What Is It #17


This is a ceramic spittoon. Google identifies it as made by the American Bennington Pottery Co. probably in late 1800’s.

During those times much of the consumed tobacco was done by chewing. This habit generated a lot of saliva and either it went on the floor or into a spittoon which were present in all bars, cafes, offices etc.

The lowest level employee was tasked with emptying, washing and/or polishing them. Note the side hole used for emptying it. Chewing tobacco went out of style, for health reasons during the 1918 flu epidemic and also due to the introduction of cigarettes which was more socially acceptable. Some porcelain open top ones are used today as salad bowls.

Ours is a planter.



(Editor’s note: Palisades resident Howard Yonet has an interesting collection of curios from around the world and with his permission, Circling the News is publishing one a week. About the collector: Dr. Howard Yonet was born in Brooklyn in 1934 and attended Brooklyn College. He went to Baylor Medical School and then returned to do an internship at Bellevue Hospital. Yonet completed his residency at the Manhattan V.A. and the Montefiore Hospital. During this time he went skiing in Vermont and the Catskills, and while traveling found barns filled with early American pieces. This led to his interest in American Antiques.

In 1965, he married Daniele, who was originally from Nancy, France. During the Vietnam War, Yonet was drafted as a medical officer and stationed in Landstuhl, Germany (1966-1969). This was close to the French border, which meant he and Daniele and could visit her family.

While abroad, the Yonets took weekend trips through France and Italy, purchasing many interesting pieces at flea markets.

The family settled in Pacific Palisades in 1970 and Yonet practiced general radiology until 2006. He continued to acquire antiques and collectables at estate and garage sales and the Salvation Army Store. He also enjoyed looking for collectibles while traveling in Montana, Idaho, Colorado and Massachusetts. Daniele’s family helped add to his collection.)








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One Response to What Is It #17

  1. M says:

    UGH! PHEW!!! But, interesting never the less….

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