Monday, 19 September 2011

Freeze Frame that WC

On my hunt for bogettes of distinction, a certain 1980's repro Dolphin-themed model appeared time and time again. I couldn't make up my mind if I liked the somewhat-overpowering design or not. It was certainly fun, but was it authentically Victorian?

1980's repro
However, one evening as I was watching the delightful Lucy Worsley present the history of the bathroom (part of the documentary series "If Walls Could Talk"), I spotted the self-same loo in a museum of the WC that she was visiting. See bottom right in the freeze-frame below.

Victorian original (bottom right)

You will, at one stroke, be overawed by the sharpness of my porcelainic observation and appalled at the utter sadness of one who freeze-frames said items. Personal tragedies aside, what do make of this loo? Is it a bad sign or a blessing that so many appear to be on the market? Feedback welcome.


  1. Far be it from anyone’s interest in bogware, Victorian or otherwise. Beside I was always under the impression that the Victorians did not believe in bodily functions.
    You might like to check out any local schools that have closed. You might find some design icons in terms of sanitary ware.

  2. Thanks Neil, I have some sinks from a demolished Dundee primary school, but bogettes are much harder to source. A Victorian stately home (seemingly no matter how large) would have one WC per floor. This is a far cry from modern expectations - no wonder period porcelain is in short supply. WC's would also be cemented in - so intact extraction is rare. And indeed reconditioning may not be pleasant. I talked to a plumber recently - no-one will mend a macerator! :-) Anyhow, I'll keep my ears open ....

  3. Aghhhhhhh!!! A short sit here might lessen the impact of your recently acquired and highly ornate white marble fireplace statuettes - for the castle`s Victorian kitchen. Slight hope that you`re at least seeking opinions from others. But in the absence of the great late William Burns, maybe better to consult Balintore castle`s current architect in charge, rather than we blog readers?!

  4. You concern is unfounded Helen, as you will be delighted to know I have already consulted with the architect on cetaceanic cisterns.

  5. Beam me up too, Scotty! :))
    As a woman who willingly plunges my hand into the castle`s current toilet bowl to rescue frogs, I will also defend dolphins against similar terrible indignity! (Red herring story in absence of "restoration-to-be" news - telling Brenda, a late older friend, about swimming with dolphins in The Red Sea:
    Brenda: "I`ve always wanted to swim wit dolphins". "Oh! Can you swim Brenda"? "No luv..but the dolphins would look after me".
    :) for wise and gentle Brenda!
    Such special creatures, dolphins and horses are used to facilitate communication with and from autistic spectrum children and adults. There`s a link to details of `Horse Boy` methods for the spectrum, and some fantastic visual treats! at

  6. I was once offered a gorgeous blue and white decorated one, Victorian, in the South of France but there was no way I could take it home ! AND it was for free, so frustrating. I love these dolphin themed fittings, they are the fun side of Victoriana!