Pool tables have always been fascinating objects that are meant to be enjoyed. From the end of the Middle Ages, primitive models are thought to have existed.
It is known that by the 16th century, the King of France had a very basic prototype, made of genuine grass rather than slate, as is the manner on all high-quality tables nowadays.
Brunswick pool tables, however, are by far the most well-known and acclaimed of all the manufacturers.
They are distinguished by their elegance and the quality of their finish and fine models. In the world of collectors, they are highly desired items that are not on the market for a long time.
Buyers arrive swiftly and are prepared to pay a high price to secure their buy.
If you’re considering purchasing one of these relics, make sure you have a solid budget in place and learn everything there is to know about identifying an original Brunswick table.
And if you’re lucky enough to own one, you should learn about the measures you must take before selling it, the best remodeling options, and the most popular and wanted models on the market. Let’s get started!
The Brunswick Company
John Moses Brunswick was a Jewish immigrant from Bremgarten, Switzerland, who arrived in the United States in 1834 and endured a tough upbringing as a butcher’s assistant in New York.
He relocated to Philadelphia after a few years and began working as a helper in the carriage industry. He picked up the skill quickly and established his carriage-making firm by 1840.
In 1845 he was invited to a high society dinner and his host took him to a room where they had a pool table set up.
Brunswick was fascinated by the finishes and quality of the table. He not only saw a piece of entertainment, but a work of art.
He said that if the object was made of wood, he could build it and do it better than anyone else.
He wasn’t wrong, because the J.M. Brunswick Manufacturing Company, which started off making carriages, eventually shifted to pool tables after a few years.
It became the first pool table manufacturer in the United States in less than three years.
Soon after, he fully abandoned the carriages industry and concentrated exclusively on pool tables. Most pool equipments were primitive at the time, and not all of the tables were of good quality.
Brunswick not only dedicated himself to great woodworking, but he also bought slate quarries and made accessories like cues and balls.
His goal was to provide high-quality products that could not be compared to those of his competitors.
His early models were luxurious and expensive products, which limited his market, therefore he sought to make billiards accessible to all.
He made a variety of pool table models, not just for the upper class, but also for the middle class and locals who wanted to invest in tables as a business opportunity.
As a result, the company became the world’s leading pool table manufacturer. After combining with his brothers Emanuel and David, he changed the name of his company to “J.M. Brunswick & Brother” in 1858.
In 1866, two more half-brothers of J. M Brunswick joined the firm, and it was called “J.M. Brunswick & Brothers.”
Only four years later, some of the brothers left the company to start their pool table manufacturer, while the original company merged with Balge and renamed itself “J.M. Brunswick-Balge Company.”
Finally, in 1884 the Collender company became part of the “Brunswick-Balke-Collender Company”.
All these name mergers must be taken into account since depending on the model of the tables, the manufacturer’s name will change but that does not mean that the table is not an original Brunswick.
Brunswick Pool Table Models
Brunswick pool tables are world-famous and have been in business since the 19th century. They have created several impressive models but we have decided to show you some of their most recognized and outstanding models.
This table is available in three different versions. It can have a carom, a pool, or both at the same time.
The board’s structure is constructed of Amaranth and Fresno. It’s a high-end piece crafted by skilled furniture makers that’s ideal for complimenting the design of exquisite antique living rooms.
The style of this pool table is not so ornate and is distinguished by its simplicity and seriousness. It only presents carved ornaments on the head blocks and legs.
This design marks a new era on pool tables but preserves the traditional elegance of Brunswick.
It has aluminum aprons and legs with exquisite finishes that combine perfectly with the rosewood of the exposed woods.
This model has a ball storage rack, molded pocket pads, and a bridge rack.
This magnificent design marks a before and an after in the highest class of billiard table construction of has been considered one of the most beautiful pool tables ever made.
The thickness of the slate bed’s structure is one of its most distinguishing features.
With a cove-shaped body and corrugated moldings on the central part of the legs and the frames, it is finely carved.
Vermont slate beds and Monarch cushions are used on these tables.
They’re incredibly sturdy and built to last a lifetime.
