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ID Old 1-piece Brunswick Cue?

ID Old 1-piece Brunswick Cue?

I am trying to identify this older one-piece Brunswick Balke Collender pool cue.

I deal in antiques, art, and collectibles, but pool cues are a little out of my league. I am trying to research this 1-piece stick. I was told it is from the 1890s and despite reading through several different sites and blogs I have no idea how to properly describe this cue?

Butterfly? Splice? 360? 20?

Any information you guys can provide would be very much appreciated!






ID Old 1-piece Brunswick Cue?

Replies & Comments

  1. PoolCueNewbiebilliardsforum on 8/29/2018 3:47:32 PM

    This particular style of Brunswick Balke Collender cue has come to be known as the Brunswick fish pole cue.

    • They were made circa ~1914-1916 roughly. Definitely not before 1900 and not after 1920 (e.g. they aren't any longer in the 1923 Brunswick Balke Collender pool cues catalog.
    • The "20" you see near the butt-cap is (was) the weight of the cue.
    • It does have "spliced points" but the type of splice isn't a "butterfly splice". You wouldn't use the term "butterfly" anywhere in a description of this cue.
    • It isn't a Brunswick 360 cue either. Those are much different.
    • The triangle shaped inlay in the butt sleeve is a "pearl name plate" - not actually engraved in your cue.
    • The primary way to date these are via the minute details of the decal. Unfortunately in your case, many of those date-defining characteristics are lost.

    My "informed best-answer" is that it is a 1915-1916 Brunswick No. 220 with "fishpole style butt and Ivory tip" pool cue. You could get it with various wood types and veneer color according to their catalogs.

    Here it is from the Brunswick 1915 Mail Order Pool Table catalog:


    Here it is from the Brunswick 1916 Mail Order Pool Table catalog:



    The cue in your pictures is in rough shape compared to some others which are out there. There are a couple in very good condition right at the moment on eBay going in the $2500-$2800 range (but I suspect they will not likely sell at that price). Mind you, this one isn't your exact one, but it's of the same vintage. Just gives you an idea of the quality that's out there, and the level of quality that most serious antique pool cue collectors will be looking for.

    Antique Pool/Billiard/Brunswick #220 Fish Pole 4 Point Ebony Handle Pool Cue.

    Price: $2800

    Antique Brunswick #220 Fish Pole Handle 4 Point Ebony Pool Cue c1900. Silk Wrap & MOP Inset. 56 3/4" long and sites pretty straight but does have a slight warp towards shaft that we have almost out. Hard to find Brunswick cue. Most antique billiard table buyers purchase a decent antique table then buy a cheap cue rack and cheap cues, they forget it takes the right tool for the job. If you ever owned one of these antique Brunswick cues you know what I am talking about and are the hardest of all to find in nice condition. We have a few hundred high end Brunswick cues and cues from around the world, we are selling them one at a time of by the lot. Buyer pays $35.00 shipping cost. Being sold in as is good used condition.





    Source: ebay.com/itm/122742203357

  2. PoolCueNewbieChopdoc on 8/30/2018 4:52:27 AM

    Hard to add to that but I would like to say that those Ebay asking prices are probably more than double the market value. Hard to find comparable sales though.

  3. PoolCueNewbiePoolCueNewbie on 8/30/2018 6:23:33 AM

    Thank you so very much for your help! I was completely lost on how to describe and sell this piece and now I feel much more confident about what I have. I really appreciate your knowledge!

    I actually have the ability to get 3 more of these cues, but they are in even rougher condition then this one.

    Do you think I would be better off selling them individually in the rough shape, or getting them restored a bit first? What about selling them as a "Set of 4?"

  4. PoolCueNewbieChopdoc on 8/30/2018 8:25:52 AM

    Selling individually is generally better. You'll attract more buyers and ultimately more money. If they want all of them they may seek a "package" price with a discount for taking all.

    Generally, the additional cost of a restoration will not be recovered in a sale, it might be, but don't plan on it. In addition, many cue collectors will be concerned about who exactly did the restoration and exactly how it was done. They can be quite critical of restorations.

    The cost and quality of a restoration can vary wildly. Send it to a local cue repair guy and you might regret it. Send it to a well known high end cue maker that you have no relationship with, the cost can be significant. Since you are not a billiards guy, you don't have a relationship with any leading cue maker that would be highly qualified to do this anyway. If you insist on having it done, I can advise you where to send it. Don't google cue restoration, I know where that will send you and it isn't the best place to go, though it's cheaper.

    I will say that if you have a showroom the restored cues display really nicely and will be an asset. But that is a showroom matter, not a sale.

    In my opinion sell separately and leave the restoration up to the buyer(s).

  5. PoolCueNewbiePoolCueNewbie on 8/30/2018 8:29:45 AM

    Thanks again! The other cues are all missing their Mother of Pearl and I have a guy who does Ivory and MOP restoration for us so I was going to see how much he would charge just to inlay new MOP.

