Piece in the shape of a chamber pot representing John Bull, a typical figure alluding to Englishmen. His depiction as a chamber pot reveals Rafael Bordalo Pinheiro’s anti-British stance resulting from the British Ultimatum of 1890, when the British disputed the Portuguese control of the African territories between Angola and Mozambique, causing great indignation in many sectors of Portuguese society.
The figure of John Bull, beyond his presence in ceramic work, frequently appeared in the pages of the artist’s periodicals, mostly in drawings with a strongly critical tone. At the end of the 19th century, different figurine types were created, alluding to various countries, such as the French Monsieur and Madame Prudhomme, the American Uncle Sam, the Brazilian Arola and of course the Portuguese Zé Povinho and Maria da Paciência.
This piece was presented to the museum by the cabinetmaker and builder Frederico Augusto Ribeiro, friend and collaborator of Rafael Bordalo Pinheiro.