Opium Pipes and Objects
Opiumculture.com is a new site dedicated to history and collecting that seems very promising, and has a huge Pinterest collection of opium objects, artwork, and related topics such as Chinese decorative arts.
Steven Martin’s Opium Museum provides an excellent introduction to the topic of opium pipes and opium smoking throughout history, with numerous images. (If there are problems with that link, here is the archive.org version.)
The Santo Domingo Opium Collection is a massive collection of opium pipes and related objects. Julio Mario Santo Domingo Braga, a wealthy collector of all types of drug-related memorabilia, acquired the collections of both Wolf K. and Ferry Bertholet (see the Books page for more on their work.) This combined collection is a museum waiting to happen. The collection was exhibited at Maggs Bros. in London, and their video commemorating the exhibition is highly recommended, since the collection is likely to be sealed away in a vault somewhere for the foreseeable future…
The “Mémoires d’ Opiums” exhibition was mounted by Galerie Delalande in 2011, and has a video retrospective.
My Pinterest page contains a lot of opium pipe and related imagery.
This Vimeo clip shows Steven Martin preparing and smoking opium, using items from his collection and showing some details of how the paraphernalia actually works.
The Opium Den on the End of Your Street is a fascinating blog, written by an erudite opium smoker, that also features many interesting images.
“Les Trois Trésors“ is the labyrinthine home of many quite unique images and documents related to opium smoking. I particularly like this article on collecting that reflects on what drives a collector, and how we define what is a “real” opium pipe.
The Chinese in Northwest America Research Committee has an extraordinary wealth of historical and archaeological information about opium smoking in North America, including many images, spread over three pages.
The University of Montana has a selection of opium objects and many other sorts of artifacts of Chinese immigrant life in the American West.
There are many interesting tidbits on the opium trade before the first Opium War in this collection of primary (English) sources.
Chinese art and Antiques
The Palace Musuem in China has an excellent online catalog, with large images and descriptions in English, of a great many very fine examples of Chinese art. There’s no opium-related items, but it’s an excellent place for learning more about the artistic and material culture that produced Chinese opium pipes.
Gotheborg.com is a great resource for everything to do with Chinese porcelain.