Chamber Pot (Bourdaloue)

Object Details

Title:

Chamber Pot (Bourdaloue)

Artist/Maker(s):

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

Culture:

French

Place(s):

Chantilly, France (Place created)

Date:

about 1740

Medium:

Soft-paste porcelain with polychrome enamel decoration

Dimensions:

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

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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.

Exhibitions
Paris: Life & Luxury (April 26, 2011 to January 2, 2012) (45)
  • 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