Cues n Views

Cues n Views

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Cues n Views

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 Burroughes & Watts
 by Andy Hunter & David Smith

Burroughes & Watts are one of the best-known cue makers in the collecting field.

We have previously written about the "Mannock", but they also produced a wide range of potentially collectable cues including the "Burwat Champion", the "Ye Olde Ash", the "Mascot" and the "Sidney Smith Champion"; as well as a number of other cues named after professional players.

The Burwat Champion Cue

Alex Higgins helped to make the Burwat Champion one of their most famous cues when he made a national appeal for a replacement after breaking his own.

The Burwat Champion was the result of experimentation by the cue makers during the 1890s and the design was first registered in 1895/6. It proved to be one of the most popular cues that Burroughes & Watts ever sold and it was produced in three distinct editions.

The first edition has an Indian rosewood butt with a satin wood inlay and a rosewood front splice. It had a large oblong badge with a square back, which was cut into the butt and the overall shape was that of a billiard cue. The shaft was ash or maple, and we have heard of, but never seen, a pear shaft. The first edition is the most difficult to find, and made more valuable on account of the Indian rosewood butt.

We have seen another version of the first edition cue where a very light rosewood butt has been substituted; otherwise all the original details are the same. This replacement wood may have been a manufacturing transition between the first and second editions.

The rosewood was completely replaced in the second edition, which had an ebony butt, satin wood inlay and tulip front splice.

The interim and second editions are relatively common from a collector's point of view, but they are quite good playing cues, and worth buying for this purpose.

The woods for the butt and inlay of the third edition where the same as the second, the difference coming in the front splice which was Cocabola wood. The badge was also slightly different; being more rounded at the back. These would have ash or maple or possibly pear shafts.

The Ye Old Ash Cue

This cue was named after the wood which was used to produce the first edition. In the early 1920s, Burroughes & Watts acquired a quantity of 50-80 year-old ash from a shipyard and used it to manufacture this cue. Although it had just a plain ebony butt on a plain ash shaft, it was the most expensive cue they produced at the time. The old ash was a deep dark red colour.

When this limited supply of ash ran out they continued to make it using seasoned ash. This was not as old and looked like the ash of today, a honey colour. This second edition had a striped ebony butt and the badge was slightly different in shape, and smaller. Some of the badges for second edition cues have "hollow" lettering made up of parallel lines.

The Eureka Cue

The Eureka is a double-butted cue, the first edition having four striped ebony splices above four tulip splices. They would have maple or ash shafts and we have heard of, but not seen, a pear shaft.

The second edition has a jet-black ebony butt above tulip. The collector will usually want the first edition. The second edition is a reasonable player although some find them too thin with the shape of the butt feeling a little strange. People do like the double butted design, which makes them quite a fancy cue.

The Mascot Cue

This cue has a plain ebony butt with a large green veneer and an ebony front splice. There are two designs of the badge either a square or circular with green and black writing. [£120-£160), We have also seen a round yellow and a round green badge both with black writing. These coloured badges are quite rare.

The Sidney Smith Champion Cue

This cue was a quite attractive cue, having an ebony butt with a front splice of birds eye maple, above this splice was a veneer of green dyed maple. The badge was of the rectangular screwed in variety and carried a stylish rendering of "Sidney Smith". We have seen these cues in both ash and maple for the shafts and plain black and stripy ebony for the butt.

Burroughes and Watts of course made many other cues, including those mentioned in my other articles. We have concentrated here on those cues in the Burroughes & Watts range that we consider worthy of collecting.

Andy Hunter & David Smith


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