The opium pipe was a special type of pipe used back before the twentieth century for smoking opium. The pipe is highly recognized by its long stem with a bowl attached to the pipe. The bowl is called the pipe-bowl and the stem is the pipe-stem which is usually 12 to 18 inches long. The pipe-bowl is detachable for access to clean the pipe of the opium ashes after smoking. |
The design of the opium pipe functioned to allow just the right amount of heat to the pipe-bowl so the opium would vaporize and be inhaled. Opium pipes often come with an opium lamp for this purpose.
Currently, opium pipes are no longer used since the outlaw of opium smoking but the opium pipes are still made for their collective aspect as a piece of ancient oriental history and a decorative item. The pipes are made from various materials and have intricate designs crafted onto the stems. Opium pipes can be made from bamboo, jade, bronze, silver, and ivory materials. Artists will often design carvings of symbols representing wealth, happiness, and longevity such as the dragon, phoenix, lion, and other animals.