Pool ball collecting.

rexus31

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I must say, Mr R, that set you have pictured looks absolutely fantastic! Sometimes the colours of the R15s can fade a little, particularly the yellows, but that example really is in beautiful condition.

Thank you for sharing, sir.

They certainly are but at $475 they are out of the budget at the moment.
 

Rubik's Cube

Pool ball collector.
Silver Member
Wanted Gallery.

Good evening, ladies and gentlemen.

Very early on in the thread I posted up a plea for help in securing a much sought after box of Joe Camel marbleized pool balls. After searching for this rare and desirable set myself for many years I had almost given up hope. Thanks to AZB member XPLSV's detective work, however, miracles do happen once in a while and a pristine example was found in a Colorado Springs antique store.

Buoyed by such a remarkable discovery, please allow me to also share details of a dozen other elusive sets that I would dearly love to add to my treasured collection. Any information at all that might help in their acquisition would be deeply appreciated indeed. I can be contacted directly through this forum's private messaging service or, if you're viewing this thread as a guest, via my personal email address: ruperman@ruperman.com


2e64ok9.jpg



A. It is rather depressing to ponder upon the countless hours I have spent online in a forlorn quest to obtain this wonderful curiosity. Four contrasting designs grouped together to form a pool ball set that, in my view anyway, is something of exceptional beauty and interest. To the best of my knowledge the grainy photograph above is only the second such image ever to appear anywhere on the world wide web, a copy of the original eBay listing dating way back to 2003. I want these balls bad, dear reader. Any leads at all, no matter how remote they may seem, would all be most gratefully received.

B. This tricoloured set is really pleasing to my eye. I love the traditional fonts (akin to Aramith Premiers) and the fact that they are numbered 1 to 5 on each of the yellow, blue and red colours. They were originally sold through Muellers but I was distraught to just miss out on their last ever consignment. I later found an identical set being offered by a company called shelti.com. An order was immediately placed with much elation and satisfaction at such a serendipitous stroke of good fortune. Imagine my disappointment when the delivered set did not match the sale advertisement at all. Only three of the balls were numbered for some bizarre reason and the fonts were of a newer 'art' design which is not to my liking. The search goes on. A pristine, unused example must be out there somewhere. I just have to find it.

C. I already own a mint condition set of these awesome Poker Balls. My motive for including them here on this 'desperately seeking' gallery is a desire to find another similar box for my good friend and fellow collector, K2Kraze. This set is often attributed to the mighty Aramith, but my contact at the illustrious Belgian company assures me that this is not the case. After extensive research, primarily focusing our investigation on the distinctive typeface, we now believe these exceptional balls were probably created by Albany Hyatt of New York.

D. Marketed as a collaboration between Aramith and the prestigious Champagne brand, these striking Veuve Clicquot balls have thwarted every attempt of mine to acquire them. Aramith insist they are only available via their commissioning client, a firm called Games Room Company of Weybridge, England. Frustratingly, my many polite enquiries to GRC (and even Veuve Clicquot themselves) have all gone unanswered.

E. One could almost copy and paste the entire paragraph featured above to also describe everything about these iconic examples. Once again the product of a partnership between Aramith and a manufacturer of luxury consumer goods, and once again proving impossible to procure even the merest glimpse of a set let alone buy one. Aramith refuse to sell them at any price, and Louis Vuitton can't be bothered to answer any correspondence.

F. These striking balls are called Krom Premieres, an innovative creation from Belgian pioneer, Pierre Deveaux. They were the subject of a failed crowdfunding enterprise in 2014, but having corresponded with Mr Deveaux via email I am led to believe that a few prototypes are in the hands of original investors. Can one be unearthed by the esteemed detectives of AZB, perhaps?

G. Regular contributors to our thread may have noticed that I recently shared news of my incredible luck in tracking down this exceptional Raschig Four Player set to a small town in rural Germany. If my deductions are correct it was created as a prototype in June, 1983 and I consider myself truly blessed indeed to own such a rare gem. Until acquiring the balls in late 2018 I wasn't even aware this fabulous design existed, they're undoubtedly rather special. Yet where there is one, there is surely another. And I would dearly love to find one more to take its deserved place in Mr K's unparalleled collection down in Fort Worth.

