Looking for info on the cases George Balabushka sold his cue in.

maha

from way back when
Silver Member
he just handed me mine at the pool room.
i dont remember cases. he just sent them in a box when he mailed them as far as i remember.
 

mikemosconi

AzB Silver Member
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Guys I know either picked them up at his shop, had them mailed in the boxes you sometimes see for sale with his cues, or he delivered them personally around the NYC and surrounding suburbs at the pool halls where the buyer played- he showed up with his cues in a paper bag. He also brought them, in the early days, to Chinatown pool rooms in a paper shopping bag. He traveled the train systems to deliver his cues around the NYC and NY metro areas.

I had not heard about cases from George.
 

Bob Jewett

AZB Osmium Member
Staff member
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Mine came mailed in cardboard boxes. The boxes are worth a fair amount of money now to collectors.
 

sonny burnett

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It ceases to amaze me how much history is available from the members! Thanks for the input/stories!!

Sent from my SM-G970U using Tapatalk
 

mikemosconi

AzB Silver Member
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I’ve heard at least a few references to to vinyl cases.

Here’s one:

Some of the old time cue makers did keep cheap soft cases in their shops for customers. I remember visiting Abe Rich ( Star Cues) at his small shop in a back alley in Miami in 1995. Abe had some cheaper soft cases lying around and also some Kolpin ( a U.S. gun case Mfg. ) soft cases - I bought one from him with the cue he sold me.
It would be feasible that George had these vinyl cases lying around if someone showed up for their cue and desired one - but I never heard of him mailing or hand delivering a cue in a case to a customer. They were either in mailing boxes wrapped in brown paper or hand delivered in paper bag to my knowledge from that anyone I knew who received one from George.

Back then, most folks were much more frugal in their thinking. George certainly was -- Most of those ordering a cue from George already owned a cue, and I guess the thought process was, well, they will just replace their cue in the case with George's cue.
 

mikemosconi

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
It ceases to amaze me how much history is available from the members! Thanks for the input/stories!!

Sent from my SM-G970U using Tapatalk
Here is one for you- someone I knew was very good player in New Rochelle NY- a NYC suburb. George made him a gambler style cue with the playing card suits. George showed up at the pool hall with the cue in a paper bag as usual. The new owner went over to the table , took the cue out of the bag, and as George watched, he ran 50+ right out of the bag! Straight pool was a favorite game back then, George had a big smile of a very proud man:) Then he got on the train and went back to Brooklyn to create another masterpiece! True story.
 

jimmyco

NRA4Life
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"Not mentioned by Pete in his letter is this cue comes with the original black vinyl case sold with the cue by George Balabushka."

Is that what they call non-provenance?
 

maha

from way back when
Silver Member
usually they went from about 100 bucks to 200 bucks. depending on if you knew him.
extras added of course to the price.
at that time the plain palmer was 27 bucks and the one with the titlest points and your name was 60 bucks.
a titlest one piece house cue was 8 bucks.

a nice new car was 2500
mcdonalds burger 19 cents
glass of beer 25 cents
dollar an hour to play pool
a good steak dinner 8 bucks or less.
gas less than 40 cents a gallon
3 dollars to play a round of golf at the municipal course
 
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cueman

AzB Gold Member
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I have not heard of George sending cues with a case, but Gus Szamboti often sent his cues in a Fellini case.
 

thepavlos

AzB Gold Member
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The cases that were popular when Balabushka was delivering cues were similar to these early Palmer cases:
 

Bob Jewett

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The cases that were popular when Balabushka was delivering cues were similar to these early Palmer cases:
Another common style at that time was the undivided leather tube case. Brunswick sold them and I got one from Whitehead and Zimmerman in San Francisco that was said to be made in Mexico by special order. It was large enough for two butts and four shafts. It had a simple pattern tooled into the leather. There are similar styles today but the modern ones are mostly divided and mostly much fancier. Mine had a pool cloth liner.
 
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