Pool or Billiards is a game with a history that stretches back as far as the 14th century. The game that evolved into what we recognise today as pool or billiards, played on a table with cues, actually began as an outdoor game, similar to that of croquet, played on grass using maces to strike the balls. The game began to move from outside on the lawn to inside on a table from around the 15th century. As a nod to the game’s outdoor origins, the cloth on the early billiard tables was always green to simulate grass.
Initially, the game was still played using the mace from the outside version, but gradually this implement developed into the much more efficient and less cumbersome cue. However, rather controversially, when cues were first introduced, women were forbidden to use them as it was feared that they would not have such good control as men of this “sharper” instrument and may rip the green cloth. Thus, regardless of any skill that they may have demonstrated, all women were forced to continue using maces.
Billiard balls from the early part of the game’s development were initially made from wood and clay. These early billiard balls were not altogether satisfactory and from the 17th century up until the early 20th century, they were most commonly made from ivory. Due to the obvious problems of continuing to source material from an endangered species for the crafting of billiard balls, however superior they were to the clay and wood, (apparently from a single elephant tusk, only 8 balls could be made) alternative materials, such as Sorel cement (an ivory substitute) which became known as Celluloid, were experimented with. Unfortunately, Celluloid was a very unstable substance and if someone played a particularly rough shot, the balls sometimes exploded!
Today, the best billiard balls are made from phenolic resin, which is perfectly smooth, hard and durable. It is for the same reasons of durability and performance that the material underneath the baize cloth of the best billiard tables during the 19th century changed from wood, a material which was prone to warping, to the finer and far more serviceable slate. The 19th century also saw the development of the rubber table cushions as well as the dimensions of the standard pool table that we recognise today.
Now we have established a very brief history of the development of billiards to the game and appearance as we know it, it is time to take a fresh look at this well-established and popular sport.
Cléon Daniel is a craftsman and artist who has done just that. His fabulous Banana Pool Table and Doughnut Pool tables each offer a new slant to the game of pool or billiards. The eccentric shapes and theme of each immaculately crafted, slated-bedded pool table provides us with different challenges and games which can be played on each. The Banana Pool Table can be used with a set of standard pool balls or it can come with a set of brown pool balls with one yellow. The aim of the “Banana Pool Game” is to be the first to pot the majority of brown balls in order to claim the right to try to sink the yellow to win. The Doughnut Pool table gives us yet another angle to the game. For the more agile, it is even possible to climb under the table and to take your shot from the doughnut hole in the centre of the table. As with the Banana Pool Table, this table can be provided with a custom set of balls-this one being an equal number of yellow and pink. The winner of this version is the player to pot all of his or her colour.
Nowhere else will you discover such innovative and beautifully crafted modern pool tables which provide a fresh, contemporary twist on this old and fashionable indoor-pursuit. With its traditional high quality pure wool cloth in vibrant colours, high grade leather pocket surrounds and solid brass pocket plates, professional quality slate bed and solid ash frame and hand-turned table legs, Cléon Daniel’s extraordinary pool tables are beautiful and are sure to lend a new perspective to the game of billiards. These exquisite pool tables break the mould of what has evolved over the past several centuries to become the standard design to allow for new possibilities and variations. And with Cléon Daniel exploring yet other varieties of pool table themes, he will doubtless continue to be at the forefront of designing and crafting new, innovative billiard tables. We are convinced Cléon Daniel’s future pool tables will continue to send the game into new and exciting dimensions.
For more information about these modern pool tables with a twist or to order, visit our Shop or get in touch via our contact form below.