1880's Brunswick Billiard table - Brilliant Novelty - Salvage or sell?

Bishop

AzB Gold Member
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So I picked up this billiards table (oversize 8) last weekend. Its rough. As you can see some areas look good while others suffer from heavy exposure. A few small pieces of trim are missing and the 4th piece of slate is in 3 pieces. Rubber is junk of course. There is no hardware.

However its still pretty solid structurally and the slate was a clean break so it could be pieced back together. I have little to no doubt I could set this table up and make it playable with new rubber and new hardware. (I spent years setting up tables, so I do have experience in this area, just no experience in resell value).

The inlay/veneer work is gorgeous but in my opinion way too far gone for a full on restoration.

So is there still a market for these tables that aren't necessarily restore-able but could easily be brought back to playable condition? Its billiards so I have no use for it but do others still seek these tables out?

I got basically nothing in it. So if its moveable I'm happy to sell it or should I just chop it up for pool cue stock or re-purpose into a table or something...

Obviously there's more to it but I didn't want to load up this thread with a ton of pictures. But you get the idea.

iyVI0Apl.jpg


Lq6KqVTl.jpg
 

phil dade

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
First of all, a Brilliant Novelty is a very nice table. There is a Biriiiant Novelty on a well know website now for $17K. It is an 8 footer.

I think you are wrong about restoration. I believe a master woodworker could do it, but of course I have not seen it or all the pieces. I have ornate gargoyle woodwork supporting a counter in our kitchen. My Bulldog, ( RIP) , ate about 1/4 of it as a puppy. My guy rebuilt it and sculpted it and you would never know it happened.

Over the years, I have seen many antique tables at Blatt in NYC and Time After Time. Many were very rough but they were restorable. I would replace the slate that is damaged with new.

If you decide to restore, contact Mark Gregory at perfect Pockez and he can tell you the name of a company who sells original parts for old tables.

Good luck
Phil
 

realkingcobra

Well-known member
Silver Member
First of all, a Brilliant Novelty is a very nice table. There is a Biriiiant Novelty on a well know website now for $17K. It is an 8 footer.

I think you are wrong about restoration. I believe a master woodworker could do it, but of course I have not seen it or all the pieces. I have ornate gargoyle woodwork supporting a counter in our kitchen. My Bulldog, ( RIP) , ate about 1/4 of it as a puppy. My guy rebuilt it and sculpted it and you would never know it happened.

Over the years, I have seen many antique tables at Blatt in NYC and Time After Time. Many were very rough but they were restorable. I would replace the slate that is damaged with new.

If you decide to restore, contact Mark Gregory at perfect Pockez and he can tell you the name of a company who sells original parts for old tables.

Good luck
Phil

That would be Ken Hash at classic billiards. Major problem hunting down the hadware if its all missing, add that to restoring the table and he's looking at around $10,000 at least for a billiards table no one is intwrested in buying, pocket pool table yes, but not billiards. Not going to replace 1 piece of slate, thats going to require the full slate replacement, and while you're adding up that cost, might as well throw having to deal with the problem of having to drill and mount the T-bolt anchors in the slate to match the rail bolt holes in the rails, add some more $$$ for that, but I'm sure Bishop has considered all those extra costs to get that table playable again....but he probably don't think i have any idea what I'm talking about.... lol
 

Bishop

AzB Gold Member
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Silver Member
First of all, a Brilliant Novelty is a very nice table. There is a Biriiiant Novelty on a well know website now for $17K. It is an 8 footer.

I think you are wrong about restoration. I believe a master woodworker could do it, but of course I have not seen it or all the pieces. I have ornate gargoyle woodwork supporting a counter in our kitchen. My Bulldog, ( RIP) , ate about 1/4 of it as a puppy. My guy rebuilt it and sculpted it and you would never know it happened.

Over the years, I have seen many antique tables at Blatt in NYC and Time After Time. Many were very rough but they were restorable. I would replace the slate that is damaged with new.

If you decide to restore, contact Mark Gregory at perfect Pockez and he can tell you the name of a company who sells original parts for old tables.

Good luck
Phil
Thanks Phil. You are right that the table can be restored, these days just about anything can be but RKC's post is what I was thinking when I said that it was far too gone for a full blown restoration. That or it would have to someone's very personal pet project. If it were a pool table I could see a little more potential but I just don't see a return on going to that extreme.

However these days aging and relic'd items are hot so I wasn't sure if there was a market here that would be a buyer for a table that essentially could be set up and usable for a few hundred to a thousand dollars but wouldn't be restored.

