter Bosse’s 6025 lion standing on a mountain.
Walter Bosse Crocodile
Walter Bosse’s 6002 Crocodile on dry earth.
Walter Bosse Heron
Walter Bosse’s 5209 Heron in the leaves.
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52 × BOSSE: Week 52

Walter Bosse Giraffe
Week 52 features Walter Bosse’s BO02 giraffe in the undergrowth.
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52 × BOSSE: Week 50

Walter Bosse Mouse
Week 50 features Walter Bosse’s 5065 mouse sitting on a patch of moss.
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52 × BOSSE: Week 49

Walter Bosse Standing Bear
Week 49 features Walter Bosse’s BO09 bear standing on a tree stump.
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52 × BOSSE: Week 48

Walter Bosse Seahorse
Week 48 features Walter Bosse’s 5364 Seahorse in seaweed.
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52 × BOSSE: Week 47

Walter Bosse Sitting Bear
Week 47 features Walter Bosse’s BO40 Bear sitting on a branch.
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52 × BOSSE: Week 46

Walter Bosse Owl on Pinecone
Week 46 features Walter Bosse’s 6102 Owl on a pine cone.
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52 × BOSSE: Week 45

Walter Bosse King Frog
Week 45 features Walter Bosse’s 548 Frog Prince in his Kingdom.
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