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The Art of Opium Antiques [Paperback]

By Steven Martin & Paul Lakatos (Photographer)
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Item Number 170105  
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Item description for The Art of Opium Antiques by Steven Martin & Paul Lakatos...

The Art of Opium Antiques explores an aspect of opium that has largely been ignored - the art and accoutrements associated with opium smoking that reached a pinnacle in nineteenth-century China and in Chinese communities abroad, from Saigon to Singapore to San Francisco. For a culture as ancient and rich as that of China, it should come as no surprise that once opium smoking was introduced, the custom would develop its own uniquely Chinese paraphernalia. Over the span of four hundred years, the smoking of opium in China evolved from simple tools and techniques to sophisticated accoutrements. Richly illustrated with photographs of the author's antique collection along with rarely seen historical photographs, The Art of Opium Antiques reveals the remarkable artistry of opium-smoking paraphernalia, including elaborate opium pipes, delicate opium lamps, ornate pipe-bowls, and myriad accoutrements once used for smoking the narcotic. These visually stunning and eminently collectible relics are wonderfully evocative of the romantic Orient of old.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Silkworm Books
Pages   125
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.5" Width: 8.25" Height: 8.25"
Weight:   1.05 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Oct 30, 2007
Publisher   Silkworm Books
ISBN  9749511220  
ISBN13  9789749511220  

Availability  0 units.

More About Steven Martin & Paul Lakatos

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Steve Martin served with three Christian ministries from 1987-2010, all having a national and international outreach focus. During that time he made 14 ministry trips to Israel, China, India, Trinidad and Tobago, and the United Kingdom. On his overseas journeys Steve enjoyed sharing written journal entries with family and friends back home, through Internet media. His light-hearted stories gave an up close and personal touch for those reading along. Many could imagine being there themselves. His extensive collection of photos taken during these trips, of both local scenery and common people on the streets, has touched thousands through their varied images. In 2010, Steve and Laurie began "Love For His People, Inc," a 501(c)3 non-profit humanitarian aid ministry. This work touches the natural and spiritual lives of those around them with needed encouragement and strength. His regular "Ahava Love Letter/Now Think On This," posted both on the Love For His People Blog and Facebook, feature his love letters of spiritual enrichment, plus selected photos and commentary from abroad. Since 1994, Steve and his good wife Laurie have lived in the Charlotte, NC area, after having homes in Illinois, Michigan and Florida. Now married for more than 36 years, they enjoy their four adult children and spouses, along with six additional grandchildren. While continuing to serve organizations with his accounting skills, he enjoys writing and growing the ministry of Love For His People, Inc.

Steven Martin currently resides in Bangkok. Steven Martin was born in 1962.

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Product Categories

1Books > Special Features > New & Used Textbooks
2Books > Subjects > Arts & Photography > Art > Art History > Regional > Asian
3Books > Subjects > History > Asia > China > General
4Books > Subjects > History > Asia > China
5Books > Subjects > History > World > General
6Books > Subjects > History > World
7Books > Subjects > Home & Garden > Antiques & Collectibles > General
8Books > Subjects > Home & Garden > Antiques & Collectibles > Reference
9Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Social Sciences > Special Groups > General
10Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Social Sciences > Special Groups

Reviews - What do customers think about The Art of Opium Antiques?

Fascinating History, Evocative Images  Mar 1, 2008
Thanks goes to Steve Martin for bringing to light a significant, and nearly forgotten, history. Through artifacts (Steve's impressive and beautiful collection of opium paraphernalia, and period photographs) and down to earth story telling, I found myself transported to opium dens in the East and West, and imagined the lives and circumstances of those who were entranced and enveloped by the narcotic.

The pictures are gorgeous, the writing evocative, and the topic and the objects themselves provide a fascinating portal for history.
Great Book to Identify Antique Opium Art!  Nov 24, 2007
This book is really helpful to identify antique opium art. I work for Asia Galleries in San Francisco where we sell a lot of antique opium artifacts. I had hard time to find a book that helps me to study about details of opium art, but in this book I see many dampers, pipes, lamps, and opium scrapers are similar to the ones Asia Galleries have; therefore, I was able to gain some knowledge through this book. Now, I am confident to explain details of our antique opium art to customers. I would like to say thank you to Steven Martin.
The epitome of outlaw chic!  Nov 16, 2007
When the paraphernalia associated with opiates comes to mind what do you picture? Syringes? Drippy candles? Bent spoons? These are the gear of the heroin user but what about heroin's long dead uncle, opium? The paraphernalia of the two drugs couldn't be more different. This book will take you back in time when drug use was at least practised with style and flair. The opium pipes, lamps and other accouterments illustrated in this book are gem-like works or art made from rare and precious materials such as silver, ivory and jade. It's a world long lost but the author manages to bring it back to life for a brief moment and dazzle us with the promises of chemical bliss that tempted our ancestors. Getting addicted back then was no doubt as painful and ruinous as it is today, but they sure knew how to do it in style!
A Grand Review  Nov 15, 2007
The Art of Opium Antiques is one of the most artfully illustrated and artistically written books on the subject. Throughout its pages Steven Martin traces the cultural use in China alongside the artistry and astounding craftmanship of the time, from the low and common to the truly decedent. Photos of amazingly ornate apparatus are peppered throughout alongside diagrams depicting the main components of a typical pipe or lamp. Historical photos help put one in the mind frame of the times, allowing one to contemplate how this blissful habit, aided by dedicated artisans progressed up until its zenith during the nineteenth century. Martin's vast collection and grasp of the subject are equally great, allowing one to walk away with a greater appreciation for opium related antiquities. There is no doubt this book will help spawn new collectors as well as reconfirm the addiction of the collector aficionado, for this book is a grand spring board for newbies and opium-porn for the serious collector.
Fascinating!  Nov 13, 2007
Such a great book! Instead of just relating the well-known disastrous effects of opium, the author of this book brings new insight into the history of the drug by exploring Opium paraphernalia as an art form. It works!

We are brought into the mythical Opium dens of a not so distant past, with the rich illustrations of this text. A rare photo of an 1880 Butte, Montana bunkhouse "opium den" is particularly amusing. However, it is the lush photographs of the drug paraphernalia that make this work so worthwhile. The extensive captions that accompany each photograph have enabled the author to not only inform the reader about the use and artistic achievement of these artifacts, but entertain as well.

The result is a more humanizing view of the addiction itself. Knowing that these beautiful instruments were the tools in which to feed a deadly addiction gives us another vantage point to view this era of history.

Anyone with the an interest in the history of China, the Chinese Diaspora living in the USA in the late 18th/19th century or the history of Southeast Asia will find this book particularly fascinating. The Art of Opium Antiques will be an essential addition to your bookshelf.

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