Archives for posts with tag: tobacco

DIA100xH40mm, Cambodia

This silver box is part of a betel set.  Betel chewing, a tradition since prehistorical time, was a popular past time all over Asia, enjoyed by men and women alike, in all social levels.  Betel leaf, areca nut, lime paste, camphor, cinnamon, nutmeg, tobacco etc are ingredients for betel chewing; they are stored in separate containers ready for consumption.  These container can be made of ratten, wood, lacquered, copper, silver and even gold.  In Cambodia, for common people silverware are not used as daily utensils, they are prized object used only for entertaining important people or in ceremonies.

L130xH30mm, China

Tobacco was imported to China in the 17th century through Spanish trading.  The smoking pipe soon developed into different Chinese variations (see entry Pipe, Water Pipe).  This dragon shaped ceramic pipe is probably made for export to the West, it is made by slip case.


L75mm, China

Tobacco was not introduced to China until the 17th century (imagine a smoke free China!), it very quickly became a hit in the Guangdong region through trading with the Philippines (then Spanish colony).  Nowadays, the paper wrapped tobacco cigarette are held between 2 fingers to be smoked, in old China smoking was a refined business. There were different tools for smoking (see water pipe), one of the common tools is the Yan Dai Guo, it consists of a pipe stem, a tobacco sac (the chamber of the pipe) and a mouth piece.  In the old days both men and women would carried with them these smoking items together with a tobacco bag (dried tobacco storage), there is an old saying that goes; tobacco sac is inseparable from the tobacco bag, the old chap is inseparable from the old wife.  The pipe stem for man is normally 150mm in length and the ladies very longer and has a smaller mouth piece.  This jade mouth piece would have been used by a middle class lady, the material of the mouth piece would tell a lot of the social status of the person (just as watches is for today), a common folk would use bronze while the well off would use materials such as jade, ivory, silver or gold.


H250xW90xD30mm, China

Tobacco has been introduced to China in the Ming dynasty; imported from the Philippines, Japan and locally from Fu Jian.  Water pipe has been a  popular pass time in the Qing dynasty.  Empress Dowager Ci Xi is a lover of the water pipe and a has a large collection.  This is a peasant’s water pipe, made with bamboo as a material; the bamboo are natural in its smooth finish and in the shape, true to nature without any alteration.  The fancy type will be made of copper-nickel, copper, bronze, pewter with the mouth piece with jade or agate.  The Chinese believed that water is a good filter for the impurity and toxin of the tobacco.  However, the water is not changed often, after a while the water are filled with tar and becomes gluey (and possibly toxic), peasants will apply a few drop to ticks which would let go of their bite, the ticks will drop off instantly.


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