That would be Ken Hash at classic billiards. Major problem hunting down the hadware if its all missing, add that to restoring the table and he's looking at around $10,000 at least for a billiards table no one is intwrested in buying, pocket pool table yes, but not billiards. Not going to replace 1 piece of slate, thats going to require the full slate replacement, and while you're adding up that cost, might as well throw having to deal with the problem of having to drill and mount the T-bolt anchors in the slate to match the rail bolt holes in the rails, add some more $$$ for that, but I'm sure Bishop has considered all those extra costs to get that table playable again....but he probably don't think i have any idea what I'm talking about.... lol
No, I agree with your post. You're pretty much spot on. I do agree about replacing the slate if you're going to restoration route.

However I do believe if you were just trying to make the table functional and set up for the average consumer on a budget, I could make the table playable without much sacrifice. Would it be 100% dialed in? No, but it would be playable and anyone wanting a 130 year old table but could never afford a restored one could have a very usable table for not much.

People buy antique furniture all the time and love the aged look.

Again, I have no idea if that market exists for a billiards table or not.
 

book collector

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Thanks Phil. You are right that the table can be restored, these days just about anything can be but RKC's post is what I was thinking when I said that it was far too gone for a full blown restoration. That or it would have to someone's very personal pet project. If it were a pool table I could see a little more potential but I just don't see a return on going to that extreme.

However these days aging and relic'd items are hot so I wasn't sure if there was a market here that would be a buyer for a table that essentially could be set up and usable for a few hundred to a thousand dollars but wouldn't be restored.

No, I agree with your post. You're pretty much spot on. I do agree about replacing the slate if you're going to restoration route.

However I do believe if you were just trying to make the table functional and set up for the average consumer on a budget, I could make the table playable without much sacrifice. Would it be 100% dialed in? No, but it would be playable and anyone wanting a 130 year old table but could never afford a restored one could have a very usable table for not much.

People buy antique furniture all the time and love the aged look.

Again, I have no idea if that market exists for a billiards table or not.

There would be a lot more interest if it was a 10 footer. Even then it wouldn't be a lot.
There are some people out there, who would pay quite a bit of money for it, as a conversation piece, but, it would have to be almost perfect.
I guess the main question is , how much time and money do you want to put in it?
I would make my end of it, and let someone else, spend the time and money, personally.
It takes a special craftsman to bring them to a like new level, most of the ones I have seen , talked a great game and their work was pathetic. {And expensive}
If you do have it restored on your dime, make sure you see up close examples of the refinishers work, before and after.
 

book collector

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Thanks Phil. You are right that the table can be restored, these days just about anything can be but RKC's post is what I was thinking when I said that it was far too gone for a full blown restoration. That or it would have to someone's very personal pet project. If it were a pool table I could see a little more potential but I just don't see a return on going to that extreme.

However these days aging and relic'd items are hot so I wasn't sure if there was a market here that would be a buyer for a table that essentially could be set up and usable for a few hundred to a thousand dollars but wouldn't be restored.

No, I agree with your post. You're pretty much spot on. I do agree about replacing the slate if you're going to restoration route.

However I do believe if you were just trying to make the table functional and set up for the average consumer on a budget, I could make the table playable without much sacrifice. Would it be 100% dialed in? No, but it would be playable and anyone wanting a 130 year old table but could never afford a restored one could have a very usable table for not much.

People buy antique furniture all the time and love the aged look.

Again, I have no idea if that market exists for a billiards table or not.

There would be a lot more interest if it was a 10 footer. Even then it wouldn't be a lot.
There are some people out there, who would pay quite a bit of money for it, as a conversation piece, but, it would have to be almost perfect.
I guess the main question is , how much time and money do you want to put in it?
I would make my end of it, and let someone else, spend the time and money, personally.
It takes a special craftsman to bring them to a like new level, most of the ones I have seen , talked a great game and their work was pathetic. {And expensive}
If you do have it restored on your dime, make sure you see up close examples of the refinishers work, before and after.
Don't chop it up, I will buy it and clean it up and play on it in my living room.
 

Bishop

AzB Gold Member
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Silver Member
There would be a lot more interest if it was a 10 footer. Even then it wouldn't be a lot.
There are some people out there, who would pay quite a bit of money for it, as a conversation piece, but, it would have to be almost perfect.
I guess the main question is , how much time and money do you want to put in it?
I would make my end of it, and let someone else, spend the time and money, personally.
It takes a special craftsman to bring them to a like new level, most of the ones I have seen , talked a great game and their work was pathetic. {And expensive}
If you do have it restored on your dime, make sure you see up close examples of the refinishers work, before and after.
Don't chop it up, I will buy it and clean it up and play on it in my living room.
Restoration on my dime is a non-starter. I just don't see a return and since its not a pool table I have no interest in that kind(or any kind) of investment over the 9' I already have.

