Tag Archives: polished

Walter Bosse Figurines: “Baroque” Series

Walter Bosse Catalog Page - Baroque Animals

After a bit of research looking through our company catalog (which we lovingly refer to as the “Bible”), we came across a page of sketches that seemed to be called “Baroques”. We instantly recognized that the sketches matched animals we have in our museum collection. So we felt like we should put together a post about them because they tend to differ a bit from the overall catalog of Bosse offerings. So lets do a deep dive into the catalog page and some of the items below.

The characteristics the Baroque items all seem to share are:

  1. Simple short squat legs positioned in elegant poses.
  2. Plump (zaftig) bodies
  3. Fully polished (never with black patina)
  4. Slightly larger size than most Bosse figurines (3″ long/tall on average)
  5. Usually unmarked (or we have one marked with an early “Bosse Austria” mark)
  6. Slightly more stylized features (realistic detailed hair, eyes with eyelids, etc.)

Here are all of the Walter Bosse Baroque animals in our collection:

Walter Bosse Baroque Hellhound Walter Bosse Baroque DoeWalter Bosse Baroque LizardWalter Bosse Baroque HorseWalter Bosse Baroque GiraffeWalter Bosse Baroque HorseWalter Bosse Baroque Fox

We also really see some similarities to an early Walter Bosse pottery horse we have in the collection as well. See our Instagram comparison post hereWalter Bosse Pottery Horse

So our conclusion is, these were probably early models of Bosse’s work when he was experimenting with brass and transitioning over from Pottery work to brass work in the late 1940s and early 1950s. They represent a quality of casting and workmanship that is consistent with his early work and thus, they are sketched quite early in the pages of the “Bible” catalog. See more detailed photos of the catalog pages below:

Walter Bosse Catalog Page - Baroque AnimalsWalter Bosse Catalog Page - Baroque AnimalsWalter Bosse Catalog Page - Baroque Animals

 

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Authenticating Your Walter Bosse: No Black Patina, is my Item Real?

Walter Bosse Elephant Ring HoldersSo you have what you think is a Walter Bosse design, but it is all-gold and doesn’t have an applied black patina. Does that mean it is fake? Not necessarily! Generally there were two factors that led to an item receiving the all-gold “fully polished” treatment. We will outline those two methods below:

  1. The most common fully polished items are usually Walter Bosse’s larger and useful objects made later in his life while he was living in Germany. In the late 1950s until his death in the 70s Walter Bosse was living and working in Germany (leaving his original Austrian company to Herta Baller). He ended up fleeing to Germany because of debts he had in Austria and then started over (in Germany) with all new designs. Since he had no money, he contracted out to other companies to do all the casting for him if he provided the designs. Unfortunately, he ended up not paying some of those casting companies for their work and they started to produce and sell his designs on their own without his authorization (in order to recoup his debt owed to them). Consequently, the patina was a tricky process and the casting firms didn’t always know how to do it correctly. If you do it too long, the patina turns green or greyish. If you don’t do it long enough it turns brown. If you don’t fully clean the oils off, you can get spots that resist the etching process and looks blotchy. So in a lot of cases, these casting firms ended up  just leaving the patina off entirely.
    So how do you know if your item is from this era in Walter Bosse’s life? Items from this particular period usually have rougher looking surfaces. The sand casting process was a lot less precise and often resulted in larger casting flaws and a sandy texture. But it was great for producing larger objects at cheaper prices. Generally these types of items that were possibly cast without Bosse’s knowledge are thought of as Bosse designs because they are using the same masters and molds. It is really impossible to prove whether these were authorized or unauthorized pieces.
    See some examples of his German fully-polished work:
    Walter Bosse Town Musicians of Bremen Wall Hook / Key Rack Walter Bosse RoosterWalter Bosse Elephant Thermometer HolderWalter Bosse Hedgehog AshtraysWalter Bosse Cow Wall Hook / Key RackWalter Bosse Cow Thermometer HolderWalter Bosse Elephant Wall Hooks / Key RackWalter Bosse Fish Dish
  2. The less common fully-polished items are those that were selected to be polished because they were finely cast. It was somewhat rare but not uncommon for Bosse to fully polish items himself and not put a patina on if the casting quality of an item was pretty high. You will see very early models with an all-gold finish, often marked with the large “Bosse Austria” mark. Items had to be ground down and partially polished anyway before applying the patina. So sometimes if an if an item came out looking particularly nice, it was selected to be finely polished. The acid-etching patina process could hide small flaws in the casting process.
    See some examples below of his early fully-polished work:
    Walter Bosse Duck Figurine Walter Bosse Whale Ashtray Walter Bosse Deer Figurine Walter Bosse Hand AshtrayWalter Bosse DoeWalter Bosse Rooster FigurineWalter Bosse Fish KeychainWalter Bosse Hellhound
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