Yesterday's object, from the other side - nothing I could do about the nasty reflection! This is a bourdaloue, or lady's chamber pot, with the inscription inside, ‘Aux Plaisirs des Dames’. The Museum website reports:
"The gilt-bronze dragon mounts, floral swags and base and the gilded brass liner were made in the nineteenth century, and include cast pieces in a number of different styles, toned with gold to appear as though they match. The combination of these mismatched parts is an example of a dealer giving new life to a broken pot, adapting and piecing together parts to make a new and extraordinary creation.
'It is likely that Sir William Holburne bought the bourdaloue fully assembled, so he probably never saw the inscription that was hidden inside, and so never understood the original purpose of this pot', says Catrin Jones. 'Perhaps he used it as a plant pot – there are certainly examples of people mistaking a bourdaloue for a gravy boat!'
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