Billiards has a long and illustrious history that dates back to the 14th century. From dive bars to royal courts, it has captured the hearts of everybody. It is elegant and polished while being informal.
Both enthusiasts and decorators may appreciate the elegance of a table and cues, but even more so if they choose the perfect antique pool cues. They can enhance the atmosphere of a space and tell a story when used as decorative pieces.
Whether it’s an antique or a bespoke pool cue, the ideal addition to your collection can also serve as an investment in worth that displays a narrative on your wall.
This article will discuss determining the best cues for you based on cue manufacturer, quality, wood type, and other factors. So, stick around if old pool cues intrigue you because we will cover everything you need to know before investing in them!
Here’s a summary of what we are going to explore in this article:
- Various Types of Pool Cues
- Tips to Identify Antique Pool Cues
- Popular Manufacturers of Old Pool Cues
- Value of Old Pool Cue and much more. Let’s get started!
Table of Contents
Types of Pool Cues
Based on the game you’re playing, there are numerous varieties of pool cues available. The thickness of the cue’s tip, the material of the ring that strengthens the tip (known as the ferrule), and the type of wood used in the cue’s construction are the most typical differences.
Every game has a different cue because each cue ball is a specific size and weight. The cue ball’s size varies greatly according to the game you are playing. The diameter of an American cue ball is 2 1/4 inches, an English cue ball is 1 7/8 inches, and a snooker ball is 2 1/16 inches.
For the game that each type of cue is intended for, the player has the maximum degree of control. Consider how challenging it would be to maneuver a giant American cue ball with an English cue’s small tip and inversely.
1. An English Pool Cue Stick
English pool cues typically use Ash wood, which gives them a distinct grain. The cue’s tip comprises a rough leather tip for enhanced grip and a little brass ferrule for increased strength. English pool cues typically measure 8 to 9 mm wide and have the thinnest bodies and tips of all the other varieties.
2. An American Pool Cue Stick
An American pool cue is commonly manufactured out of maple wood, which causes the cue to have a lighter shade than other types.
A thick plastic ferrule reinforced by a rough 13–14 mm leather tip offers cue shock-absorbing capabilities, making it perfect for hitting the larger, stronger American cue ball.
3. A Snooker Cue Stick
Similar to an English cue, a snooker cue is made of ash wood. To support the size of the cue ball, the head of a snooker cue is made of rough 9–10mm leather. The ferrule on a snooker cue is often made of stainless steel for added toughness.
While these are all common designs for competitive or recreational play, custom cues frequently feature exotic woods like ebony, mahogany, or rosewood.
For the sake of differentiating one’s particular cue from the others, decorative enhancements may even be incorporated into the inlays. Models from a more recent era might be made of fiberglass, titanium, or even aluminum.
Old Pool Cue Identification
Although a cue stick might be found at an antique auction, it’s more probable that a buyer will need to look for one on eBay or with local cue enthusiasts clubs. There are a few qualities to look for in these unique cues that individuals might wish to add to their collections.
Here are some key characteristics that can help identify an old pool cue:
Evaluate the Quality of the Cue
Whether they are new or old, always seek workmanship and quality in your cues. A cue will be more precious and more attractive the greater its quality. A cue stick’s value will be significantly reduced if it has been altered in any way, resurfaced, or restored.
Any collector’s main concern is originality; modifying the tip can make the stick less valuable. In general, before making any alterations, including repairs, to a collectible cue stick, it is advisable to consult a reputable appraiser.
Maker’s First Edition Signs
A maker’s first cue, or any of their firsts, is noteworthy. For instance, if they suddenly start making carved or inlaid cues, the first of those designs will be more valuable than those that follow.
Similar to first edition books and the enthusiasm that surrounds those works, cues and cue designs that are created in small quantities are widely sought by collectors.
If you can spot a sign that indicates it was the maker’s first edition, consider it the biggest clue for antique old pool cue identification.
