This magnificent award-winning Australian billiard Table is among the most important ever created in the vast British Empire, and has an impressive provenance.
Hand-carved in golden blackwood, this playing table was made in Sydney for Benjamin Hobart who owned a furniture manufacturer in New South Wales, Australia. The table, accompanied by its matching scoreboard, travelled around the world in international exhibitions showcasing the artistry of its creator the master Australian wood carver George Billyeald.
One of the stops that the table made on its international tour was in Buckingham Palace, where it was admired by Queen Victoria and her son the Prince of Wales, later King Edward VII. The future king so enjoyed playing on this oversized billiards table that Queen Victoria offered to purchase it for him. Mr. Hobart, the owner of the table, refused Queen Victoria's offer, and it has remained in private hands ever since.
On one end of the table is the crown motto and triple ostrich feather emblem of the Prince of Wales. Almost certainly placed in honor of the state of New South Wales where the table was crafted, as well as of the future sovereign, on the opposite end is the circular crest featured on the flag of New South Wales.
It is adorned on all sides with exquisitely carved panels depicting events in the history of the young country high relief carvings bring to life the country's native plants and Australian wildlife, such as this kookaburra killing a snake, and a kangaroo with a pack of dingoes. This tour de force of furniture artistry sits on feet of solid brass, while the pockets were crocheted by Hubbert's wife. The impressive scoreboard that accompanies it not only helps keep score, but has slots for placing bets, and a special cupboard for storing cue chalk and balls.
Filled with such symbolic carvings this table is a truly spectacular tribute to this illustrious area. MS Rau Antiques is excited to bring to sale this historic Australian billiard table, allowing you the opportunity to purchase what Queen Victoria could not.