Spittoon, England, 1801-1810

Made:
1801-1810 in England
maker:
Spode

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Spittoon, blue and white, c. 1805, Spode. Graduated black background.
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Spittoon, blue and white, c. 1805, Spode. SCM - Public Health & Hygiene Spitting was a common and socially acceptable
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Spittoon, blue and white, c. 1805, Spode

Spitting was a common and socially acceptable habit in Europe until the 1800s. Pottery spittoons like this one were used as containers for spit and could be found both inside and outside of public places, such as inns and public houses.

From the late 1800s, spitting was discouraged as it was realised that the habit could spread potentially fatal diseases. These included tuberculosis, or consumption as it was then known, one of the biggest killers of the period. This glazed ceramic spittoon has a blue and white ‘tower’ transfer design and is marked underneath with the maker’s name, Spode.

Details

Category:
Public Health & Hygiene
Object Number:
A600106
type:
spittoon
taxonomy:
  • furnishing and equipment
  • container - receptacle
credit:
Wellcome
status:
Loan: Wellcome Trust

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