skip to content

Antique Old Pool Cue Identification: Hidden Secrets

antique old pool cue identification

How old is your pool cue? Is it worth anything? Why Antique Pool Cues are highly expensive? What Features should I consider before buying an antique old pool cue? 

This article will teach you how to identify antique pool cues. It will also tell you how to value them.

Finding a relevant cue stick at an antiques auction is rare. Most of these speciality cues collectors love to include in their collection. These are however some of the expensive pool cues. Hence the primitive function of these cues is not to play but just adding to your collection as a worth asset. Hence, it makes a sense that you should have a fair idea on what you are investing on?

Also Read: Are Viking Pool Cues Good?

Important Factors for Old Cue Identification

Let’s check out the various factors that one should look into before buying an antique pool cue identification:

1.     Manufacturer Mark

When you buy a classic pool cue, you should always keep your eyes peeled for the manufacturer name. Cue makers like Parker, Ebonite, and Brunswick are all names that will stand the test of time and bring back great memories of playing pool. When you invest in a product made by a famous brand, you’re getting something that’s going to last. You’ll also get a warranty if anything goes wrong.

These premium cues are worth of their quality and craftmanship.

2.     What is the Quality of Cue?

Quality and craftsmanship are what you should always look for when buying a cue. Quality cues are usually made out of wood, while cheap ones are often made out of plastic or metal. A high quality cue stick will last longer and have a better feel to it. Look for cues that have been well cared for and not damaged in any way. When purchasing a cue, get an appraisal if possible. Otherwise, it is best to seek out a professional appraiser to give you a fair price.

3.     Is it the First or Limited Edition?

A craftsman’s first piece is often his best work. A woodworker may carve his first chair, or a potter may create his first vase. For artists, the first painting or drawing may be the most important. In all cases, the first time we see something is special because it represents our first experience with that thing.

Many brands launch limited editions i.e. only the few pieces in that series that maintains the rarity of the product. As there is no mass production, these products are available at a premium price. 

4.     Does that Belong to any Notable Collection?

If a cue is used by any notable player in an historical match, that cue has a higher worth. It automatically become desirable and collectable. But there are many players who have lot of cues in their collection but never used them. Hence, always focus on the cues that are specifically used by players in their matches.

5.     Value of Collectible Cue Stick

Cue sticks are usually made out of wood, plastic, or metal. Generally, the best ones are made out of maple, hickory, mahogany, rosewood, walnut, ebony, zebrawood, and other hardwoods.

Wooden cues are generally preferred because they are durable and easy to maintain. However, wooden cues tend to be heavier than their counterparts made out of plastic or metal.

Plastic and metal cues are lighter and easier to maneuver, making them ideal for beginners. Some manufacturers will put an engraving on a cue, which can add value to the piece.

Engravings are often done by hand, although laser etching is becoming increasingly common.

There are many different factors to consider when buying a cue stick. These include: condition, age, quality of materials, specialty models, etc. Some of these factors will not matter to you at all, while others may be very important to you. So, what should you pay attention to?

Other Crucial Factors in Determining the Worth of Old Cue

Here are some key factors to consider:

1.     Condition

Is the cue stick in excellent condition? If it isn’t, then why not? Are there any dents, scratches, or other issues? How about the finish? Does it still shine? Is the grip strong? What about the tip shape? Do you like the feel of the shaft? Are the grips comfortable?

2.     Age

Cue sticks get older every year. As time passes, the wood gets softer and weaker. You might think that a cue stick made 10 years ago will be stronger than a newer cue stick. But, this is not always true.

Newer cues tend to be lighter in weight and harder than old ones. They also often have higher end finishes. Older cues are often rougher and more prone to warping. The same goes for the tips. Newer cues typically have smoother tips and better balance.

3.     Quality of Materials

What materials were used to make the cue stick? Did the manufacturer use high-quality woods? Were the joints properly glued together? Was the glue applied evenly throughout the joint? If so, then how long did it take to dry? Was the glue allowed to fully cure before being cut into the finished cue?

4.     Specialty Models

What type of model was created? For example, if you see a custom engraved cue with a specific name, then that cue would likely be more valuable than one without a name.

Who are Some of the Premium Makers of Collectible Cue sticks?

The onset of the game is traced back to 15th century when Billiard was played as the lawn game by nobles and royalty. Soon it shifted to indoors over the tables with the green mat resembling the grass. By 17th century, cue sticks were developed.

But notable cue stick makers were emerged during the 19th and 20th century but only few were regarded as the high quality manufacturer producing best quality cues. Some of these prominent makers that produced collectible quality pool sticks are:

1.     Harvey Martin: 

Known as the father of custom cue makingm Harvey Martin is known to produce the best quality cues in America in 1920. Although his speciality cues were for carom billiard players, he innovates both the materials and machines used to make cues. 

2.     Herman Rambow:

These specialty cues are made from all brass joint and were made for Thomas J. Grode. These pool cues are made from 1915 to 1967 in Chicago. The premium material used in construction was brass which was limited in supply due to world war II. Today, the Herman Rambow are rare and most sought after by collectors.

3.     George Balabushka

He is a Russian billiard cue maker who has handcrafted 1200 cues in his 16-years of cue-making career. He was an avid pool player who started making cues as a gift for her friends and family. Later, his hobby blossomed into a business. 

Pro Tip For New Antique Collectors

An aspiring collector might be wise to purchase an edition of The Blue Book Of Pool Cues written by Brad Simpson or other similar books. The book contains a list of different manufacturers, cues, and prices, and will teach you how to identify quality cues and also those with poor quality, just by an initial glance. The book includes illustrations and illustrations to help you recognize and distinguish the brands both past and current. This is believed to be the only rare pricing guide that focuses on pool cues that are currently available.

Storing Cue Sticks

Beginning collectors must ensure to store their cues in a safe manner. the cues that they add to their collection to ensure they don’t diminish in value. Cues must be stored in areas with constant temperature and humidity since fluctuations in climate can cause warping the wood. It is also important to keep them away from direct sunlight since the light can cause them to dry out, fade and cause cracks on the wood. 

Leaning your cue against the wall could cause stretching. The majority of sticks should be kept in specially designed cases for carrying, but you don’t have to purchase cases to store your cues. If you choose to spend the money to purchase special cases they will ensure that the finish is secured as best as it can be. 

When it comes to cleaning, you need to clean the cue using an absorbent cloth and make sure you clean your hands before touching the cue in order to keep away any oil residue. Following these rules, your cue stick will remain in good condition for the years to come.

That’s Your ‘Cue’ to Start Collecting

If you’ve been playing in the pool since college or are attempting to build a stunning pool room in your basement Cue stick collecting will be a breeze by investing a bit of time and effort into it. It doesn’t require an experienced player to appreciate the effort and intricate workmanship that is required to make these equipment pieces and bring the beauty of these cue sticks home just by pressing the button.


Collecting antique pool cues requires patience, dedication, and knowledge. It takes a lot of research and practice to become a true expert at identifying cues. You’ll find that there are many different types of cues and each one has its own unique characteristics. If you’re serious about your game then you’ll want to invest some time learning about these cues so you can learn what makes them tick.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *