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Bamboo Opium pipe


39 cm (15 1/4")
Chinese 19th Century bamboo opium pipe with a stained ivory mouth piece
The shaft is made from carved bamboo
The pipe end of the pipe is modelled as a fist. The fist and pipe was meant to resemble the arm of the Tang Dynasty general Li Yuanba, who was also the son of the founder of the Tang Dynasty.
It is said that the General wielded a melon shaped hammer and was invincible in battle with the hammer. But he died because of an argument with his brother when Li Yuanba became so angry he threw the hammer into the air and it landed on his head and killed him
The pipe is unusual as the end has three holes for the opium smoke to be pulled through rather than the single large hole that was then plugged by the bowl. The modelling of this end would not have fitted a bowl
39 cm (15 1/4")