Exceptionally rare and beautifully constructed, this French billiards table is amongst the most remarkable and exquisite we have ever had the pleasure to offer. Crafted of opulent rosewood with the utmost attention to detail, the table is a celebration of the Gothic Revival style and of innovative 19th century design.
Architectural in form, this rosewood table is both a decorative and constructive masterpiece. Friezes adorned with detailed inlay depict allegorical scenes of a victorious France, and are supported by the table's massive legs. These legs, with their elegant spiral columns and pointed arches, also conceal cleverly disguised trap-door ball releases. The slate-topped table also features two functioning game counters integrated into the bumpers at each end, perfect for keeping accurate score. This striking table maintains a dominating presence that commands attention in any setting. Such an intricately crafted piece as this would surely have been made for only the most affluent customer, as very few during this time had the means to prurchase and room in their homes for a billiard table. To find its like in such impeccable condition is extremely rare.
The game of billiards has deep roots among French royalty and during the 1800s, it was a favorite pastime for kings and aristocrats. The term billiard is actually derived from the French word billart
meaning "wooden stick," and bille
meaning "ball." Though experts have speculated for centuries about the true origins of this pastime, 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 billiards table. In his famous work Antony and Cleopatra, penned in 1600, the famous writer made mention of the game. By the early 1800s it had become known as the "Noble Game of Billiards" and glorious tables such as this could be found in royal palaces and estates throughout Europe.
The table is dated 1830 in the marquetry and featues its original label on the bottom; marked "Ph. ROBIN, 44 Rue Ferrandiere LYON"
on each counter.
58 3/4" wide x 105 1/4" length x 33" highClick here to view a video of this item.