The Opium Museum

The Opium Museum is, at the heart, about the trade in rare antiques, since opium smoking paraphernalia was outlawed. Still, there are pages and pages of the history of opium and its use in countries all over the world, with many historical photographs.
Beginning in the 18th century, opium accompanied the Chinese diaspora: first to the Chinese quarters of Asian cities, and later to the Chinatowns of the West, particularly North America, where opium smoking in the Chinese manner and with Chinese-made paraphernalia became fashionable among non-Chinese.

Once the drug was banned and its paraphernalia outlawed, these illicit items were heaped into piles and burned in public bonfires. From Shanghai to Saigon to San Francisco, the means to smoke opium were destroyed along with the drug itself. So few examples of these relics remain that most experts on Chinese art are blithely unaware of just how sumptuous and opulent this art form had become during its heyday.

For serious collectors, there is information on how to identify genuine opium tools and have them appraised. Link -via Metafilter

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The opiumwar against China in the 19th century is of the past. Take a look at the modern opiumwar which is going on on smaller scale. And next to that in and around Afganistan. As we see it on many places in the world today. You can read about it in 'The politics of heroin' from AW. McCoy (reprint, 2003). Addiction is a problem for the human race for about 2 million years. There is nothing new under the sun. The fact that persons do something illegal mostly depends on the coutry where ya at! Law and health is no good combination.Greetings...
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