Tournament Billiard Table- Brunswick & Balke Co 1878- Fine Art Furnishing – Grain Matched –
This Is The Actual Table Built For, and awarded to the winner of, the first Brunswick & Balke Co. sanctioned “International Billiard Tournament” in 1878. It is, without a doubt, one of the finest examples of billiard table cabinet artistry ever built by what always was and remains today the most prominent American pool table manufacturer in the history of the game, Brunswick.
Standing 5 ft. wide and 10 ft. long, work of art was proudly owned for nearly all of its life by the John Maas family of Albany, N.Y. Mr. Maas was a German immigrant, born in 1846, and he lived until 1929. Although a premier cabinetmaker by trade, he went on to become an extremely successful builder and land developer. He lived in a magnificent Victorian home at 239 Sherman St., in Albany, N.Y.
With Mr. Maas’ architectural collaboration, the Hotel Wellington was built and thus his name quickly became synonymous with “fine quality,” and “impressive grandeur.” As demanding as Mr. Maas obviously was, we can readily understand how a billiard table of this pedigree fell nothing short of what a man of his stature would have demanded, cherished, and been able to afford!
With the cooperation of the New York historical society and research library in Albany, has led us to conclude that Mr. Maas purchased the table from Cyrille Dion, the winner of the 1878 World tournament, as we found no evidence of Mr. Maas himself ever having competed professionally.
Serial number of just 23 this was the twenty third one-of-a-kind table, custom built by the Brunswick & Balke master craftsmen, specifically to be awarded as the 1st prize trophy for winning a major tournament. This had to be what they felt was their “coup de grace” as they realized it was going to permanently represent their virtually world renowned reputation in the field of billiard table design and cabinet making by being used in, and awarded as the grand prize for, one of, if not “the” most important sanctioned International Billiard Tournament(s) ever played.
With the finest Artimus cushions, the highest quality Simonis cloth, 4-piece, one-inch Italian slate bed, we can legitimately claim, “It doesn’t get any better than this!” All of the hardware that you see when the table is assembled is either 24 gold-plated, brass-plated, or solid brass. The entire table is veneered with ebonized cherry, the rail-tops are solid cherry with inlaid ivory diamonds and its uniquely shaped original 1870s gold-plated Brunswick & Balke nameplate. The intricately carved ebony urns and reeds beautifully contrasted by their rich gold-leaf paint surroundings. There is also a, hand-painted gold-leaf work of art imbedded in each end of the spectacular cabinet in the form of a rare “Minton China” tile! The likeness depicted is reported to be that of “Adonis, the god of love!”.
Having remained in the Mass family until 1961, outside of their family, we are only its second proud owners and have played less than fifteen games of pool on the table. Enough to know that it plays wonderful pool and literally stuns all who see it in person. Given these facts and assertions, we are entirely confident that this table is genuinely everything we claim it to be. It’s certainly fabulous, and undoubtedly ONE-OF-A-KIND!! We feel it is one of the absolutely finest antique billiard tables in existence.