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

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) the slab bottom baby and 3) the T legs baby. With this new information, I thought it might be time to do an updated post. Here’s the latest list of the types of baby hedgehogs, or smallest hedgehog in the set of 6 hedgehog ashtrays, also known as a gluttöter.

 

Walter Bosse vintage brass hedgehog ashtray baby with X legs with black patina and polished gold highlights

Walter Bosse vintage brass hedgehog ashtray baby with X legs with black patina and polished gold highlights
  1. The most common baby is the X legs version. They are usually found in sets from the 1960s and 1970s. They have large drilled eyes and long rounded spines. The nose is wider and a little more flat. Overall they have a shorter height than the other baby versions.
Walter Bosse vintage brass hedgehog ashtray baby with fully formed legs with black patina and polished gold highlights
Walter Bosse vintage brass hedgehog ashtray baby with fully formed legs with black patina and polished gold highlights

2) The other most common baby is one with fully formed legs. They are often found in the earlier sets from the 1950s, but can also be found in the 1960s and even 1970s sets as well. They are characterized with 4 little stubby legs that protrude from the bottom of the hedgehog. The eyes are drilled, but often smaller. The spines are tall and rounded. The nose is more cone-shaped and pointed at the end. It has the tallest overall height because the longer legs give it some extra height.

Walter Bosse vintage brass hedgehog ashtray baby with slab legs with black patina and polished gold highlights

3) One of the lesser common baby hedgehogs is one we are calling “slab” bottom. They are often found in the later sets from the 1960s and have a fully flat and smooth base at the bottom of the hedgehog. The eyes are drilled larger. The spines are tall and rounded. The nose is more flat like the X legs baby. Overall it is most similar to the X legs baby, but with less detail.

Walter Bosse vintage brass hedgehog ashtray baby with slab legs with black patina and polished gold highlights

4) The least common baby is the the single bar leg baby. It is very similar to the X legs baby and has all the same attributes. Instead of being split into 4 leg segments, it is only split into 2 legs with a bar running perpendicularly through the middle. It shares all the attributes of an X legs baby.

Walter Bosse vintage brass hedgehog ashtray baby with T legs with black patina and polished gold highlights

5) Another version is the T legs baby, which is basically just a variation of the X legs. It is most likely the result of fill-in during the casting. Part of the sand mold with the carved portion of the legs collapsed and filled in with metal. So you only get 3 legs sections and not 4. We’re not sure if it is intentional or not, but it was not enough of a big deal for them to have taken it out of production.

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