Chamber Pot, 1815-1817

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Following the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, the British government provided the defeated French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte with a retirement home called New Longwood House on the island of St. Helena and employed the sculptor and cabinetmaker George Bullock to design most of the furnishings. Nothing seems to have escaped Bullock’s attention, including the toothbrush holder, soap dish, ewer and basin which would have been en suite with this Grecian krater-shaped pot as part of Napoleon’s chamber set.

As the laurel wreath decoration within the Pompeian red border is traditionally associated with the victor rather than the vanquished, the chamber set never saw service on St. Helena. Rather, it spent all of its useful life in an English country house called Tew Park in Oxfordshire. Bullock ordered ceramics from several factories for the St. Helena commission; so the basin may have been manufactured by Wedgwood, Derby, Spode, or the Herculaneum Pottery in Liverpool.

Chamber Pot
Artist Life
died 1818
Accession Number
Curator Approved

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