Would love to find a buyer and unless someone wants to visit the South Texas coast I would even be interested in taking it to someone or meeting someone for the right price. It wouldn't be hard to move since its completely disassembled. Shipping would be way too much in my opinion and I enjoy traveling.

Would also be open to trades of any kind, creative or billiard related.
 

pdcue

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Restoration on my dime is a non-starter. I just don't see a return and since its not a pool table I have no interest in that kind(or any kind) of investment over the 9' I already have.

Would love to find a buyer and unless someone wants to visit the South Texas coast I would even be interested in taking it to someone or meeting someone for the right price. It wouldn't be hard to move since its completely disassembled. Shipping would be way too much in my opinion and I enjoy traveling.

Would also be open to trades of any kind, creative or billiard related.

Well God bless Google.

There are several companies that restore antique tables. One of them MIGHT
be willing to trade you a viable pool table for what you have - it is a very
desirable style of table - and people who are interested in these aren't
looking for something to practice on for their 8 ball league.

There is a guy named Peters(?) in Minneapolis/St Paul who a lifetime or so ago
I did a deal the other way, swapping an Arcade for a Lions Head table.
You could start by contacting him.

HTH
Dale
 
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phil dade

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
That would be Ken Hash at classic billiards. Major problem hunting down the hadware if its all missing, add that to restoring the table and he's looking at around $10,000 at least for a billiards table no one is intwrested in buying, pocket pool table yes, but not billiards. Not going to replace 1 piece of slate, thats going to require the full slate replacement, and while you're adding up that cost, might as well throw having to deal with the problem of having to drill and mount the T-bolt anchors in the slate to match the rail bolt holes in the rails, add some more $$$ for that, but I'm sure Bishop has considered all those extra costs to get that table playable again....but he probably don't think i have any idea what I'm talking about.... lol

Please note in my post I am suggesting selling thru an interior decorator. I never considered it to be a billiard table as it is only an oversized 8 footer. He is in it for zero. In the notth and east there is a market for these tables....not you diamond or gld crown customer...:)
 

book collector

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Restoration on my dime is a non-starter. I just don't see a return and since its not a pool table I have no interest in that kind(or any kind) of investment over the 9' I already have.

Would love to find a buyer and unless someone wants to visit the South Texas coast I would even be interested in taking it to someone or meeting someone for the right price. It wouldn't be hard to move since its completely disassembled. Shipping would be way too much in my opinion and I enjoy traveling.

Would also be open to trades of any kind, creative or billiard related.

If you don't get any cash offers that are reasonable , I'm coming to Az in the next couple of months to visit, so by all means, try to get the long dollar, and if that fails, let me know and we can try and work a trade out. I could bring it back on the return trip.
 

realkingcobra

Well-known member
Silver Member
Please note in my post I am suggesting selling thru an interior decorator. I never considered it to be a billiard table as it is only an oversized 8 footer. He is in it for zero. In the notth and east there is a market for these tables....not you diamond or gld crown customer...:)

Keep in mind, a table that can't even be assembled, no matter what condition it's in, even for free has a negative value. Kind of like buying an old car with no motor or transmission, and the body is beat and missing parts as well.
 

Mr. Bond

Orbis Non Sufficit
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Ethically speaking, the table should indeed be saved, if not fully restored, for its artistic and historical value. But yes, that will cost money.
 

realkingcobra

Well-known member
Silver Member
Ethically speaking, the table should indeed be saved, if not fully restored, for its artistic and historical value. But yes, that will cost money.

I kind of think responders are missing one major point here. IF the table was complete enough to be fully assembled, reguardless of its condition, as long as it's complete, it can be assumed to have SOME value as all original at the least. BUT, with no hardware, a broken slate....and of T-rail design slates a yone wanting to do something or even considering doing something with it, needs to understand that until you've invested at least a few tbousand dollars just to be able to assemble it, which has nothing to do with 1 dollar towards restoring the table....its like buying a house worth 100k, but has a 300k mortgage that you're going to be assuming to pick up the house that maybe after fixing it up a little....might be worth 125k.
 

