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Portable Shower Bath

Reference
80482
Height
85" (216 cm)
Width
29 1/4" (74 cm)
Depth
21 1/4" (54 cm)
This japanned tin Portable Shower Bath is painted to resemble a panelled light wood and is very similar to the example illustrated in British Campaign Furniture by Brawer.

As can be seen it is made to completely pack down within the base section which has carrying handles. The pillars are made in 3 sections. All except one are painted pine with a tin middle section. The other also dismantles into 3 but is a brass pipe and allows you to either recycle the water by the pump or drain it through the tap. The pillars are in the style of bamboo poles with the raised ring joints adding to the illusion. The pump handle is made of rosewood and has a simple elegance in its turning. The tap is stamped Hickman. This shower is lucky to retain its original blue and white ticking curtain and it is fitted to the top and bottom around a square formed of wire. The smaller top wire fits into clips fixed to the reservoir tank at the top of the shower, while the bottom simply hangs in the base section. The base section has a false bottom with a low reservoir below that the water drains into, from where it can be pumped back up to be re-used.

It is likely that it adheres to Feetham's Patent of 1822. It is probable that a few companies made such portable showers and certainly it is known that J.H. Hopkins & Son, Wholesale Tin Plate Workers and Japanners of Birmingham did as round ones were illustrated in their 1862 catalogue. It is also known that a shower with a deal panelled case was auctioned in Covent Garden in 1841. The deal case could of course be faux and the auctioned shower an example similar to this one. It is probable that such showers were made throughout most of the 19th Century but few have survived. Mid 19th century.
Height
85" (216 cm)
Width
29 1/4" (74 cm)
Depth
21 1/4" (54 cm)
Period
Mid 19th Century
Medium
Japanned Tin
Origin
England
Exhibitions
First Class Travel