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Steel spittoon, Iran, 1701-1900

Spitting was a common and socially acceptable habit in many countries, until the 1800s – when its connection with the spread of diseases such as tuberculosis (TB) was realised. Spittoons were used as containers for spit and could be found both inside and outside of public places and in private homes. This spittoon is made from steel inlaid with gold and probably belonged to a wealthy person. It has a perforated lid, which was removed when the spittoon was in use. This item was made in Persia (now known as Iran).

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Glossary: spittoon

Large containers serving as places to spit. Associated with chewing tobacco.