We haven’t been able to locate a Jewel model on the market due to strong demand, however, they cost around 20,000 dollars.
How do I Identify an Antique Brunswick Pool Table?
The table frames on many of these pool tables include a metal or brass plate with the Brunswick name.
If you can’t discover the mark on any exposed metal plates, check the table frame’s underside. it can also be on the outer rail or side of the pool table.
Look for domed washers that have sharp edges. These were unique to the Brunswick brand and were used to hold the nut plate.
Keep in mind that the corporation didn’t always go by the same Brunswick logo, thus the name will vary depending on the year of production. The following are some of the company’s names over the years that you can find on an authentic table:
- JM Brunswick Manufacturing Company
- JM Brunswick & Brother
- JM Brunswick & Brothers
- JM Brunswick-Balge Company
- Brunswick-Balke-Collender Company
The entire name of the corporation isn’t always stated; instead, the manufacturer’s abbreviated name or a monogram is frequently used.
You can also check for other labels. The ones that are in the cushions or search for the “Brunswick Certified” sticker. It’s printed on black on a white background and can be found on the underside of the slate.
If you’re buying a pool table, look for apparent indications of aging to prevent being sold a replica. Scratches, scuffs, discolored linen, and marks on the cushion rails are all common signs on an antique pool table.
The excellent finishing and expensive ornaments are other features that distinguish a Brunswick pool table. They used Vermont slate bed, Simonis cloth, and Monarch cushions.
Remember that the old tables were intended for the public with high purchasing power and they did not skimp on using the best materials in all the elements of the table.
All pool tables were built up of various kinds of hardwoods of different grains and included intricate carvings on the wood frames or legs.
Brunswick pool tables are all constructed of solid hardwood. Mahogany, walnut, and rosewood are some of the materials they used.
Brunswick tables’ legs are made of galvanized steel plates. These plates are used to keep the table legs in place. They are on top of the legs, ubicated in the corners of the underside of the table, and are secured with nuts and metal bolts. Authentic tables will be secured with slate joints to support the slate surface with brass dowels and sockets.
You can also identify a Brunswick model pool table with little details like pearl sights, a fancy metal plate, ornamental blocks, and artistic coloring effects of inlaid decorations.
Always look on the rails. If they are made of solid wood, that is a good indicator, but if they are made of various pieces of wood put together, it is extremely probable that they are not original or that they have recently been remodeled, which will significantly reduce their worth.
The tables have finely painted drawings and patterns on their legs and frames. Some models even have ivory inlays on the top rail or the short rail.
An inverted pyramid runs from the middle of the table to the bottom, with rope epaulets at each corner in several forms.
Look for a recessed place beneath the cushions. The rail was stapled to the whiteboard surface with felt to keep it in place.
Strong joints, created by carpenters, may be found on the inside of the table’s hardware.
What is a Brunswick Antique Table Worth?
If you plan to purchase a Brunswick Billiards table, you should be aware that it will not be a cheap purchase. However, you should know that these are works of art designed to last for decades, and if properly cared for, they can be a valuable legacy for your children or grandkids.
New pool tables can cost you a few thousand dollars and old ones can cost even much more than new ones.
You should be aware that, if done appropriately, restoring Brunswick tables does not reduce their value.
They are highly valuable on the antique market, with collectors preferring elaborate tables over basic tables from the Art Deco period, for example.
As a result, most Brunswick tables do not last long on the market before being snapped up. As a result, you might have to wait a long time to see a compelling offer.
We’ve included a few examples below to give you an idea of the prices.
- Brunswick 9′ Monarch Antique Pool Table — $44,000.00
- Brunswick Antique Restored “Medalist” Pool Table 9 Foot — $24,000.00
- Vintage Brunswick Centennial Model Pool Table 9′ Rosewood — $13,000.00
We hope that with this guide you have been able to learn a little more about these incredible pool tables, which are a work of art, and that with time only increase their value more and more
Remember to check all the signs and brands to make sure you have a real Brunswick table before you make any purchases and keep an eye out for market deals as these tables tend to disappear very quickly due to their incredible demand.