Historical Chinese Postcard Project: 1896 - 1920


2.2. Scanned Images

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Image No. cn00159

Opium Smokers

Opium Smokers

Postcard Data

Size: 139x90mm
Caption: Opium Smokers

Stamp: Japan

Printing Technique: Phototype
Color Nature: B&W

Image Data

Image Nature: Photograph
Image Author: Lai Wah (Assumed)
Creation: 1890-1900 (Assumed)
Creation Place: (Certain)

Topic: Studio scene of opium smoking

Action: SIx men appear on this studio scene. A man lying on a bed smokes an opium pipe, helped by another in a crouching position. A third one in the back seems to have a nightmare. Two seat on stools in front smoking pipes (tobacco on right and water on left). The far left one just lies against a box, staring at the camera. Secondary objects include two small tables with tea cups, vase on the floor and clock by the opium tray.

Image Particulars: This group of men is seen in a number of different scenes by the same studio, probably Lai Wah which was active in Shanghai in the late 1800s. Note the tobacco smoker’s false mustache. The group of secondary objects is standard studio portrait paraphernalia.

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