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Chopdoc
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Interesting Antique Butterfly Cue - 08-17-2018, 02:10 PM

I have a thing for antique butterfly cues, as well as antique cues in general. Recently I got this one and found some interesting features.

It has a pointed brass 5/16x14 pin, tortoise shell joint collar and shaft ring (like wartime Brunswick cues), ivory ferrule, ivory name plate inlaid in the butt (not pictured).

One thing that really struck me was the shaft insert. It is threaded black phenolic. Never saw that on one of these cues. (note, it may not actually be phenolic, it is a non-metal black material)

Anybody have any ideas what it is?

The original name on the name plate was removed (looks sanded off) and the previous owner put his name and address on it with an ink stamp like you would use for return address on an envelope. I tracked down that name and address, and he died in January of this year.

Cue is straight, sound, and in surprisingly good cosmetic condition as well.

Any ideas on the origins or maker of this cue might be?







Can't wait to shoot a few racks with it.

Last weekend I had one of my other antique butterfly cues out to shoot with and honestly, it was excellent. I was very surprised.


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Last edited by Chopdoc; 08-17-2018 at 03:55 PM.
  
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08-17-2018, 02:45 PM

My guess is maybe the original threads or insert of the shaft were damaged and some maker fixed it by drilling out the threads or removing the insert then plugging the shaft with phenolic and tapping it. Unless the cue is not as old as it appears..


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08-17-2018, 02:49 PM

I don't know who made it,but I do like it.


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08-17-2018, 03:27 PM

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Originally Posted by skins View Post
My guess is maybe the original threads or insert of the shaft were damaged and some maker fixed it by drilling out the threads or removing the insert then plugging the shaft with phenolic and tapping it. Unless the cue is not as old as it appears..
That did occur to me. Judging from the general condition of the cue, I don't think it was used much. The shaft and ferrule are in excellent condition with appropriate patina.

The pin would likely show some wear if the insert had been worn out. Of course, the pin could be replaced to.

Then there is the matter of the material. Why would a repair be done with phenolic when the standard brass insert is something every cue maker or repair guy would have? he would have to make a phenolic insert for it.

Right now, the cue seems pretty original to me. But I have never seen one like this with a phenolic insert...so you could be right.

As for age, I am thinking 1940's through 1950's when comparing with other cues I have or have known. So it's not terribly old. Earliest would be 1930's, latest 1960's.

The guy who had it before me was very likely the second owner I think, he was born in 1943 and died this past January. Obviously, I wish I could talk to him.

I am guessing 1940's, the same era when Brunswick used that joint collar, and likely sold such parts to other makers.

.


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08-17-2018, 03:37 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chopdoc View Post

One thing that really struck me was the shaft insert. It is threaded black phenolic. Never saw that on one of these cues.

Anybody have any ideas what it is?

The original name on the name plate was removed (looks sanded off) and the previous owner put his name and address on it with an ink stamp like you would use for return address on an envelope. I tracked down that name and address, and he died in January of this year.

Cue is straight, sound, and in surprisingly good cosmetic condition as well.

Any ideas on the origins or maker of this cue might be?
No idea, but definitely repaired, maybe more than once. Phenolic in the joint or shaft was not a part of the process in those days.

All the best,
WW
  
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08-17-2018, 03:54 PM

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Originally Posted by WildWing View Post
No idea, but definitely repaired, maybe more than once. Phenolic in the joint or shaft was not a part of the process in those days.

All the best,
WW
I am not convinced of that, but that was my first thought too.

So as I said, it did occur to me, so I don't completely reject it.

If it is a repair, it is well done, so I don't mind at all.

I own several of these old butterflies. Katz, Brunswick, Rieper, Luscher, and others. Ivory joints, tortoise shell joints, pin in shaft, pin in butt, etc.

In addition I have looked at many pictures over the years, and saved many pictures, and I never saw an insert like this. So, my first impression was it was replaced. But I will beat the bushes looking for another just in case.

