Whilst having a chair with a hinged seat under which a chamber pot resides was at times most “commodus”, the commode this lecture refers to served a primarily decorative purpose. As Sheraton put it, commodes were “…never intended for use but for ornament.” – not an attribute of that other item we call a commode! This lectures traces the origin, purpose and social significance of what were highly fashionable and often beautifully decorated pieces of furniture in the 18th century drawing rooms of both country and town houses. A study of them provides an insight into “the politer way of living” of that time.

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