Tag Archives: black patina

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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Watch the Blackened Brass Patina Process on Carl Aubock’s Optimist/Pessimist

Auboeck Video

Very interesting video of fellow Mid Century Austrian artist Carl Auboeck’s (Aubock) patination process on his Optimist/Pessimist figures. You can watch the figures go from bright golden brass to the signature matte black color. Both Walter Bosse and Carl Auboeck were contemporaries working with brass/bronze in Vienna, Austria in the 1950s. This is the same technique Bosse used on Black-Golden Line and is the same process we still use today to patina and polish our figures!

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