19th Century Bone Smoking Pipe from Vietnam

Item A51   


The price of this item will be reduced each week until it is sold. The current price is listed on the Asian Artifacts link. Instructions for ordering can be found on the How to Order web page.


The pipe is made out of 5 hollow bone cylinders, each carved in relief with Chinese dragons. There is a cap on one end and a spherical mouth piece on the other end. The fourth segment has a hammered metal plate with embossed Chinese designs. The metal plate also has the terminus of the smoking section that supports an octagonal bowl. The bowl can easily be separated from the pipe. It is heated up and placed back on the pipe, then a small amount of organic material is placed on top of the bowl. I found this information through research. I have never smoked any substance with this pipe, so this pipe should be clean. The bone segments are hollow and when I first acquired the pipe, I was able to disassemble the pieces. There is a small diameter copper tube running from the mouthpiece to the bowl. A beautiful and rare work of art that you won't find in museums.

Length = 52 cm ; Weight = 426 gm

I will not ship this pipe outside of the USA. The purchaser must agree to keep this artifact as a collectible and not use it for illegal purposes


In the summer months of the late 1960s, I worked in the U.S. Merchant Marine to make money to pay for college tuition. I lived in the Panama Canal Zone and it was easy to jump on a U.S. merchant ship going through the Panama Canal on the way to South East Asia in support of the American effort in the Vietnam War. In 1968, the ship I was working on, S.S. Raleigh, went to Saigon to unload a cargo of rice from South Texas and Louisiana. We were in Saigon for several weeks and when I had free time, I would travel around Saigon and Cholon looking for artifacts to bring home. My father, who lived in the Panama Canal Zone, collected smoking pipes. One day, I found an antique shop on Tu Do street in central Saigon. This pipe was featured in the front display window and even though it was expensive, I purchased it for my father's collection. The pipe was labeled as 19th Century and from the country of China. When I signed off of the ship in Vancouver, Washington, I had no trouble bringing it through customs and into the USA. I then flew down to Panama and had no trouble getting the pipe through the U.S. Customs office in the Canal Zone. I gave the pipe to my father. When he retired in 1986, my father brought the pipe through the customs office in Miami. Again, no problems, so this pipe was considered to be a collectible art object 3 times between 1968 and 1986. When my father died in 1994, I regained possession of this beautiful museum quality pipe.



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