Ref. Number: 1059

Country: North Thailand

Period: 19-20th Cent.

Material: Wood & Lacquer

Dimension: 16.8 x 8.5 x 5.5 cm

Dotchin, Opium scale case (recto)

This case comes from the Golden Triangle, or more precisely from Northern Thailand. It is hand carved in a bird shape from a hard wood and lacquered. The two-part bird body hosts a cavity specifically designed to hold a bronze scale and a beam, usually of ivory or bone

In the south of China called Dotchin, this kind of portable steel yard are commonly referred to as an “Opium Scale” since they also brought Opium with them the scale was aptly named, this type of weight was used in Burma, Thailand, Laos, China, for weighing opium and other expensive commodities such as silver, jewelry, medicines, and spices, etc.

Dotchin, Opium Scale (verso)

Dotchin, Opium scale case (verso)

Dotchin, Opium scale case (inside)

Dotchin, Opium scale case (open)

The history of smoking dates back to as early as 5000 BC in shamanistic rituals. Many ancient civilizations, such as the Chinese, burnt incense as a part of religious rituals, as the smoking of tobacco and various other hallucinogenic drugs was used to achieve trances and to come into contact with the spirit world. Later smoking pipes was adopted for pleasure or as a social tool. In the 1800s the practice of smoking opium became common.

Case only, no pendulum nor weight included.

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