Histoire des Pays Bas.
- Author: Lavatory Humour
- Publication place: France
- Publication date: c1750
- Physical description: Folio (457 by 330mm). Portable oak close stool, folding into eighteenth century kaki paneled calf, gilt, brass clasps and catches.
- Inventory reference: 15136
No. 1: The travelling bibliophile will never be inconvenienced again, with this portable potty. Discreetly concealed within the bowels of a corpulent tome, the covers ease open to reveal a comfortable commode beneath which a porcelain chamber pot may be placed.
No. 2: Also suitable for the relief of the armchair traveler, flushed with success, who wishes to never leave the comfort of their library.
Going on the go, into a receptacle designed for purpose, was invented by the Ancient Greeks, and the earliest ‘ourane’ is dated to the sixth century BC. Concealing the chamber pot, within a commode or closet, however, is a relatively recent nicety; both fashionable and practical until the invention of the water closet by Alexander Cummings in 1775 – based on a design created by Elizabethan Sir John Harrington. Samuel Prosser applied for and received the first patent for a ‘plunger closet’ in 1777. Thomas Crapper (c1836-1910) has often been credited with the invention of the flushing lavatory,… but even though he was an esteemed plumber in his day, this particular piece of urban legend would appear to a pile of…
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