Opium Pipe - Bamboo, Ivory & Pottery, circa 1900s-1930s Object Reg. No: ST 019075

Bamboo opium pipe, circa 1900s-1930s. Opium use was widespread in China between the 17th and 19th Centuries with the British East India Company importing large quantities of the drug. Chinese attempts to ban the opium trade and resistance against the foreign intervention it represented culminated in the Opium Wars of the early to mid-19th Century when force of arms ensured that Chinese ports remained open to opium.

Opium smoking followed Chinese migrants overseas, with the activity providing a means of relaxation and social interaction for a largely male community, who were often ostracised from the wider community. In 1867, a census of Chinese settlements in regional Victoria recorded at least 80 opium shops in 9 centres across regional Victoria. Opium smoking was legal in Victoria until 1905, although prior to this those who failed to pay import duties risked having supplies of opium confiscated.
Bamboo opium pipe with pottery bowl and ivory mouth piece.
Discipline: Technology
Dimensions: 85.00 mm (Height), 55.00 mm (Width), 580.00 mm (Length)

More information

Tagged with: immigration, customs houses, opium, chinese communities, chinese immigration, narcotic drug usage, opium smoking
Themes this item is part of: Customs House, Immigration Museum Exhibition, 1998-2015, Leisure Collection, Migration Collection, Sustainable Futures Collection
Primary Classification: RECREATION & TOURISM
Secondary Classification: Substance Use - Opiates
Tertiary Classification: smoking equipment
Place & Date Used: Victoria, Australia, circa 1900s-1930s


Tony Hobson Posted on 02 Dec 2014 6:06 PM
Nice pipe, would be nice to see the markings on the bowl ( if any) The date is i feel a little earlier than listed. The saddle style looks 1880-90 but without closer inspection, difficult to tell.
Not a fancy pipe but one that would have been used by working people.

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