Look for Any Significant Links
A cue almost instantly becomes sought-after and collectible if a well-known player has used it during a game.
Take care because many players have a large repertoire of cues but rarely use them. Famous players’ cues that were not employed by them in key matches are not at all valuable.
Verify the Maker’s Marks
The maker’s name is among the most crucial characteristics to check for in antique pool cues. Any items from reputable cue makers are typically wise investments.
These artisans are renowned for their dedication to quality and attention to detail, as well as the skill with which they detail the cue itself, which is why they have attained legendary fame.
Old Pool Cue Brands
Prior to the invention of traditional cues in the seventeenth century, billiards was played using sticks known as maces. The players typically turned the maces back and used the rear, or queue, to hit the ball. The maces featured a broad head that was similar to a mallet.
This practice had evolved into the usage of the cue by the latter half of the seventeenth century. However, it wasn’t until the late 19th and 20th centuries that the most renowned cue stick manufacturers appeared.
Even though there are numerous manufacturers of collectible cue sticks, only a small number are considered to be the best and highest workmanship. Among them are:
Gordon Hart, the owner of Viking Cue Mfg., Inc., started producing two-piece billiard cues in the cellar of his Stoughton, Wisconsin, pool hall in the 1960s. To promote his cues, Mr. Hart made trips to various competitions.
Viking cues quickly gained favor with a number of the best players. Gordon sold his pool hall as the 1960s came to a close and relocated the cue shop to its current site in Madison, Wisconsin. He increased his production capacity and started marketing cues both domestically and abroad.
After creating his own cues for roughly ten years, McDermott started his own cue stick manufacturing business in 1975.
His contributions to the development of pool as a sport may even be considered to be greater than his legendary standing as a cue stick manufacturer.
The company was established in 1968 by Dan Janes, a member of the American Cuemakers Association Hall of Fame, and for many years, pool players and celebrities have preferred Joss cues.
Joss not only made the pool cue that was featured in the blockbuster The Color of Money, but he also made cues for famous people like Paul Newman and Tom Cruise.
Joss pool cues are quite simple to recognize because each has a distinctive serial number and not because the trademark is displayed on the cue. Additionally, a 13mm Joss shaft, the norm for all Joss cue types, is included with every cue from the Joss brand.
Since 1845, Brunswick has produced the world’s finest pool tables and cues. Therefore, when you buy a Brunswick, you not only own the best-looking and a best-playing billiard cue in the world, but you also join this illustrious heritage.
Paul Huebler created the Huebler Cues. The price range for Paul’s cues, which were marketed as “the straightest handmade cues in the industry,” ranged from $54 to thousands of dollars.
His cues have been utilized by pool players from as far apart as Australia, Japan, Russia, and Germany.
Since the middle of the 1960s, Bob Meucci has produced the most aesthetically beautiful and technologically cutting-edge pool cues. Perhaps the most well-known and storied pool cue manufacturer still in business today is Meucci.
Meucci has been praised for creating the most exquisite pool cues in the industry and enhancing the performance of their masterpieces of art with less effort for the past 50 years.
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Meucci pool cues were used by more professional and semi-professional players than any other manufacturer.
Although Gina is a well-known name in the business and is noted for its custom cue stick designs and opulent materials, recent allegations that the company was associated with the illegal ivory business have somewhat damaged the company’s image.
You won’t have any trouble recognizing other models by the same maker after you acquire an understanding of their signatures because each of these manufacturers has added their own history and design to their ranges, and many will put their emblem on all of their models.
You might be able to identify the distinctive qualities in each maker as your perception becomes more refined.
For instance, McDermott cues take pleasure in having changeable weights so that even if a cue is a one-of-a-kind, you don’t have to trade it in for another type if it doesn’t suit your power and playing approach.
