That's one way to get flush
September 14, 2019 10:55 AM   Subscribe

 
Please please please let this be an art performance pierce, and the golden toilet will be found on the roof of some importante wanker.
posted by thegirlwiththehat at 11:04 AM on September 14, 2019 [11 favorites]


You get three minutes alone in the wood-panelled chamber. How does it feel to urinate on gold? Much like peeing on porcelain. But here, among all the photos of young Winston, it also feels like pissing on British history. If you squint, the yellow bowl might even remind you of our current, would-be Churchillian prime minister’s golden hair.
(From the Guardian’s review of the installations)
posted by bitteschoen at 11:09 AM on September 14, 2019 [3 favorites]


It is a working toilet, yes, but is it a working conceptual sculpture?
posted by thelonius at 11:11 AM on September 14, 2019 [2 favorites]


Well, that's one way to take the piss.
posted by loquacious at 11:15 AM on September 14, 2019 [4 favorites]


That's some heavy supervillain shit right there.

Absolutely potty!
posted by cstross at 11:19 AM on September 14, 2019 [1 favorite]




A stolen gold toilet is even more "America" than a not-stolen gold toilet. The display should just be replaced with a note to the effect that somebody with a lot of money has the toilet now, and regular people don't get to see it.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 11:29 AM on September 14, 2019 [51 favorites]


My extended family's greatest treasure isn't land, or money, or even love.

It's a joke, the punch-line of which is:

"Hey Hector! Here's the guy who squeezed one off in your tuba last night!"
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 11:31 AM on September 14, 2019 [6 favorites]


"A solid 18 karat gold toilet". Good lord, what does that thing weigh? Gothamist says it's 70-120 pounds, but that's the weight of an average toilet. This toilet is made out of something that's about 7 times denser than porcelain, so I'm guessing 500-800 pounds. At $1100 / troy ounce 500 ordinary pounds of 18k gold is worth about $8M.
posted by Nelson at 11:33 AM on September 14, 2019 [3 favorites]


A stolen gold toilet is even more "America" than a not-stolen gold toilet. The display should just be replaced with a note to the effect that somebody with a lot of money has the toilet now, and regular people don't get to see it.

I'd like it to be replaced with a ceramic toilet that's been fixed badly using ramen noodles and then painted gold, which is also called "America".
posted by 23skidoo at 11:43 AM on September 14, 2019 [15 favorites]


amused at Blenheim security and pissed for poor form.
posted by clavdivs at 11:44 AM on September 14, 2019 [1 favorite]


I doubt that it's solid gold.

But if I was going to look for it, I'd probably start looking where boorish assholes who like gauche gold-plated trash hang out.
posted by klanawa at 11:46 AM on September 14, 2019 [10 favorites]


Has anyone checked the White House?
posted by vicusofrecirculation at 11:56 AM on September 14, 2019 [13 favorites]


I doubt that it's solid gold.

It is most definitely solid gold. That’s been in every news piece about it ever since it was unveiled to the public. It’s supposed to be worth several millions of dollars.

And yeah it must have been really heavy to carry, but if it was brought in it means it was possible to take it out too.

I like to think Cattelan will be delighted that it was stolen, it’s a genius twist he could not have planned for himself. This theft is a piece of art too.
posted by bitteschoen at 12:05 PM on September 14, 2019 [7 favorites]


I like to think Cattelan will be delighted that it was stolen

Maybe. But this isn't like the theft of a painting where it might eventually resurface. If it was truly theft, not some prank, then this particular art piece has a date with a band saw and a furnace, most likely.
posted by ryanrs at 12:13 PM on September 14, 2019 [14 favorites]


Metafilter: this particular art piece has a date with a band saw and a furnace, most likely.
posted by CynicalKnight at 12:23 PM on September 14, 2019 [4 favorites]


If it turns out that the toilet was a fake and was only layered with gold, bonus points to the artist. What's more American than lying about the contents and pretend wealth?
posted by benzenedream at 12:34 PM on September 14, 2019 [16 favorites]


What's more American than lying about the contents and pretend wealth?
Except this is a work by an Italian artist, stolen from an English exposition? I mean, you're right, but it seems irrelevant here.
posted by Aardvark Cheeselog at 12:39 PM on September 14, 2019 [1 favorite]


It is most definitely solid gold.

