Feature 5 – Sanitary

Section 8 Feature 5 Chamber Pots
Sampling of chamber pots (C-0560; Cat # 8.57.18, 8.58.8; C-0567).

While most of the recovered ceramics were made for use on the dining table or in the kitchen, four of the vessels would have most likely been positioned discreetly in the bed chamber (C-0560, C-0567, C-0568, Cat # 8.57.18, 8.58.8). The pots were probably kept under the bed or on a low shelf in the washstand of each bed chamber. These vessels were called chamber pots—they were used when “nature called” during the night or in bad weather to avoid the trip outside to the privy. Although none of the pots have a manufacturer’s mark, all four of the chamber pots were made of refined white earthenware in English potteries. Three of the vessels are undecorated; the fourth one, represented by rim and body fragments, is decorated with a blue printed pattern. The printed design is a distinctive landscape featuring a Far Eastern architectural style similar to the scene depicted on willowware. The central motif and rim design match the “Amoy” pattern manufactured by William Ridgway from circa 1830–1834. 1 Not surprisingly, once indoor plumbing was available, many people discarded their old chamber pots into the abandoned privy with other household trash.


  1. Petra Williams, Staffordshire Romantic Transfer Patterns (Jeffersontown, KY: Fountain House East, 1978), 90.