I will say that on close inspection it does not look like a typical phenolic, so I could be wrong calling it that. It is definitely a black material, and not metal. I updated the original post to say so.

.


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08-17-2018, 06:13 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chopdoc View Post
That did occur to me. Judging from the general condition of the cue, I don't think it was used much. The shaft and ferrule are in excellent condition with appropriate patina.

The pin would likely show some wear if the insert had been worn out. Of course, the pin could be replaced to.

Then there is the matter of the material. Why would a repair be done with phenolic when the standard brass insert is something every cue maker or repair guy would have? he would have to make a phenolic insert for it.

Right now, the cue seems pretty original to me. But I have never seen one like this with a phenolic insert...so you could be right.

As for age, I am thinking 1940's through 1950's when comparing with other cues I have or have known. So it's not terribly old. Earliest would be 1930's, latest 1960's.

The guy who had it before me was very likely the second owner I think, he was born in 1943 and died this past January. Obviously, I wish I could talk to him.

I am guessing 1940's, the same era when Brunswick used that joint collar, and likely sold such parts to other makers.

.
Yeah..who knows. I'm sure builders back then had their own strange techniques just as they still do today..


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08-17-2018, 06:28 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chopdoc View Post
I am not convinced of that, but that was my first thought too.

So as I said, it did occur to me, so I don't completely reject it.

If it is a repair, it is well done, so I don't mind at all.

I own several of these old butterflies. Katz, Brunswick, Rieper, Luscher, and others. Ivory joints, tortoise shell joints, pin in shaft, pin in butt, etc.

In addition I have looked at many pictures over the years, and saved many pictures, and I never saw an insert like this. So, my first impression was it was replaced. But I will beat the bushes looking for another just in case.

I will say that on close inspection it does not look like a typical phenolic, so I could be wrong calling it that. It is definitely a black material, and not metal. I updated the original post to say so.

.
Although phenolic was probably not an option way back, glue/epoxy with a color fill was. It was how many a golf club insert was made. If it doesn't look like phenolic to you, this could be a possibility. Even multi-color club inserts could be done this way.

All the best,
WW
  
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08-17-2018, 06:50 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by WildWing View Post
Although phenolic was probably not an option way back, glue/epoxy with a color fill was. It was how many a golf club insert was made. If it doesn't look like phenolic to you, this could be a possibility. Even multi-color club inserts could be done this way.

All the best,
WW
There are also other possibilities, like Bakelite, which is actually considered a phenolic IIRC.

Generally when we say phenolic around here we mean linen, canvass, paper, etc embeded in a phenolic resin.

I don't see any fibers in this. It could be a type of Bakelite or similar.

Such synthetic plastics have been around since the early 1900's, and have been used in many applications. The time period when I think this cue was made was sort of the heyday or peak for Bakelite I think.

Just bouncing around thoughts. Certainly I could be way off.
.


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08-17-2018, 07:09 PM

Here is an interesting point. In my experience cues like this have a small diameter joint.

My Joss, Scruggs, and Stroud shafts fit this thing like they were made for it. Perfect diameter match.

Very surprising.


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08-18-2018, 07:01 PM

It is a nice cue. I had to work, so I missed it.


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08-18-2018, 07:23 PM

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It is a nice cue. I had to work, so I missed it.
I have spoken to a couple others that missed it as well.

Definitely a cool cue.

The value on these is pretty low. I think i maxed it out honestly. But I am cool with that.

I actually stepped out of a 9 ball tournament to snag it.

.


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08-18-2018, 11:07 PM

I noticed the shaft tounge has a crack at the base. You might want to do something about that.


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08-19-2018, 05:16 AM

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I noticed the shaft tounge has a crack at the base. You might want to do something about that.
You were just determined to use the words tongue and crack in the same sentence.


.


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08-19-2018, 06:13 AM

The joint and collar material is identical to the wartime Hoppe joints


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