unknownRepublic of Korea/Joseon Dynasty

National Folk Museum of Korea

National Folk Museum of Korea
Seoul, South Korea

This is an indoor sanitary vessel into which people spit their phlegm or saliva, also called a spit pot (唾壺), saliva and phlegm pot (唾痰壺), spit bowl (唾盂), phlegm bowl (痰盂), or phlegm jar. In a traditional house where sanitary facilities such as the toilet are separately located outdoors, a spittoon was an indoor necessity, especially for the elderly with restricted mobility. It was widely used since hacking cough was a common disease among the elderly. Spittoons varied in shape depending on the material, and are generally designed with a wide mouth and bottom, with a slim waist for an easy grip. Spittoons were made from various materials, generally brass or ceramics. The spittoon shown here is made of brass – a vase-like vessel with a long neck and a bowl with a lid attached to the top. The lidded bowl has a narrow bottom and a wide mouth, and is fit into the neck of the vase-like vessel. The center of the lid is fit with a knob, and a low foot is attached to the bottom.


  • Title: Spittoon
  • Creator: unknown
  • Date Created: Republic of Korea/Joseon Dynasty
  • Location: 한국
  • Physical Dimensions: Overall height 15 Mouth diameter 10 Base diameter 7.4
  • Type: Housing/Daily Supplies/Family Heirloom Item/Sanitary Appliances/Spittoon
  • Medium: Metal/Copper alloys

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