H. This branded Raschig Bumblebee was nestled amongst an impressive private collection featured on these very pages many years ago. I saw it whilst browsing through the archives. I want one! It also raises the possibility in my mind of more (as yet unseen) creations from the famous German firm of the 1970s and 80s. Given the recent discovery of their Four Player and One Pocket sets, surely it is feasible to imagine Raschig also produced Poker Balls, or any number of other desirable incarnations? I'm of the view that they probably cast every conceivable model also offered by contemporary billiard ball manufacturers. One just has to find them!

I. Completing my trio of all things Raschig, here are their amazing One Pockets... a veritable swarm of fifteen iconic Bumblebees and a pristine cueball. Has there ever been a more beautiful set of pool balls? Not in my view, that's for sure. I intend to do everything in my power to find additional examples to share with fellow enthusiasts.

J. I can offer no higher praise of these Hyatt Romanique 1s than to acknowledge the fact that they are the one single set I desire above all others. Not only are these balls exquisite in my view, they're also of a rarity and historical import seldom seen before, if ever. Any information at all that might help secure a set for my own treasured collection would be sincerely appreciated beyond words. Quite understandably, of course, existing owners of such a precious jewel are often reluctant to part with it for something so evanescent as mere money. Here is my plan, dear reader: I have before me a mint, never played set of the much sought after Raschig Turniersatz R9s in original box with booklet, PLUS its sister set the Raschig Spots and Stripes R15s in a similarly untouched condition. I would be prepared to swap BOTH of these remarkable (and very valuable) sets for one pristine example of the fabulous Hyatt Romanique 1s. One can but try!

K. As evidenced across the only surviving image of these elegant, world globe inspired pool balls, they were cast by the Chinese firm, Lincos. Following lengthy discussions with a company representative I was able to ascertain that a single production run of 200 was ordered by a client in 2006. No existing samples remain at their Xiamen factory and, worse yet, they have destroyed the original mould. Despite such discouraging news, surely some if those initial sets must be tucked away somewhere?

M. First of all, ladies and gentlemen, please accept my apologies for the confusing typo. Rest assured there was a letter L once upon a time, but it didn't make the final cut in arranging the pictures and I neglected to correct the error. Sorry! The balls shown in this final image are commonly referred to as Raschig Darts or Centennials. It is the only thing that is common about them, however, as they are remarkably rare and highly desirable. I have witnessed just two sets come to market in the past twenty-five years and missed out on both.

Many thanks for taking the time and trouble to read through my top twelve wanted list, everyone. I hope it was at least of some interest.

Best wishes,
RC.
 

Rubik's Cube

Pool ball collector.
Silver Member
Good morning, everyone. :)

I got to wondering last night about how many pool ball collectors exist in the world? I'm starting to believe we're quite a rare breed, which would be a real shame.

Do you think there might be a few super collectors out there, secretly hoarding the very best treasures for their eyes only?

Best wishes,
RC.
 

Rubik's Cube

Pool ball collector.
Silver Member
Good afternoon, Skip. :)

I would say at $20 it is a FANTASTIC buy, sir!

My belief is that your beautiful Poker Balls were probably cast by the estimable Albany Hyatt of New York at some time during the 1960s. Check out image C of my WANTED gallery above, Mr S. The number and letter fonts of these later Pokers are the same.

The balls appear to be unused in your photograph. What a truly wonderful discovery. Congratulations, dear fellow! Do you plan to keep them as a jewel in a collection? Or are they perhaps for sale?

Thank you very much for a great contribution to the thread, Skip.

Best wishes,
RC.
 

skip2134

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I’m thinking I’ll add them to my collection. Should look nice below my zig zag set. If I decide to let them go you’ll have first dibs. Thanks for the kind words.


Sent from my iPhone using AzBilliards Forums
 

Rubik's Cube

Pool ball collector.
Silver Member
An excellent and wise choice, Mr S. :)

It really is a beautiful set, so lustrous. I was even wondering if they might be bakelite? If I find out anything else I'll be sure to let you know, sir.

Best wishes,
RC.
 

skip2134

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I’m not sure of their composition but here are a couple more photos. They are in fantastic shape but I can tell they were lightly used. Potentially just test hit. I am very happy! Not the original box but the bottom green section is very heavy duty and is also Hyatt.
 
Last edited:

Rubik's Cube

Pool ball collector.
Silver Member
Excellent, Mr S. :)

Thank you for sharing a few more photographs and details of such a beautiful set.

