Smoking implements from China and Japan
The Chinese smoker has traditionally the choice out of two. The first is the long stemmed dry smoking pipe, used for tobacco. This type looks like an old Western-European pipe, but made out of another material. The alternative is the water pipe that has seen a distinctive development in China. At home people smoke a pipe with a rather large water reservoir with the pipe bowl on top, made out of bamboo or copied in metal. A long, slightly curved bamboo stem makes that you can smoke in any position. Many of these pipes are beautifully decorated with inlay in silver or mother of pearl of flowers, landscapes or a bird.
Practical smoking sets are made for traveling: water pipe, tobacco box and the various instruments share a kind of box that can be attached to the belt with a hook. Most of these pipes are made out of pakton, an alloy of white metal or, as it is called, Chinese silver. The alloy of nickel and zinc provide a white shiny surface when polished. The boxes of these water pipes are decorated in various ways, sometimes engraved, sometimes with colorful enamel.
A special way of smoking is opium smoking, for which a specific kind of pipe is invented, characterized by the globular bowl or damper in which the moist and substance from the opium damp can precipitate.
Japan has little variation in smoking implements, but instead a typical pipe, called kiseru This metal pipe, sometimes with a bamboo stem, has a tiny bowl, but is still meant for smoking a heavy kind of tobacco.
Amsterdam Pipe Shop is specialized in collectors items on pipes