Though experts have speculated for centuries about the true origins of billiards, most agree that the game evolved from a lawn game similar to that of croquet around the 15th-century, hence the green cloth resembling grass.
The game underwent numerous transformations over the centuries and by the late 17th century, most towns could boast ownership of at least one public billiards table. Even Shakespeare must have spent his share of time at the billiard table. In his famous work Antony and Cleopatra, penned in 1600, the famous writer made mention of the game.
The French nobility in particular was enamored by the game. The term "billiard" is actually derived from the French word billart, meaning wooden stick, and bille, meaning ball. By the early 1800s, it had become known as the "Noble game of Billiards" and glorious tables such as these could be foundin royal palaces and estates throughout Europe.
Opulent in decoration, grand in scale and rich in history, these tables speak volumes about why the game captured the attention of kings and commoners alike. Majestic, early 19th-century tables such as these, beautifully restored and in excellent condition, are truly remarkable and wonderful finds.