Monday, July 18, 2022


A friend's Facebook post for some reason which escapes me now reminded me of the old-style under the bed Chinese urine bottle. Several of which were on a shelf in a tourist shop in Chinatown, where the sales girl had no idea what they were and haphazardly guessed that they were some kind of teapot. I am charmed by the idea of a Midwestern family buying one of those for that purpose. Somewhat horrified too, but still charmed. It's a priceless artifact.
And so exotic!
Original photo taken by John Hill 2014

You will notice that the example above has a celadon glaze (青瓷 'cheng chi'; 青瓷琉璃 'cheng chi lau lei'). So it was fired at least at 1,260 °C (2,300 °F), probably somewhat higher. Iron oxide, reducing atmosphere kiln.

I've never actually seen the one in my illustration above (it's in a museum), and the ones in the Chinatown shop were simply coarse pottery, far more recently made. Exactly the type that occured in one short scene in a Hong Kong movie which I cannot remember.
But this version looks more elegant.

Still, what's obvious is that people have needed to get up in the middle of the night to obey nature's call for ages, and the central heating might be out, or there are ghosts between here and the loo, or the pressure is just too great ......

Chamber pots are a thing of the past in most of the developed world.
Perhaps not England, where the heating is alway out.
And the entire place is a haunted house.

Probably a result of all that tea.
It makes things happen.

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