Chamber pot (vaso de noche)

about 1850

Place Depicted: Bolivia


Overall: 16.5 x 28 x 21 cm (6 1/2 x 11 x 8 1/4 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View




Silver hollowware

The large raised vessel has a tall applied foot ring and a wide base that swells outward before curving sharply inward and ending in an everted horizontal rim. Stamped and beaded decoration has been applied to the rim, and the handle displays stamped and engraved foliate decoration.

This chamber pot displays a classic squat form that was used in Europe and America, where it was commonly made of ceramic or a base metal such as pewter. Clearly, the preponderance of silver in this region explains the use of a precious metal for such a humble vessel. The stylized floral decoration on the handle is similar to that commonly found on flatware made in the Peruvian highlands.

This text has been adapted from “Silver of the Americas, 1600-2000,” edited by Jeannine Falino and Gerald W.R. Ward, published in 2008 by the MFA. Complete references can be found in that publication.


“A A” in script stamped on underside.




April 14, 1975, sold by Alphonse Jax (dealer), New York, to Landon T. Clay, Boston [see note]; 2001, year-end gift of Landon T. Clay to the MFA. (Accession Date: January 23, 2002)

NOTE: According to Alphonse Jax at the time of the sale, this entered the United States from Argentina and was cleared by U.S. Customs on April 7, 1975 (first lent to the MFA on August 5, 1975). The donor, however, later recalled that he purchased it from the Edward Merrin Gallery, New York.

Credit Line

Gift of Landon T. Clay