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Antique Wendt or Brunswick Pool Table?

Antique Wendt or Brunswick Pool Table?

I just acquired this antique pool table and need to know as much as I can about it.

We think it's an antique Wendt pool table or a Brunswick.

We believe it's a "St. Bernard style" perhaps.

There was a plate over where the original branded name plate would have been, so I have no idea what the brand is. I was surprised that a company name isn't stamped on the backside of the wood. It looks like someone along the way turned it into a ball-return pool table also.

Thanks for any help you can give!




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Antique Wendt or Brunswick Pool Table?

Replies & Comments

  1. RussLickteigbilliardsforum on 2/6/2020 5:23:56 PM

    I honestly can't help you much based on these photos - beyond a "best educated guess".

    My educated guess is that you have an antique Wendt "Blue Seal" pool table (see below for photos).

    Trim and finished look is a big part of identifying antique pool tables as so many manufacturers copied each other's styles, etc. so again, it's hard to tell for sure from the photos you posted. Also, there are so many "Frankenstein pool tables" from this era as well. Folks cobbling together a working pool table from parts off of two or more broken pool tables (and simply adding in a "home-grown" ball return was common as well).

    However, as noted above, I agree with your assessment that it's a Wendt pool table. I don't think it is a Brunswick Balke Collender pool table.

    Brunswick often numbered their pieces with numbers that looked more like they were stenciled on (vs. stamped into the wood), though they also stamped numbers during certain eras.

    What leads me the most toward the Wendt Mission-Style "Blue Seal" pool table is the the leg style (with those "bracket-like" pieces which connect to the side of the leg and the underside of the frame) is very similar to other Wendt billiard tables of the era.

    Also, I've seen other Wendt pool table models on which the leg's veneer finish had splintered off just as the one has in your photo:


    Here's the Wendt catalog page for the Blue Seal pool table. Note the identical leg trim, and identical-looking pattern of the protruding wood supports:


    There were a few different version of this model, one which featured a spiked tenon motif near the top of the legs:

    Also to note from a reputable antique pool table restoration firm:

    The “Blue Seal”, with its corbels and archways between legs, is a variation in the style of the BBC "St. Bernard”. Compared with the “St. Bernard”, it is a bit understated and may be preferable to some for that reason. It must have been a popular model, manufactured for some time, as we have seen several small variations in details such as the pocket irons, rail blinds and decorative trim among individual tables.

    Wendt Billiards was one of the last standing competitors to Brunswick’s domination of the industry and produced tables for many smaller regional companies to market under their own labels. You will see Wendt pool tables popping up in catalogs like the G.H. Jenkinson Company of Sioux City, Iowa and this also explains the Minn Company of Milwaukee nameplate in the table shown here.

    Here's a restored version of the Wendt Blue Seal as described above:


    Hope this info is helpful!

  2. RussLickteigRussLickteig on 2/6/2020 8:55:24 PM

    Hey thanks so much for the info. Since this posting I got an email from Rachael Schmidt that it is indeed a Wendt Blue Seal. Great timing on your response!

    I noticed tonight while working on it that the rail covers are not original. I just noticed also on the illustration you included that the table has rail bolt covers. Most likely the same square diamond shaped details that we see on the legs. My rails have the Tiger Oak on them so someone along the way made covers for them. The really nice photo you have at the end has rail bolt covers but clearly in the Tiger Oak veneer. I am now debating whether or not to either add Tiger Oak veneer to my non-original covers or to thrown them away and make individual bolt covers like shown in the illustration. Decisions decisions!

    Thanks again for taking the time to respond. Enlightening!

  3. RussLickteigbilliardsforum on 2/7/2020 2:29:56 AM

    Yes, the photo at the bottom of my answer is a Wendt Blue Seal that was professionally restored by Bankshot Antiques](/biz/bankshot-antique-pool-tables-albany "Bankshot Antiques Pool Table Restoration") of Albany, NY.

    I think this photo is the same pool table, from before the restoration:


    And here's one with the "spiked tenon" feature and exposed rail bolts:


    Good luck with the restoration of your pool table. Please share photos here when it's all done.

  4. RussLickteigRussLickteig on 2/7/2020 5:30:46 AM

    Thanks for the info on Bankshot Antiques. I will reach out to them to see how the rail bolts work. They appear to be covered with something. I will definitely share some photos.

  5. RussLickteigbilliardsforum on 2/7/2020 7:45:02 AM


    P.S. I am just noticing now, after looking at all of these photos together, I think the best way to distinguish a St. Bernard from a Wendt Blue Seal is by looking at the bottom six inches of the legs.

    • The Brunswick St. Bernard pool table has the beveled corners on the bottom six inches
    • The Wendt Blue Seal pool table leg corners remain squared all of the way down to the bottom.

    So the last photo in my answer above may in fact be a Brunswick St. Bernard pool table.

    All of the Brunswick catalog photos of the St. Bernard have those beveled corners. I still need to do some more digging to verify this though.

    Looking forward to the "after" photos.

  6. RussLickteigRussLickteig on 2/7/2020 7:53:36 AM

    I just got off the phone with the guys from BankShot Antiques and I mentioned my square legs. They didn't seem to think that was a deciding factor. In fact that's one of their photos and he said it was a Wendt Blue Seal. He also said he had never seen a 6-leg Blue Seal. Most 6-leg pool tables are 10' but mine is 9'.

    I can't believe the only place manufactures put their logo was on the brass name plate. It seems like there should have been a simple stamp in the bottom side somewhere.

    Mine also is apparently built from two different tables. I have two serial numbers. I initially thought they were part numbers. His theory was they were at a pool hall that closed or moved and the parts got mixed up.

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Antique Wendt or Brunswick Pool Table?

  • Title: Antique Wendt or Brunswick Pool Table?
  • Author: (Russ Lickteig)
  • Published: 2/3/2020 8:00:04 AM
  • Last Updated: 2/6/2020 5:33:24 PM
  • Last Updated By: billiardsforum (Billiards Forum)