Bishop

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I kind of think responders are missing one major point here. IF the table was complete enough to be fully assembled, reguardless of its condition, as long as it's complete, it can be assumed to have SOME value as all original at the least. BUT, with no hardware, a broken slate....and of T-rail design slates a yone wanting to do something or even considering doing something with it, needs to understand that until you've invested at least a few tbousand dollars just to be able to assemble it, which has nothing to do with 1 dollar towards restoring the table....its like buying a house worth 100k, but has a 300k mortgage that you're going to be assuming to pick up the house that maybe after fixing it up a little....might be worth 125k.
I see where you're coming from but we can agree to disagree. I'd prefer not to get into it with you(specifically in this thread) about how to go about making new hardware work but I'm confident with some retrofitting that this table can be assembled for far less than "a few thousand". I have years of experience just like you do.

I know when it comes to assembling a table on a scale of 1-10 you're a solid 20 and when you see something like this your only perspective is how to go about giving that customer the "20" job you strive for but someone looking to have this table assembled without spending 10-15K for a full blown restoration job can accomplish such a task with a competent mechanic for a bit less than 1k. That's hardware, rubber and cloth. Not counting the cost of the mechanic to assemble the table.

The 4th piece of slate would be debatable. Obviously there's a cost to replace it but there's plenty of mechanics out there that would reassemble the broken slate. Would it be up to your snuff....hell no. But it would be playable and only noticeable to a very discerning eye.

Again I'm aware that you think very little of most table mechanics but this world is filled with pool tables that were installed by the average billiard mechanic and they've provided years of wonderful service for their customers.

I'm in no way trying to look at this from the upper skill level perspective that you operate at. I hope you can live with that without escalating this conversation into a full blown fight.
 

phil dade

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Keep in mind, a table that can't even be assembled, no matter what condition it's in, even for free has a negative value. Kind of like buying an old car with no motor or transmission, and the body is beat and missing parts as well.

Glen, he has already stated he can assemble it and mke it playable. :smile:
 

realkingcobra

Well-known member
Silver Member
Glen, he has already stated he can assemble it and mke it playable. :smile:

Not without hardware, and you won't find it at home depot. Bishop already said the table is disassemble and there's no hardware to put it together....and that is no ordinary hardware of nuts and bolts.
 
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Bishop

AzB Gold Member
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Glen, he has already stated he can assemble it and mke it playable. :smile:

Not without hardware, and you won't find it at home depot. Bishop already said the table is disassemble and there's no hardware to put it together....and that is no ordinary hardware of nuts and bolts.

This is correct on both posts. The table does not have the hardware. However the legs and end frame are assembled.

It'll take a little bit of searching for hardware and some minor retro fitting to get the table fully together.

A competent mechanic should have no issue here. I worked for a number of billiard stores and all did a great job of hoarding hardware over the years. In my opinion hitting up local shops is where I would start. There are also a few places online that sell reproduction pieces.

Not an endorsement but a quick internet search yielded this place that has pages of hardware.

https://www.classicbilliards.net/

I know Glenn wants us all to think that this hardware is rare and impossible to find but its out there and some hardware is interchangeable between models so its not all 1 off stuff. Just need to look around and ask around.

Again, if you're on a budget there will be some retro fitting.

Think of it in terms of a restoring a car. There's no shortage of great restored muscle cars but not all are numbers matching and original.
 

realkingcobra

Well-known member
Silver Member
This is correct on both posts. The table does not have the hardware. However the legs and end frame are assembled.

It'll take a little bit of searching for hardware and some minor retro fitting to get the table fully together.

A competent mechanic should have no issue here. I worked for a number of billiard stores and all did a great job of hoarding hardware over the years. In my opinion hitting up local shops is where I would start. There are also a few places online that sell reproduction pieces.

Not an endorsement but a quick internet search yielded this place that has pages of hardware.

https://www.classicbilliards.net/

I know Glenn wants us all to think that this hardware is rare and impossible to find but its out there and some hardware is interchangeable between models so its not all 1 off stuff. Just need to look around and ask around.

Again, if you're on a budget there will be some retro fitting.

Think of it in terms of a restoring a car. There's no shortage of great restored muscle cars but not all are numbers matching and original.

Well, just so you have something to think about....replacing hardware if you have it in hand is one thing, but buying hardware from Ken Hash to replace MISSING hardware....leaves hin trying to guess what that hardware may be. If you think hardware for an 1880 Brunswick is just sitting on someones shelf somewhere, then i guess you should have no problem finding it right? I mean, just send Ken a picture of the hardware you're missing and he'll go in his back room and find it....LOL i know Ken, we've talked on my occasions. Restoring a muscle car is not the same thing as restoring a 1903 Buick you found in someones barn....in a dissasembled pile of parts....LOL
 

iusedtoberich

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
For the sake of argument, do these tables in restored condition actually sell through? Or do they sit in someone's showroom for 10 years until a buyer comes along?
 
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