Opium Trays, Tools, and Miscellany

Layout Trays

These larger trays (half a meter or more across the longer side) are suitable for an entire opium-smoking layout, and can accommodate pipes, lamps, boxes, tools, bowl stands, and everything else needed for one or two smokers to relax in comfort.

The copper tray here depicts flowers and plants, but also cleverly depicts phoenix and dragon figures wrought from vines and leaves. The padouk wood tray is a fairly common style, with a reserved spot in the center for a smaller lamp tray implicitly highlighted in the mother-of-pearl ornamentation.

Lamp Trays

Opium lamps use vegetable oil as fuel, and since that oil can warp the wood used in some larger opium trays, a common accessory is a smaller tray of metal or enamel to sit under the lamp, protecting the underlying tray. Here are a couple examples of smaller tray. The metal lamp tray with the nature scene has the characters 鹿鹤同春 – deer and cranes in spring. Other characters (辛丑年) point to this tray being made in 1901.

Tools and Other Odds and Ends

Opium smoking requires a variety of tools, accessories, and so forth. Here are a few basic examples. From this gallery, the horse-shaped palette is the most unusual and special piece. Loose saddles are something that just seem to end up in opium pipe collections, fallen off broken or lost pipes and tossed into other lots of opium paraphernalia offered at auction.