Nelson says it's only 18 karet, which is the same as 'solid gold' to a lot of people, but that would actually make it only 3/4 gold.
posted by Rash at 12:42 PM on September 14, 2019 [2 favorites]


Am I the only one who read the first line of this post in the style of Allen Ginsberg?
posted by btfreek at 12:58 PM on September 14, 2019 [3 favorites]


> that's the weight of an average toilet. This toilet is made out of something that's about 7 times denser than porcelain, so I'm guessing 500-800 pounds.

There is nothing better on a pleasant Mefi Saturday afternoon than rounding up a squabble out the exact weight of a solid-gold toilet, so here we go.

First off, the toilet it was replicating was a Kohler commercial low-flow toilet which only has the "bottom" half of the fixture. So something like this.

Per that reference, the actual weight of the Kohler fixture is 50 pounds.

Second, it is solid gold in the sense of "made with nothing but 100% 18K gold".

But it is not necessarily solid in the sense of being one giant 100% solid chunk of metal with no voids inside.

The vitreous china toilet has a lot of voids inside--where the water flows and potentially elsewhere.

Gold has very different properties than vitreous china, so I'm pretty sure you can make a sturdy 100% gold toilet that looks and works exactly like the Kohler fixture without necessarily using the same volume of gold that Kohler uses of vitreous china.

In short you can pretty certainly leave more voids and make various walls thinner.

Even if it "only" weighs in at 100 pounds, it's still worth around $1.5 million at current gold prices, or at 140 pounds in the $2 million range. Which (when adding that it has some amount of artistic value on top of that) fits exactly with the museum's vague description of "worth millions".

Speaking of gold-plated toilets and the 0.1%, however: You can have this one for a cool $11,700.
posted by flug at 12:59 PM on September 14, 2019 [24 favorites]


Except this is a work by an Italian artist, stolen from an English exposition? I mean, you're right, but it seems irrelevant here.

A solid 18-karat gold toilet, titled “America”
posted by benzenedream at 1:12 PM on September 14, 2019 [15 favorites]


I'm a former plumber and I highly doubt that toilet is really solid gold. Maybe, MAYBE just the part that would be made of china in a normal toilet is, and the seat too if it's immobile, but the flush valve and the closet bolt caps are definitely just gold plated, and if you're going to gold plate part of it I'm naturally going to wonder if you're gold plating the whole thing.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 1:23 PM on September 14, 2019 [5 favorites]


Someone somewhere is finally putting all doubts to rest. Such a pity we will probably never hear about their discoveries.
posted by lesbiassparrow at 2:03 PM on September 14, 2019 [2 favorites]


Tankless stainless toilets weight about 15KG sans flush valve. Pure gold is about 2.5 times as dense as steel. So directly translated a pure gold toilet would weigh about 80-85 lbs but actually less because whatever they are alloying with is going to weigh less. But it'll actually weigh more becasue gold isn't as strong as steel so you'd have to make the walls thicker.

Which is all academic because the article says the toilet massed 103 kg.
“If they had a refinery or gold smelting equipment ready, it could be melted into gold bars in days and there would be no way to trace them.
Note that this equipment could be as simple as a hammer, cold chisel, tin snips, muffin tins and an ocy/acetylene torch. Getting sellable ingots isn't high tech work.
posted by Mitheral at 2:04 PM on September 14, 2019 [6 favorites]


I'm a former plumber and I highly doubt that toilet is really solid gold. Maybe, MAYBE just the part that would be made of china in a normal toilet is, and the seat too if it's immobile, but the flush valve and the closet bolt caps are definitely just gold plated

Not that I doubt you, but more because you have technical experience in the matter:

Why would the flush valve and the closet bolt caps definitely be gold-plated?
posted by 23skidoo at 2:16 PM on September 14, 2019


Which is all academic because the article says the toilet massed 103 kg.

So it does, how'd I miss that? Damn, it's so much more fun to speculate on how much a solid gold toilet might weigh. I love the idea that it might look like a porcelain toilet but be constructed more like a steel toilet.

103kg, you could practically walk out with it under your coat.
posted by Nelson at 2:36 PM on September 14, 2019


I can't wait to poop in that thing on a stolen yacht.
posted by Burhanistan at 3:16 PM on September 14, 2019 [1 favorite]


“Hey Hector! Here's the guy who squeezed one off in your tuba last night!"
palmcorder_yajna, don’t hold out on us
posted by a halcyon day at 3:34 PM on September 14, 2019


palmcorder_yajna - the version of that punchline my family have inherited is "Hector! This is the insect who tinkled in your tuba!". Are we perhaps related?
posted by Fuchsoid at 4:43 PM on September 14, 2019 [1 favorite]


"Right"

-Micheal Caine.

