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
The Burwat Champion
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
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
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
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
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
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