Ipohworld's World

Saving Yesterday For Tomorrow
  1. Ipoh Remembered says:

    Are you sure, felicia?

    It looks like a Chinese water pipe, true, but I think it’s the type that was used for smoking tobacco rather than opium.

  2. Mano says:

    Or the ‘whoopie’ weed, Ipoh Remembered.
    A wooden or bamboo pipe was used to smoke opium. Perhaps the title of this thread should have read,”No prizes for guessing what this was for”, Felicia:)

    • IKA says:

      If you care to look at some old photos and history of early opium smoking in China, you will find that, as well as the traditional long pipe, water pipes were also used for Opium. The function of the water pipe is to cool the vapour/smoke so that it is less burning to the throat. Novice opium smokers may have preferred the water pipe but it was not popular with the hardened addicts as it took away some of the pleasure.
      The pipe picture is made of bamboo and came to us with a lot of opium smoking equipment.

  3. Ipoh Remembered says:

    Dear ika

    You write:

    If you care to look at some old photos and history of early opium smoking in China

    You’re right, I was shooting from the hip, so to speak, but looking at old photos and history is probably a better idea, so let’s do that (below).

    You continue:

    you will find that, as well as the traditional long pipe, water pipes were also used for Opium.

    Sure, but I thought the question was whether the device pictured above was meant for, and was used primarily for, smoking tobacco. As I said, I think it was.

    On this question, a good reference is a web-page entitled “What is – and is not – an opium pipe….”

    The writer (“The Opium Pipe”) explains that he focuses on “the Chinese style of opium pipe” and presents some old photos and history, beginning thus:

    It’s quite possible that opium could be smoked in any sort of smoking pipe – or at least, an attempt could be made. [But since] many sorts of pipes are frequently (and understandably) mistaken for ‘opium pipes’ in film, print, and on the web, it may be helpful to clarify matters.

    “The Opium Pipe” then goes on to explain that “there are two forms of water pipe that are often labelled as opium pipes.”

    First is the hookah, which was “typically used to smoke shisha, a wet mixture of tobacco, molasses, and other ingredients.

    While it’s certainly possible opium could have been added to some hookah smokers’ mixtures of choice, it isn’t really a purely opium-smoking device

    Second is what I referred to above as the “Chinese water pipe,” which:

    also gets mistaken for an opium pipe quite often. Smaller than the hookah, but operating on the same principle with water filling its base for filtration, these were typically used to smoke tobacco. [emphasis added]

    In fact, “The Opium Pipe” presents two photographs that show the very device pictured above.

    Speaking of which, you write:

    The pipe [in the?] picture is made of bamboo and came to us with a lot of opium smoking equipment.

    No doubt this is true, and as “The Opium Pipe” points out:

    Some of the confusion probably comes from the fact that tobacco pipes were frequently used in the same environs as opium pipes, so a picture of an “opium den” would often have some of these tobacco pipes in the scene as well.

    That’s from “The Opium Pipe.”

    In addition, there is a web-site called the “Opium Museum,” which presents a number of photographs from China, South-east Asia, and elsewhere.

    I should also mention the Amsterdam Pipe Museum, which is quite reliable. Most of its web-pages are in Dutch, of course, but there is one page in English dedicated to “The opium habit.”

    ——

    Question: Does ipohWorld possess one or more of the Chinese water pipes shown in the photograph? They are quite valuable nowadays.

  4. S.Y. says:

    Many years ago, I was in the Sessions Court. Some addicts were charged for smoking opium. Among the things recovered were some porcelain “pillows”. They were oblongs and apparently used for resting the head while the smoker smokes the opium. There were some designs on the pillow, some of which were of Chinese ladies and others of scenery. Unfortunately, did not have opportunity to take photos. A google search will show these “pillows”.

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