4 in HIGH
(10.16 cm HIGH)
Gift of Mr. E. O. Steinbach

"Found! The Wreck of the Frolic - A Gold Rush Cargo for San Francisco", San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, Feb. 1, 1998 - March 15, 1999; extended through September, 1999 Journey of the Frolic: The Wake of Change, Grace Hudson Museum, 7/23

History: China; Opium set; two opium pipes of wood, 19" and 20" long. 1 1/2" diam.; one is of bamboo, other is of light wood. Three opium bowls, 2 to 3" in diam. 2 ceramic and one metal. One heating lamp of glass, 4" high. 1 cork and 2 metal picks. A) Opium pipe and bowl; B) Opium pipe and bowl; C) extra pipe bowl; D-E) two opium knives or picks; F-G) two parts of the opium lamp. (D. Peterson 2/79) China. Date: l.1800's e.1900's. f-g) Opium lamp; "tulip" shaped glass shade with two rows of hexagonal facets at top; silk rag at base of shade to secure to base; flat circular pewter base with seven open circles, CHINA stamped on top of base. Condition: good. Dimensions: ht. 3 1/2" base diam: 2 5/8". (D. Peterson 2/79) Date: Late 1800's - Early 1900's. (6 pcs.) a) Opium pipe; brown bamboo tube with ivory ends, brass bowl mount; bowl, brown earthenware, two borders of circles, cylindrical shape, characters stamped on bottom. b) Opium pipe, wood tube, lead bowl mount secured with red wax; bowl, green/black earthenware, round with ridge around middle and rounded top; characters stamped on bottom. c) Opium pipe bowl; no description but probably the metal bowl descibed in original cataloguing. d-e) Metal picks, pointed at one end, scalloped flat end at opposite end. Condition: (a) very good. (b) very good but very used. Dimensions: a) stem length 19 1/4" diam 1 1/4" bowl ht. 2" diam. 2"; d) pick length 5". b) Stem length 19 5/8" diam. 1" bowl ht. 1 3/4" diam 2 3/4"; e) pick length. 5 1/4" Brown bamboo pipe with ivory ends and brass bowl mount. Brown earthenware lamp with brass mounting and stamped decorations. (John Burke, 5/13/1994) (J. Nemeth, 11/94) Per Grace Hudson Museum exhibit label. An eyewitness account describes the opium smoker's technique: "There is an opium lamp of cut glass [and] a pipe aptly called "smoking pistol," being a polished stem of carved bamboo, often mounted with silver, a ring of ivory at the mouthpiece, and a round, earthenware, flatfaced bowl, with a tiny hole in the center...The smoker now takes up the pipe and warms the bowl over the lamp...He holds [the opium] over the flame, [until] it swells up to twenty times its original size, till it looks like melted India rubber. The steam... is liberated by rolling the opium upon the flat surface of the bowl... This operation is tiresomely repeated for a couple of minutes, by which time it is reduced to a soft, solid state by the evaporation of a portion of the water of the extract. When the little bolus [ball of opium] has been brought to a state fit to be smoked, it is... inserted into the hole of the bowl...The stem of the pipe is now applied to the mouth and the bowl held over the lamp... The smoker takes a deep inhalation...Fifteen seconds have gone, and there is no sign of smoke. The fumes have evidently gone into the man's lungs,...now the pent-up vapor breaks forth, a dense volume of smoke pours from nose and mouth, the smell of which is enough to turn a horse's stomach. The pipe is empty, the bolus having been smoked in exactly thirty seconds." Frederick J. Masters, "Opium and its Votaries" The California Illustrated Magazine. v.1 No. 5, April 1892.

Used: China | Chinese American | Opium

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