Travelling for a Purchase




I recently embarked on a trip to Mansfield to look for a Read’s Champion cue and came back with an early machine spliced Horace Lindrum Picture badged cue as well.

Buying, selling and swapping cues can be a very interesting and surprising pastime. Occasionally I get a call from either a new contact, or someone that I have dealt with before. Perhaps, he/she has something on offer that I have not seen before or more commonly, a cue that they describe as in good condition and hand-spliced that turns out to be different to their description when I see it.

I remember once setting off to look at a machine-spliced Sidney Smith cue, the chap selling it said that it was the standard U.K. Billiards cue. When I arrived and he pulled it from its case; it turned out to be a hand-spliced version that was in near perfect condition.

When I went to Mansfield to look at the Read’s champion cue, I had very little in terms of expectation as the gentleman that was selling the cue had used it for many years.

I had asked him the usual questions, how long is the cue? is it in good condition? what wood was used for the shaft? The answers had all been positive. He had told me that the cue was maple, when I arrived I realised that it was in fact either pearwood or hornbeam, it was definitely not maple.

The cue was in nice condition, though the shaft had been slimmed a little and he had lightly scratched his initials into the facing splice of the cue. Due to years of use, all the lacquer had been worn away, or removed but the shaft was very smooth and a gentle golden colour.

These cues are quite uncommon so we agreed a price and I took it with me.

That afternoon we went on to Stoke on Trent. The person that I was visiting had recently purchased a collection of cues to add to the other memorabilia that he already had.

This trip was very pleasurable; my friend’s Billiard room was very pleasant with many items of interest strategically placed within it. I have rarely seen such a good collection of Ivory balls and other billiards related items.

I have been looking for an early picture plate Horace Lindrum cue to add to my collection as the badge looks very attractive on these cues, I made an offer for the one that my friend had which was accepted.

The cue is not particularly collectable in the way that a Roberts or a Stevenson would be, but the cue looks well and is a handsome addition to the newer end of my collection.

I have noticed that many people are attempting to make large profits by selling cues as rare and describing them as hard to find, in many cases these cues are not worth anywhere near as much money as all that, but when an auction begins some people get carried away. If you shop around and remain patient cues from the 1940’s and 1950’s will turn up and should not cost you an arm and a leg.

I hope that you will also take care when being offered the cue that a certain former player is alleged to have used, without a letter of authenticity, these claims are more or less meaningless and should be greeted with more than a little scepticism.

Good luck with your searching, if in doubt sleep on it and see how you feel when the pressure is off.

David Smith