Victorian Turkish Baths Picture of the Month for November 2008

Cabinet Turkish Bath, 1870s:
The Dew Collection, The Oxfordshire Museum

Dew Collection Cabinet bath

This beautiful bath dating from the 1870s was fitted with a book rest and two holes to allow left- or right-handed bathers to turn the page when required. While the cabinet bath was a boon to anyone living in an area without a Turkish bath establishment, it was also suggested as a solution for 'sensitive people' for whom 'the idea of taking the bath in company with several others, is by no means pleasant.' 1

The bath was supplied with a two-sided hanging card with instructions on how it should be used.

Hanging card: obverse

< Image: reduced from hanging card (377x270 mm) courtesy Oxfordshire Museum

Cabinet card

   < Image: reduced from hanging card (377x270 mm) courtesy Oxfordshire Museum

The bath was economical to run, 'not costing more than a penny for each bath; no assistance is required in using it; the apparatus is quite portable, and being [unusually] fixed on castors is readily moved, and it is an ornament to a bed, bath, or dressing-room.'

A more comprehensive illustrated account of portable Turkish baths can be found elsewhere on the site.

Thank you icon


Carol Anderson Curator, The Oxfordshire Museum, for permission to reproduce their items

Phil Platt , The Museums Resource Centre, for his help while viewing the cabinet

This page also enlarges an image or adds to the information found below:

The Retreat, York

Top of the page

Pictures of the month archive


Victorian Turkish Baths: their origin, development, and gradual decline

Home pageSite mapSearch the site

Comments and queries are most welcome and can be sent to:
The right of Malcolm Shifrin to be identified as the author of this work
has been asserted by him in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988

  Malcolm Shifrin, 1991-2023

  1. 'Hot-air or Turkish bath for every house'     North Wales Chronicle   (26 May 1877)     [return]