Best wishes,
RC.
 

Rubik's Cube

Pool ball collector.
Silver Member
Raschigs.

Good afternoon, everyone.

It struck me that whereas most pool-playing folks are aware of Raschig's Turniersatz 9 Ball set or their classic spots and stripes Dekorits, the esteemed German manufacturer also offered numerous other highly desirable creations that have somehow dropped under the radar.

My own knowledge extends to the twelve examples listed below, but I reckon there must be a few lost treasures yet to be discovered. Perhaps a wise AZB member could fill in any gaps?

1. 9-Ball Turniersatz (numberless design with the iconic Bumblebee supplied in the classic blue box).

2. 15-ball spots and stripes (either in the blue box or the Dekorit branded red box. Sometimes supplied with a single-dotted cueball, sometimes a plain one).

3. 15-ball spots and stripes sporting the centennial-style number discs (often called Raschig Darts). I've only ever seen two examples online. One was in a blue box, the other in a red.

4. Raschig Four Player. An eye-catching 16-ball game featuring four Bumblebees, four Ladybugs, four Bluebottles and four Grasshoppers. My set arrived in the branded blue box.

5. Raschig One Pocket. 15 yellow and black Bumblebee stripes and a plain cueball. Supplied in a blue box.

6. Raschig Snooker. 22 balls of this old English game housed in a square Dekorit-style red box.

7. Casino Pool. 8 reds, 8 yellows, a black 8 spot and plain white cueball. Cased in the standard blue box.

8. Raschig Rings. A bit of a mystery. My box of 16 cueballs with six concentric circles came in the iconic blue box. We think they were probably prototypes of some kind.

9. Raschig Bocetta. Four reds, four whites and a slightly smaller blue ball in a square blue box.

10. Four-Ball Billiards. Raschig's variant on Yotsudama featuring two reds and two whites (one spotted) supplied in a square blue box.

11. Carombolage. One red, one white and one yellow in a black rectangular box with red and white writing.

12. Three-Ball Billiards. Small, blue rectangular box containing either a) one red, one white and one yellow. Or b) one red and two whites, one of which is spotted.

In addition to the dozen rare and beautiful Raschig sets detailed above, there are two curious single balls which have eluded every attempt of mine to acquire any further information. One is the branded Bumblebee pictured on my WANTED gallery. The other is a striped 8 ball (presumably part of an as yet undiscovered full set) that made a very brief appearance on Raschig's 125th anniversary video.

Best wishes,
RC.
 

Rubik's Cube

Pool ball collector.
Silver Member
I forgot to mention yesterday that I currently have five of the twelve Raschig sets listed above. :)

One or two more will undoubtedly tip the balance and I'll become obsessed about collecting them all. :(
 

K2Kraze

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
Back in post #899, I shared one of the few officially licensed ball sets for the King of Beers - Budweiser - that make up part of the holdings in my collection I call the Brewery section. As luck would have it, my good friend and partner in numerous global search efforts for the more interesting and unique billiard ball sets, Rubik’s Cube, mentions the all-red Budweiser set and if I’ve seen those. Well, sir, yes I have seen those - they’ve just been eluding capture by way of poor examples or incomplete sets.

So I redoubled my efforts in those coming months and finally came across these beauties and acquired them from a fellow that had never played them. New in the box as they say. NIB. Flawless really. Even the box had minimal wear as if purchased from the manufacturer yesterday.

The all-red Budweiser set:

32808ffbc882f2c0acf1521d8a25ce19.jpg


b06d33372d7fccb53116665249f1e3fa.jpg


Perfectly weighted across all 16, they make a striking example of what the night can bring when playing these bright beauties on the baize - in any of the grand games. Because, it’s worth it - it’s Budweiser.

Drink responsibly my friends.

Collect maniacally.



~ K
 
Last edited:

Rubik's Cube

Pool ball collector.
Silver Member
Good afternoon, Mr K. :)

Congratulations on discovering those beautiful red Budweisers, dear fellow. I have long thought that this particular incarnation from the King of Beers was by far their most appealing design.

What is next on your brewery wish list, sir?

Best wishes,
RC.
 