Obviously, not every cue will come from a well-known producer; craftspeople and true experts in their field frequently transcend labels. These are the top of the best, and if you find one with the maker’s mark, you can consider the pool cue you have found to be of asset quality.
Importance of Assessing Your Pool Cue’s Value
The priciest cue in the world costs $150,000, while some cues are valued at thousands of dollars. You should research the value of your pool cue if you are not the original owner. You should look at the model of pool cues that are not personalized to find out what it is.
It’s unlikely that different budget brand cue models will significantly affect how much your cue is worth. While some of their pool cues only cost about $100, they also create cues that cost up to and occasionally even more than $1,000.
The value of your pool cue can be estimated by knowing whether it is a basic or more sophisticated model. Wood is typically used as the primary material for pool cues, with other components like graphite, fiberglass, and even metals making up other portions of the cue.
It goes without saying that the value of a pool cue will likely be higher if it is well-built. A handmade pool cue will cost roughly $1,000 only for high-quality wood and other materials, and that doesn’t even take into consideration any technology that might be built into the cue.
Pool cues may be worth much more today because certain manufacturers don’t build them with the same materials as they did in the past.
The secret to determining a fair asking price and then placing your cue on the market is to consider the qualities of your cue when trying to determine what it is valued.
Factors that Can Affect the Value of Old Pool Cue
Your pool cue or discovery in a store may be valuable now or in the years ahead, depending on a number of different factors. These include the cue’s age, make quality, condition, and any model-specific characteristics.
Age-wise, many of the most sought-after items will originate from the decades that saw the greatest growth in professional billiards: the 1950s, 1960s, and 1980s.
Because of the popularity of Hollywood films like Paul Newman’s The Hustler and the growth of pool as a spectator sport, these were the times when pool actually became famous.
Particularly, the worth of acquisition will increase right away if it is a cue that a well-known player has employed. As with any claim on an item’s past, it will be crucial to have some kind of evidence.
“Buyer beware” is a necessary caution in the case of low-quality cues because they may command a greater price with spurious claims.
As previously already mentioned, a model’s distinctiveness may raise its value. A custom pool cue made to order from a reputable manufacturer may turn out to be of investment quality.
An instinct for style may take a backseat to understanding who built it, how many models were made, their craftsmanship, and their heritage because these designs might be modern or classic, opulent or understated.
Despite the fact that one collector may find turquoise inlays to be flashy, it may have been acquired from a high-quality manufacturer, and one’s own personal preferences can provide a false impression about its worth.
Although a cue’s age may affect its overall quality, watch out for restoration services that could lower the value.
A collector will prefer an original, in whatever condition it may be, over a polished shine since any sign of restoration will suggest that the original construction has been altered.
What is the Worth of My Pool Cue?
Pool cues, like automobiles, have a guidebook you can consult if you have one on hand and are curious about it. Once you’ve established the model’s manufacturer, quality, version, and shape, you may use the Blue Book of Pool Cues to estimate the basic price.
You’ll need some proof if you think the cue has been used in a way that could increase its worth, like by a well-known player, to bet on that worth cashing out.
Once the quality and make have been established, one approach to assess the market is to simply Google, your model or look for previously sold products on auction sites such as eBay. Previous pricing precedents will substantially confirm the worth of your cue.
You may learn from seasoned appreciators and those with the skills to appraise and evaluate your hidden treasures by talking to the network of collectors directly through the AZ Billiards Forums.
Pool cues have a rich history and can be equally valuable as an investment or as a piece of art, both emotionally and financially. The aspects mentioned above should assist you in developing into a more refined consumer if you’re just starting out in the world of research and collection.
The creativity and quality that billiards contributes to the world should be appreciated just as its long history has been. Your own games room will stand out from the competition if you have an attractive and fashionable collection of cues, and they also have a high return on investment.
We hope this article served its purpose, i.e., to tell you all about pool cues. Do you own a collection of old pool cues? We’d love to hear about it from you so let us know in the comment section below!