The perception of Victorian women as prim and proper paragons of manners and deportment, suffers somewhat when one encounters a porcelain lady’s spittoon from that era. Such an item did not grace every Victorian parlour, but the fact that they were produced commercially, even by Limoges, indicates there was more than slight demand for such utensils, even in better class homes.
The makers mark, at left, was used by Bawo & Dotter at their Fischem, Austria, factory from 1884 until the factory closed in 1913.
Without access to the factory production records, it is not possible to determine when production of lady’s spittoons commenced, how long it continued, or the volume produced.
Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, the original owner and history of use of this specimen is unknown; the spittoon is in perfect condition and may never have been used, but it does conjure up an image of some one’s great-grandmother, or great-great aunt, industriously engaged in her needle-work while expertly expectorating tobacco juice.