Edward Pinto, Treen and other Wood Bygones, Bell & Hyman.
See page 339, plate 383, for a comparative example. Pinto explains that spittoons were typically found on the counter of any establishment selling tobacco during the 18th and 19th centuries. This novelty tortoise operated by opening the lid when pressure was applied on the head, as with the present example. The tail waggled and the cover opened to reveal a china pan. These were also made in Britannia metal during the last half of the 19th century.