    Maybe I will just leave them all as is and see how they do. For now, I am going to get this one listed (we sell on ebay, no reserve auctions) and see how it goes!

    If you want to check it out, our seller name is WWOLST12

    Thanks again for all of your help. I really truly appreciate it

  6. PoolCueNewbieChopdoc on 8/30/2018 10:02:14 AM

    If he's not a cue maker, I wouldn't have him touch them. People can be fussy about who does the work and how it is done.

    I'll watch for your sales and let other collectors know as well.

    List them as used cues. Do not list them under "needing repair". That area gets less views.

    List them as Brunswick antique cues.

    Pictures sell. Pictures like you present here are important.

  7. PoolCueNewbiePoolCueNewbie on 8/30/2018 11:47:56 AM

    Sounds like a plan! It will be up for sale tonight around 7-9pm EST. We are also listing a really nice carved oak billiards ball shelf tonight too!


    This is a link to our store. :)

  8. PoolCueNewbiebilliardsforum on 8/30/2018 2:53:32 PM

    The other cues are all missing their Mother of Pearl and I have a guy who does Ivory and MOP restoration for us so I was going to see how much he would charge just to inlay new MOP.

    I second @Chopdoc's recommendation not to let a non-cue specialist work on these cues.

    In fact I would say there are only handful of folks in the country who really specialize in pre-1920s antique Brunswick pool cue restoration. The one I would consider to be the best of all of them, Paul Mineart out of Payson, AZ, seems to have dropped off the face of the earth about 5 months ago. He runs/ran Vintage Cues for You cue restoration services, but his site is offline (link goes to our business listing page). In fact, for a time, I believe Brunswick would direct their antique cue restoration customers to him.

    He's the "Joe Newell" of Antique Brunswick cue restoration specialists (Joe is one of the top guys to go to for an antique Brunswick pool table restoration).

    He's written 30-page documents on the "Dating 1880s to 1960s Brunswick Balke Collender pool cues based on the subtle differences in the logo decals" (one which puts a similar guide in the Blue Book of Pool Cues to shame). He's documented a ton of other details on these old cues, and he is/was the source for precise reproduction decals - I mean identical and exacting, right down to the materials and inks used. He wouldn't touch anything later than the Willie Hoppe cues nor anything that wasn't a Brunswick cue. He was retired from "normal work" and wasn't doing it for the money.

    It takes a specialist like this guy, with knowledge of how to work with the hand-tapered cues of those days, to really do it right.

    Here is his before and after shots, specifically showing his mother-of-perl inlay restoration work on similar cues:





    But anyway, thought I would bring him up while we're on the subject in-case anyone knows what he's doing these days (or on the off chance he sees this).

    Anyway, good luck with the auctions. Looking forward to watching what they sell for.

  9. PoolCueNewbieChopdoc on 8/30/2018 3:57:42 PM

    I didn't know he was MIA. I have a cue I was considering sending to him. I'll probably post some shots of it soon.

    Ivory joint Brunswick 26 1/2, and early one with pearl wedge. Excellent condition, just needs clean up and the bottom veneers replaced. The rest of it is in amazing condition.

    I hope he's still at it.

  10. PoolCueNewbiebilliardsforum on 8/30/2018 5:33:48 PM

    Yeah I am not sure what his status is. His sites are all offline (as of the past 3-5 months), and I have not been getting any response from him via email at all.

    Could also be that he has so much word-of-mouth work now the sites are just a distraction. I can just imagine the amount of identification requests he must have got through them.

  11. PoolCueNewbieChopdoc on 8/31/2018 9:58:28 AM

    And the bidding is moving...


    Shipping is rough, but people will just factor that into what they bid.

    I'll be curious to see where this one ends up.

    This kind of sale will make a good reference. All those high asking prices on other cues that have been for sale for a long time really are not good references.

    In addition, many of these cues are sold privately so we don't know their selling price.

  12. PoolCueNewbiebilliardsforum on 9/11/2018 3:32:05 PM

    Just posting the final sale price for anyone coming here interested in it's value in the future.

    Antique c1915 Brunswick No. 220 Fish Pole Pool Cue One-Piece Billiards Stick NR

    • Ended: Sep 09, 2018 , 11:42 PM
    • Winning bid: $281 USD [14 bids]
    • Shipping: $140.18 USD
  13. PoolCueNewbieChopdoc on 9/11/2018 4:28:45 PM

    Thank you.

    Yes, I was watching it.

    I dig antiques, but not interested in another project like this one.

    Once somebody puts the money into it for restoration it will be worth more.

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ID Old 1-piece Brunswick Cue?

  • Title: ID Old 1-piece Brunswick Cue?
  • Author:
  • Published: 8/29/2018 1:28:29 PM
  • Last Updated: 8/29/2018 2:43:35 PM
  • Last Updated By: billiardsforum (Billiards Forum)