$55 ‘antique fruit bowl’ sold on Amazon is actually a chamber pot


Don’t be duped by this doo-doo pot.

An Amazon seller was caught reportedly hawking $55 “antique Chinese fruit bowls” that are actually replicas of traditional chamber pots, or spittoons, which were used as mobile potties before indoor plumbing was common, and continue to serve as training toilets for children.

Global Times reported that the vessels were being sold to customers in Asia for approximately 10 times their typical price of 28 yuan — about $4.30 — on Chinese e-commerce sites.

“US$60? I can’t believe my childhood potty is more valuable than I am,” said one shopper on Weibo, according to Straits Times.

The enamel bowl in question, which has since been removed from Amazon.com, features a “large storage space [that] can store any fruit,” according to the listing description. The description claimed the vessel was suitable for a variety of uses, including as an ice bucket or decorative ware — but not as a chamber pot.

traditional Chinese chamber pot featuring red and gold flowers against a blue and white shaded background
The vessels were being sold for approximately 10 times their typical price of 28 yuan — about $4.30 — on Chinese e-commerce sites.
Taobao.com
The pots have since been removed from Amazon.com.

The seller also suggested giving this piece of “traditional Chinese culture” to loved ones as the “beautiful” urn depicts colorful Mandarin ducks, which symbolize love and affection, and the Chinese script for the phrase “double happiness.”

The listing went viral on Asian social-media sites, according to Global Times, alongside the hashtag “other ways a spittoon is used,” garnering some 50 million impressions on Weibo.

“I hope no one from other countries ever buys this ‘basket’ and sends it as a gift to their Chinese friends, because no Chinese people would feel happy if they see a delicately packed spittoon with fruits in it,” read one comment on the Chinese microblogging site.

Others were more open-minded. “It is actually interesting to see how things can be used differently in other cultures,” one said. “As long as the buyers like it, it shouldn’t matter [what] it is ‘originally’ used for.”



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