Commode, Europe, 1831-1900

Made:
1831-1900 in Europe
maker:
Unknown
Table commode, mid to late 19th century. High three quarter view. Black background.

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Table commode, mid to late 19th century. High three quarter view. Black background.
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Table commode, mid-late 19th century

With the lid shut, this object looks like a piece of ordinary household furniture. In fact it is a discreetly disguised toilet called a commode. The lid reveals a seat, underneath which a chamber pot would have been placed and emptied after use.

It is unclear what the metal container in the lid is for. Most likely it was a container for toilet paper or perhaps a ‘sliding’ – an antiseptic powder box. The commode would have been owned by a wealthy family for use by an elderly or sick relative, or it may have been used in a hospital.

Details

Category:
Public Health & Hygiene
Object Number:
A602092
Materials:
brass (copper, zinc alloy), complete, iron and wood (unidentified)
Measurements:
undefined
overall - as displayed: 755 mm x 434 mm x 675 mm,
type:
commode
taxonomy:
  • furnishing and equipment
  • furnishing - artefact
  • furniture
  • seating furniture
  • chair
  • commode chair
  • furnishing and equipment
  • container - receptacle
credit:
Foster