Walter Bosse Vintage Nesting Hedgehog Ashtray Set, c. Early 1950s


This iconic set of hedgehogs is a classic of mid century modern design. Designed by Walter Bosse, an expert craftsman from the golden age of Vienna bronzes. His “black/gold” line of animals was crafted to make “as many people as possible happy.” Copied millions of times over, offered here is an authentic set from the 1950s.

An original vintage example of Walter Bosse’s most famous design from the 1950’s. This complete set of 6 stacking hedgehog ashtrays is in excellent original condition with good original patina. The casting quality is very good with a smooth lightly sandy texture and excellent detail. The polishing is bright and feathered and the patina has a satin sheen with a black-brown color. Baby is well detailed, cast and finished with excellent quality. Has small eyes, sharp nose and long fully formed legs (though one is slightly short so it stands a little askew). Spines are tall and rounded, the nose is a good length and the legs are on the shorter side. The ears on the largest 3 hedgehogs are polished, which is more rare. The eyes are drilled higher up and closer together on the faces of all the hedgehogs. In general, it is from the same mold as the “gold standard” hedgehog shown in Bosse’s original catalog shots from the early 1950s. Comes with all 6 hedgehog ashtrays that stack up and nest inside each other. Made of solid brass.

Unmarked. Last two images show a page from an original Walter Bosse catalog circa the 1960s and an original advertisement for his hedgehog ashtrays.

Authenticated by Modern Vienna Bronze as an original Walter Bosse design.

ウォルター・ボッセ – ハリネズミオブジェ/灰皿

Out of stock


Designed by Walter Bosse, circa 1950s.

Born in Vienna in 1904, Walter Bosse was a student of Micheal Powolny, Franz Cizek, and Richard Riemerschmid. He initially worked with ceramic sold by the Wiener Werkstätte, Augarten, and Goldscheider. His designs are some of the most important works in mid-century decorative arts. In the late 1940s Bosse began to produce countless brass miniatures (mostly animal figurines) with which he showed his admiration for the various creatures of nature. With his colleague, Karl Hagenauer, he created several figures inspired by the “zoo” theme. With the uncommon look of the collection, he focused on “making as many people as possible happy.” In partnership with Herta Baller he presented his collection at art fairs in Frankfurt, where he found a large amount of international customers. The “black/gold” interplay between polished and patinated brass was soon known around the world.

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Materials: Bronze/brass

Overall Dimensions:
11.5cm / 4.5″ long
7cm / 2.75″ tall
7cm / 2.75″ wide
Smallest hedgehog: 4cm / 1.5″ long
Full set of 6 ashtrays

Additional information

Weight 2000 g
Dimensions 122 mm