K2Kraze

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
Hello, RC! Thank you for checking in and your generous comments as always, sir. Hope all is well in your neck of the woods this fine Saturday morning in the U.K. I see it’s a refreshing 9°C outside there for you and sunny as can be

As for the next Brewery wish-list addition.....in short - all of them. The ones I don’t have that is. I have eyes on the Coors and Miller Beer variants in a few parts across the globe, so if you see anything that catches your eye, by all means fire across an email, sir!

In the meantime, I’ll prepare for a night of offering various Budweiser beers (to be served in Budweiser steins of course) to go along with the few Budweiser ball sets and the favorite games - should prove an interesting night to capture memories on video when Tony starts sampling



~ K.
 

K2Kraze

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
Speaking of interesting....

Minnesota Fats

Utter this gentleman’s name around a pool table anywhere in the English speaking world and you can be assured cues will be set idle and eyes will turn to you waiting for a quip or quote to soon follow about the Great Fat Man.

To spare yet another lengthy, but fitting short story about the fellow, I’d like to share a few thoughts and pictures of the legendary Mr. Rudolf W. Wanderon and a few of the pool ball sets he endorsed.

07f76fbe5a3f921ffcdc018a45288b87.jpg


Pool ball collecting doesn’t need to be about scouring the planet gathering up as many sets as there are variants - and that’s ok for some....but it can also be as simple as having one favorite memory or character that you’d like to keep front and center when you’re in your room and around your table. And who better to do that than the master entertainer himself - Minnesota Fats.

Here are a few fun and quite easily found ball sets that do play surprisingly well! Both of these were of course made in China and were sold for the amazing retail price back a few decades ago for $19 and $29 respectively. The weights are nearly identical. No, they don’t skid or slide any more than 95% of the balls out there as long as you keep that cue ball clean.

fe5cb092ebfabb95a7df5d923e01370d.jpg


77e0c79637d0933101237b6b54c6f32b.jpg


ed608efea27807d772b1bda08e235cd5.jpg


95d91e67e30b17af0995b08a99b780a8.jpg


You’ll notice the type style and stripes are slightly larger in the second set shown, with colors a bit brighter as well. Again, they are exactly the same weight (within .5 grams) which is surprising since they come from different provinces of China.

In closing, as Fats himself left us with this on his tombstone: BEAT EVERY PLAYER ON EARTH, “ST. PETER, RACK’EM UP!”

~ K.
 
Last edited:

rexus31

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Fine additions, Kerry!

Here's my latest acquisition: Hyatt Bicentennials. Shoutout to @poolhustler for selling me these gems complete with original box and certificate.

47507820741_c9c0030d58_b.jpg


33631178948_b052f8d92d_b.jpg


47507820471_376cccb16d_b.jpg
 

K2Kraze

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
NICE FIND, rexus31!

Now THAT looks to be a near-perfect set of the coveted limited edition Bicentennials - with two tell tale signs: the beautiful ever so slight amber coloring of the whites and then the flawless Liberty Bell cue ball - which typically shows dark brown phenolic striations throughout. Yours appears to be manufactured yesterday!

Do you have any more history of their whereabouts prior to ending up in your care? Any signs of being played or the typical raised numerals and stars on the balls? All things adding to their value of course

Now please tell us that you’ll get them out of the box and play a few racks with them to really appreciate why they were made

~ K.






Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

rexus31

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
NICE FIND, rexus31!

Now THAT looks to be a near-perfect set of the coveted limited edition Bicentennials - with two tell tale signs: the beautiful ever so slight amber coloring of the whites and then the flawless Liberty Bell cue ball - which typically shows dark brown phenolic striations throughout. Yours appears to be manufactured yesterday!

Do you have any more history of their whereabouts prior to ending up in your care? Any signs of being played or the typical raised numerals and stars on the balls? All things adding to their value of course

Now please tell us that you’ll get them out of the box and play a few racks with them to really appreciate why they were made

~ K.






Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Thank you, sir.

Unfortunately, I do not know their history but they appear to have not been played much, if at all. The numerals and stars appear to be slightly raised as are the graphics on the cue ball.

I may have to hit a few racks with them. Just to say I did :grin:
 

Rubik's Cube

Pool ball collector.
Silver Member
Good evening, gentlemen. :)

Just to add my tuppence worth on Mr R's recent purchase. Something that is particularly wonderful with this set is how remarkably well the green colouring of the 6 and 14 balls has endured. My own treasured Bicentennials have faded somewhat alas.

A truly excellent find. Bravo, sir! :)
 
Top