Title Image


Male urinal

N° inventaire: TR 980.1.4415 Categories: , , Tag:

• Date: 1925-1977

• Place of manufacture: Parant Glassworks, Trélon (Nord)

• Manufacturing technique: clear glass, blow-mould process

• Dimensions: H : 13,5 ; l : 28,2 ; P : 10,1

• Collection: Coll. Ecomusée de l’Avesnois

• Credit: © Lucie Nicolas / Ecomusée de l’Avesnois


Uroscopy was a common medical practice up to the seventeenth century. It was based on the ancient idea of the four humours which derived from the four fundamental elements of water, air, fire and earth. Urinals or urine bottles were for a long time associated with the figure of a doctor examining a patient’s urine and even became the symbol of the patron saints of physicians: Saint Damian and Saint Cosmas. The marked interest for this amber yellow liquid, which was much prized by alchemists for its gold-like colour, began to wane in the course of the nineteenth century with the development of hygiene and a growing repugnance at the idea of seeing excrement.