Opium Bed

Many, many, many moons ago, during the zenith of the Marcos era [ late 1970s – early 1980s ], the height of fashion in interior decoration among fashionable Manilans was a Chinese opium bed in the living room…

Everybody who was somebody who was anybody who was not just anybody who was really somebody who was not really everybody just had to have one…

Alas, the opium bed was, despite its exotic and seductive looks, not a safe place for sex.  Specially great sex!!!  There were several stories of those ornate beds collapsing with their gilded, lacquered, painted, porcelain-encrusted panels during the earthshaking sex of sex-starved “senoras” [ hooow “Desperate Housewives”… ] and their paramours [ not dancing instructors, it was not the Ramos era ballroom dancing craze yet 😛 ] and of gay couturiers and their lovers [ hooow “Queer as Folk”… ].  *lolsz!*

Poor opium bed.  Now it is the height of unfashionable.  Along with everything one ever bought in the 1980s conspicuous consumption style:  Taiwan plastic chandeliers [ fake “Strass” / fake “Swarovski” ], Egyptian and Moroccan “Louis Louis” reproductions [ with authentic woodborers “bukbok” ], Indonesian Georgian reproductions, reproduction Chinese furniture, Vietnamese mother-of-pearl furniture, bad Filipino furniture reproductions, reproduction “santos” and “relleves,” fake cobalt blue “Sevres” vases, fake “Capo di Monte,” synthetic Belgian rugs, rayon damask curtains, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera!!!  Bwahahahah!!!

[ Well, I am from the 1980s, with my Reaganomics psyche [ “the bigger the better!!!” ] and my theatrical sense of decoration [ sooooo “Bonfire of the Vanities” ], so I consider myself unfashionable.  Not that I care.   😛 ]

Pity the opium bed.  It simply doesn’t go with the current midcentury chic, not with all of Manila’s faux Ruhlmanns, faux Rateaus, faux Leleus, faux Grays, faux Dunands, faux Brandts, faux Coards, faux Deskeys, faux Mies van der Rohes, faux Eames, faux innumerable other things.  In short, faux everything [ as it always was in this good ol’ Third World city 😛 ].

Opium beds, antique and otherwise, are now the chic garage accessory, unfashionable and unappreciated.

Anybody wanna inhale and exhale???   😛   😛   😛


  1. Milton Shaw said,

    March 9, 2011 at 3:04 am

    I also have an bed approx 150 years old. Can email photos.Low side rails with a simple design as it was not to be a tourist export item with lots of carvings. Also have two chairs and nesting tables. Email for more info and photos.

  2. Linda Marino said,

    October 7, 2010 at 5:47 am

    Do you have any pictures of the opium bed?
    How much are you asking for it?
    Thank you.

  3. Richard Crotteau said,

    June 11, 2010 at 9:35 pm

    I have a Chinese opium bed for sale. It was sourced from China by a past president of Hyatt Hotels when he was in the interior of China. I bought it in Boston and brought it to Cleveland, Ohio where I live in Bratenahl in Tower 1.

    If anyone is interested please call or email me.

    Cell: 330 607 5554

    Email address : rjcbadger@yahoo.com

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