Wednesday 4 March 2020

18th Century commode in the form of a book

Whether they were originally made as a whimsical statement or in fact as a utilitarian portable convenience, there's no denying that a "book" toilet is a facility lacking in the homes of most modern book collectors. This situation can be relieved by the addition of this fine example, no doubt Continental in origin (they were all the rage in France). This example is constructed of wood and features hand-forged iron hinges, clasps, latches and nails. In its "resting" configuration, it appears to be a folio-sized book (19.75 x 14.75, 501 x 375 mm.) with lavishly decorated leather covered boards and a red morocco spine label bearing the appropriate title "Historia Universalis". But with some unclasping and skillful assembly of the component parts, there suddenly appears a 20 x 18 x 14.5 inch stool with the necessary hole. The stool would have concealed the more traditional bowl. This example remains in functional condition with some wear to the exterior leather covering and thankfully little or no sign of wear to the interior. 
Heritage Auctions


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