Pentagonal close stool or pot commode with hinged, astragal-molded lid, veneered front with three false drawers marked out by applied beading, a coved base molding, and straight bracket feet with cusped ogee knee brackets. Each of the false drawer fronts features a brass-lined, false keyhole and a single brass pull at center. Lifting the lid reveals a removable upper shelf with a circular cover set within a circular cut-out. The cover has inscribed concentric rings around the top and a handle carved from the well at center. The upper shelf and lid fit on top of a white chamber pot with an iron handle, which is in turn fitted into the circular cut-out of the fixed lower shelf. The tapered pot is in the form of a white, tapered, cylindrical pot with a wide collar, channeled on top, with an iron, wire handle inserted into it, and a flat base.

Case Construction:
The lid is constructed from two boards, one narrow and one wide, hinged to the case on the proper right back side. Three, plugged holes are visible on the underside of the lid. The case is dovetailed together; those at the back joint are visible, the others are hidden by veneer on the front and glue blocks from behind. At each interior corner, a series of short, vertical glue blocks supports the join (those at the back are missing). The first shelf is glued inside the case near the top and is secured with a series of horizontal glue blocks above and below it. The upper shelf or cover rests on top of the upper glue blocks. A triangular shelf with a circular hole drilled at its center and now plugged is fitted into the back corner of the case at the level of the upper shelf. The base molding is glued to the lower edge of the case sides. The bracket feet are glued to the underside of the molding and have a three-part support consisting of two horizontal glue blocks and a single, quarter-round vertical glue block. The horizontal blocks are shaped to a point along their center backs and chamfered on one end.

Condition Notes:
There is a square wooden patch inserted in the underside of the lid near the back hinge. The proper right front joint of the case separated in 2008 and was repaired by conservator Tom Snyder in 2009. He also reattached the previously repaired proper right front foot. For the full treatment report, see the Curatorial File.


c. 1750



Mahogany (primary), unidentified softwood (shelves and supporting glue blocks), oak (cover, case glue blocks), brass, lead-glazed earthenware, iron


Overall (H x W x D): 17 in. x 19 1/2 in. x 17 1/2 in. (43.18 cm x 49.53 cm x 44.45 cm)

Credit Line

Gift: Jess and Grace Pavey Fund, 2004

Object Number


Colors (Beta)

Mount Vernon's object research is ongoing and information about this object is subject to change. For information on image use and reproductions, click here.
Buy Tickets What to Do Calendar Shop Restaurant Support Membership
Estate Hours

9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

iconDirections & Parking
buy tickets online & save