The J. Paul Getty Museum

Chamber Pot (Bourdaloue)

Object Details


Chamber Pot (Bourdaloue)


Chantilly Porcelain Manufactory (French, active about 1725 - about 1792)




Chantilly, France (Place Created)


about 1740


Soft-paste porcelain with polychrome enamel decoration

Object Number:



9.8 × 19.7 × 11.7 cm (3 7/8 × 7 3/4 × 4 5/8 in.)

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Object Description

Oval chamber pots such as this one have been known since the 1700s as bourdaloues. Legend has it that these objects were named after the Jesuit priest Père Louis Bourdaloue, who preached at the court of Louis XIV. Bourdaloue's sermons were apparently so long that the ladies at court asked their maids to supply them with chamber pots so that they would not be forced to leave and miss any of his wisdom. Others guess that Bourdoloue himself needed the vessel during his own sermons as he suffered from the disease hypospadias.

This chamber pot has scrolling walls shaped like snail shells, while the handle with its flat thumb rest is formed and painted to resemble a twig. The painted flowers on the sides of the vessel resemble designs from Japanese porcelain. The Prince de Condé, owner of the Chantilly Manufactory, had a large collection of Japanese ceramics, which frequently inspired the factory's porcelain painters.


Wilfred J. Sainsbury (England), sold to Kate Foster, Ltd.
Source: Acquisitions proposal by Gillian Wilson, curator of decorative arts, February 18, 1982, in the files of the Sculpture and Decorative Arts Department, J. Paul Getty Museum.

- 1977

Kate Foster Ltd. (Rye, England), sold to Rosenberg & Stiebel, Inc.

1977 - 1982

Rosenberg & Stiebel, Inc. (New York City, New York), sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1982.

Paris: Life & Luxury (April 26, 2011 to January 2, 2012)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), April 26 to August 7, 2011
  • Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, September 18, 2011 to January 2, 2012
Exquisite Everyday: 18th-Century Decorative Arts Objects from the J. Paul Getty Museum (July 29 to October 15, 2016)
  • Pulitzer Arts Foundation (Saint Louis), July 29 to October 15, 2016

Rosenberg and Stiebel, Inc. European Works of Art (New York, 1978), p. 46.

Wilson, Gillian, Adrian Sassoon, and Charissa Bremer-David. "Acquisitions Made by the Department of Decorative Arts in 1982." The J. Paul Getty Museum Journal 11 (1983), pp. 36-38, no. 6, figs. 42-44, entry by Adrian Sassoon.

Sassoon, Adrian, and Gillian Wilson. Decorative Arts: A Handbook of the Collections of the J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1986), p. 70, no. 156, ill.

Bremer-David, Charissa, et al. Decorative Arts: An Illustrated Summary Catalogue of the Collections of the J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1993), p. 123, no. 206, ill.

Wilson, Gillian, and Catherine Hess. Summary Catalogue of European Decorative Arts in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2001), p. 105, no. 214, ill.

Bremer-David, Charissa, ed. Paris: Life & Luxury in the Eighteenth Century, exh. cat. (Los Angeles: The J. Paul Getty Museum, 2011), pp. 123-24, no. 45, ill.

Williams, Elizabeth, A., ed. Daily Pleasures: French Ceramics from the MaryLou Boone Collection, exh. cat. (Los Angeles: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 2012), p. 296, under no. 91, entry by Meredith Chilton.

Schenkenberg, Tamara H. Exquisite Everyday: 18th-Century Decorative Arts Objects from the J. Paul Getty Museum (St. Louis: Pulitzer Arts Foundation, 2016), pp. 9-10, 12, ill.