Porcelain Opium Den Pillow

Opium pillows such as these were produced in China and exported to overseas Chinese communities around the world. Often they were used in commercial
opium dens. This example has an open-work 'cash' motif design at one end.

The other end has an aperture to permit items to be stored inside – typically the wallet of the smoker. Once the wallet was inside, the open end of the pillow
would be pushed up against the wall while the smoker lay on the floor or smoking platform, resting his head on the pillow. This allowed the wallet to be kept more safely once the smoker was intoxicated by the opium.

- from Ceramic Opium Pillow China, circa late 19th Century, online at Michael Beckman Ltd.

Porcelain Opium Den Pillow #1
Porcelain Opium Den Pillow #2
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