Van Schijndel 'Kisses!' urinal draws adoration and controversy in San Francisco

We couldn't let this unique collectible pass without comment: a rare Art Deco piece which has inspired reactions ranging from giddy adoration to planned public protests.

The collectible in question is a "Kisses!" urinal by Meike van Schijndel, the Dutch designer whose works aim to find innovative ways to reimagine the objects we use every day.

The designer stopped off in San Francisco's Bay Area, last week (Wednesday 11), as she embarks on an international tour to "get inspired" for her next wave of fun bathroom creations. 

The Kisses urinal
A 'Kisses!' urinal by the Dutch designer Meike van Schijndel

According to the website of Van Schijndel's company Bathroom-Mania!, an installation of the Kisses! urinals at a McDonalds restaurant in the Netherlands angered an American tourist so much they complained to the US headquarters of the Golden Arches. The toilets were later removed.

Elsewhere, the planned installation of the urinals in the Virgin Atlantic VIP lounge at JFK in 2004 drew a flush of complaints from women's rights organisations, and forced a rethink of the bathroom's design.

Unique urinals are an under-reported niche in the collectors' markets.

Past auction successes have included the sale of John Lennon's toilet from his home in Tittenhurst Park, Berkshire, the Beatle's final home between 1969-1971 before he moved to New York.

John Lennon's toilet is among the unusual celebrity urinals to
have sold for impressive sums on the auction block

The toilet was among 295 lots of Fab Four memorabilia sold by the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts in August 2010. In the end, it brought $14,500 - one of a number of unusual Lennon collectibles to have emerged for sale including the singer's tooth and even his used bedsheets.

Also of note was the appearance of a "J.D. Salinger PERSONALLY OWNED & USED Toilet Commode" which appeared on eBay with a $1,000,000 estimate, also in August 2010.

The toilet from 1962 appeared for sale with an authenticating letter by Joan Littlefield, the new owner of the famously-reclusive The Catcher in the Rye author's house.

And who can forget the most famous collectible toilet of them all: Marcel Duchamp's 1917 artwork Fountain? The urinal is signed "R Mutt" and is among the pieces the artist termed "readymades".

Famous Fountain: a replica of Marcel Duchamp's famous 'readymade' artwork

It is today regarded by some as a major landmark in 20th century art, and artist-allowed replicas have sold for huge sums at auction. Among these was the sale of one of the eight 1964 replicas of Fountain for $1.7 million at Sotheby's. The auction took place in November 1999.

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