The History of Australia Billiard Table
The History of Australia Billiard Table The History of Australia Billiard Table The History of Australia Billiard Table The History of Australia Billiard Table The History of Australia Billiard Table The History of Australia Billiard Table The History of Australia Billiard Table The History of Australia Billiard Table The History of Australia Billiard Table The History of Australia Billiard Table The History of Australia Billiard Table The History of Australia Billiard Table The History of Australia Billiard Table The History of Australia Billiard Table The History of Australia Billiard Table The History of Australia Billiard Table The History of Australia Billiard Table The History of Australia Billiard Table The History of Australia Billiard Table
The History of Australia Billiard Table
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The History of Australia Billiard Table

  • This History of Australia Billiard table was once housed at Buckingham Palace
  • Made for Benjamin Hulbert by George Billyeald's outstanding carving details Australia's history
  • Ten large panels depicting historic Australian events form the basis of the design
  • Accompanying the table is its original scoring board, which also has slots for placing bets
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Watch video Item No. 29-7316
$750,000
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description
This monumental and award-winning Australian billiard table is among the most important ever created. Crafted of highly coveted Australian blackwood by master carver George Billyeald, this table was showcased in numerous international exhibitions, including the Colonial and Indian Exhibition held in London in 1886. Recognized as perhaps the foremost example of Australian woodcarving, the monumental piece was subsequently taken to Buckingham Palace, where it was admired by Queen Victoria and used by the Prince of Wales, later King Edward VII. The Royal family was so impressed that they offered to purchase the table, but the offer was refused. Few billiard tables have been so widely admired, and even fewer by such important persons as the British Royal Family.

This hand-carved table was made in Sydney for Benjamin Hulbert, who owned a furniture manufacture in Ulladulla, New South Wales, Australia. Two grand carvings occupy places of privilege in the table’s design, highlighting its significance as a major work of the realm. On one end of the table is the crown, motto and triple-ostrich feather emblem of the Prince of Wales, almost certainly placed in honor of the state of New South Wales, as well as of the future sovereign. On the opposite end is the circular crest featured on the flag of New South Wales.

Yet, it is all the carvings in between that mark this table as a true tour de force. It is adorned on all sides with carved panels dedicated to the history and natural wonders of Australia. Ten large panels form the basis of the outstanding design. Scenes depicting events in the history of the young country are rendered in intricate detail, from exploring the bush to gold miners panning for gold. Also depicted are native Aborigines.

Floral borders, each depicting a different native flower, frame each panel and extend to the table’s frieze. Smaller panels also display high relief carvings of the country’s native plants, such as different varieties of ferns. Australian wildlife is depicted in some panels, including a kookaburra killing a snake, a kangaroo and a pack of native canines known as dingoes, all executed in high relief. Tying together this fascinating design is a stunning grapevine motif, which adorns each of the table’s sturdy legs. This exceptional example of furniture artistry sits on feet of solid brass, while the pockets were personally crocheted by Hulbert’s wife.

Accompanying the table is its original scoring board, which not only keeps score, but also has slots for placing bets. A special cupboard is also included for storing cue chalk and balls, while a matching grapevine motif adorns the designs.

It took master craftsman George Billyeald two years of hand-carving to complete this table. A highly distinguished carver, Billyeald worked for Anthony Horderns, once the largest department store in Sydney, for 21 years. In New Zealand, he went on to create the most intricate carving in the interior of St. Mary’s Cathedral in Christ church and the Otorohanga Public Hall.

After its world tour, the table was displayed at the Auckland Exhibition held at the Auckland Domain, the city’s oldest park, from December 1913 to April 1914. It was later acquired by Mr. C. R. Rainger. According to a 1934 newspaper article, Mr. Rainger permitted it to be shown at the Melbourne Centenary Exhibition of that same year.

The table and scoreboard are accompanied by letters of authenticity from Wayne James, Mr. Hulbert’s great-grandson.

Circa 1880

Table: 79 1/4” wide x 149 1/2” length x 34 1/8” high
Scoreboard: 48 5/8” wide x 11 5/8” deep x 47 1/2” high

Provenance:
Benjamin Hulbert, New South Wales, Australia
C.R. Rainger, Auckland, NZ
Ray Court, Herne Bay, Auckland, NZ
Capt. Harry Carey, Glendoure, Auckland, NZ
Christie’s London, May 27, 1980
Gerald Lawhorn, Albany, Georgia, USA

Exhibitions:
Colonial and Indian Exhibition, London 1886
Paris
New York
Auckland Exhibition, New Zealand, 1913-1914
Melbourne Centenary Exhibition, Australia, 1934
specifications
Maker: Billyeald, George
Period: 19th Century
Origin:Australia
Style:Victorian
Type:Game Tables
Length:149 1/2 Inches
Width:79 1/4 Inches
Height:34 1/8 Inches
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The History of Australia Billiard Table

This magnificent award-winning Australian billiard table is among the most important ever created in the vast British Empire and has an impressive royal provenance Crafted of beautiful and highly valued Australian blackwood by master carver George Billyeald and accompanied by...
This magnificent award-winning Australian billiard table is among the most important ever created in the vast British Empire and has an impressive royal provenance Crafted of beautiful and highly valued Australian blackwood by master carver George Billyeald and accompanied by...
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