In any conceptual crime, symbol is the first but not only key to understanding motive.
Conceptual art is tricky, like Degas Bronze.
The symbol is the LUTZ. It's an LOL job.
Or some tourist with two rings of Chubb blanks got lucky.
posted by clavdivs at 4:43 PM on September 14, 2019 [2 favorites]


At least this is not a bog standard story.
posted by srboisvert at 5:17 PM on September 14, 2019 [1 favorite]


A solid 18K gold toilet would be better titled “European History.”

The “America” toilet should be electroplated. And equipped with a bill validator.
posted by snuffleupagus at 5:29 PM on September 14, 2019 [1 favorite]


Has anyone checked the White House?
posted by vicusofrecirculation at 13:56 on September 14


A COMMODIOUS vicus of recirculation. I am on to you.

commodious (adj) (made up alternate def): of or pertaining to a commode
posted by jjray at 6:03 PM on September 14, 2019 [4 favorites]


Note that this equipment could be as simple as a hammer, cold chisel, tin snips, muffin tins and an ocy/acetylene torch. Getting sellable ingots isn't high tech work.

You don't say

Theoretically, in theory, how does one sell umarked gold
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 6:19 PM on September 14, 2019 [2 favorites]


Theoretically, in theory, how does one sell unmarked gold
I see places that say “we buy gold” every day. So, just make it into various cheesy shapes and sell a few every day while traveling around the country? I’m sure there are fence-type people that would give you 50 cents on the dollar for the bulk items, too. I have no idea how you’d find them, though.
posted by Gilgamesh's Chauffeur at 6:41 PM on September 14, 2019


This is highly amusing to me on many fronts, not least of which is that I just listened to a podcast on the Brinks-Mat bullion robbery.
posted by PussKillian at 6:45 PM on September 14, 2019


Yeah, that's the thing, this toilet melted down is worth its scrap value in gold, not the street value for ingots with assay marks. So 20 cents on the dollar, maybe, as mentioned, as much as 50 cents on the dollar from a super-sketchy scrap metals dealer.

I'd guess this would actually be more valuable as the artwork, somewhere to sit and contemplate the "real" Mona Lisa in some billionaires illicit art collection.
posted by maxwelton at 6:45 PM on September 14, 2019


Maybe it was stolen by that wild and wacky web developer who ripped of MS13 with his heroin shenanigans. If he specialized in the "React" ecosystem he'd certainly have plenty of relevant experience with gold-plated shit.
posted by maxwelton at 6:48 PM on September 14, 2019 [4 favorites]


From Slate:

"It seems maybe those in charge of the exhibit tempted fate a little before the robbery. Edward Spencer-Churchill, the founder of the Blenheim Art Foundation, had told the Times that they weren’t really worried about security. “It’s not going to be the easiest thing to nick,” he said last month. “Firstly, it’s plumbed in and secondly, a potential thief will have no idea who last used the toilet or what they ate. So no, I don’t plan to be guarding it.”
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:52 PM on September 14, 2019 [6 favorites]


Small bits of gold isn't hard to sell even if you aren't getting true value. And it would prevent one from having a big payday that is hard to hide. Me, I'd probably become a travelling goldsmith. I'd outfit a RV, travel around taking photos and selling bits of gold here and there for expenses, And creating/selling custom jewellery. I'd also setup to compete with the "we buy gold" places and use what I bought to disguise the ill gotten metal.
posted by Mitheral at 9:59 PM on September 14, 2019


Me, I'd become a plumber. I'd travel the country selling ordinary toilets for a modest profit. Then wham! Sell one $8M toilet and cash out forever.
posted by Nelson at 10:06 PM on September 14, 2019 [8 favorites]


Good news Nelson! you don't need your trade license in plumbing to be a traveling toilet salesman! Unless you plan on installing them too i guess.
posted by some loser at 1:21 PM on September 15, 2019


The cops are no doubt monitoring the toilet forums to see if anyone wants to know if Comet cleanser scratches pure gold (asking for a friend of course), but it's probably been melted down into a urinal and a bidet by now, to disguise it.
posted by Brian B. at 5:03 PM on September 15, 2019 [3 favorites]


I used to work in the largest home in Tennessee. My favorite accomodation not shown in the photo gallery is this ridiculous Italian marble toilet with gold (plated, I presume) seat and lid. It's by far the swankiest thing I've ever pooped on.
posted by workerant at 5:29 PM on September 15, 2019


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