This might have been covered before, on ebay there are the table top BB games, says they're new, there are 3 sizes. But how good are they and are the worth £500, Does anybody have one?
Well, Colemanator, at last I feel worthy of giving you a reply (having just demolished a fine Chicken Madras with Bombay potatos and 3 onion bhajias) :-X :-*
I have been keeping track of movements on eBay of all types of bar billiards table - standard and non-standard (out of interest really) and can provide the following stats :
They seem to fall into three categories, Italian bagatelle (incorrectly advertised as bar billiards); table-tops sometimes referred to as Russian Billiards; and miniature tables which i'll elucidate on further down.
1. Bagatelles. 5 sold in the last 2 years; condition varied from excellent in walnut case, to rather shoddy. £160.55, £46, £142, £236 and £31.50 respectively. 2. Table-tops, dimensions 4ft by 2ft. 17 of these have been sold, dearest one was £255.55 and the cheapest went for £51. (The person had originally bought it for £100, probably thinking it was 'the real thing', then realised their mistake, and just wanted rid.) 3. The miniatures. These really have little merit apart from as a novelty or possibly as an investment. Most of these originate from 1940, and were manufactured by Kays of London and bear the signature of Joe Davis, the long-standing World Snooker Champion. At least one was commissioned by Selfridges as a demonstration model. They have a wood base, not slate, and can vary in size, I've seen examples advertised of 3' x 2', 3' x 1', 30" x 15" and 2' x 1'3". The dearest one went for £103.01 and the cheapest for £20.05. Mine is a Joe Davis 3 x 2 (well I would have one wouldn't I ? I'm a bar billiards nut) it cost me £33 and it can fit sideways on the baulk of my 'proper' table. It's playable, but you can't adjust the level and it rolls a bit. There's no bar to drop, though, so 20k+ scores would be possible on it. ;D ;D ;D ;D
So to answer the points - the table tops being offered at a 'Buy-it-now' price on eBay are a brand new commodity. Time will tell if anyone is prepared to shell out £500 of their hard-earned on something that doesn't have a bar or timer and is unlikely to replicate match conditions. IMHO their money would be better spent on an authentic table from the 1930s or 1940s in reasonable condition (sturdy legs and a 'sound' slate essential).
Thankyou for your lengthly reply Clive with only the last small paragraph being in answer to my question ::) :P I can see some merit in these table top efforts, you can pack them away, they would provide practice to get you in the mood for a match etc. I would need to try one out before i bought one, I got rid of my Jelkes as i needed the room at home,
Well, I'll re-iterate that you need something approaching the full-size table to simulate match conditions.
The newly-manufactured table tops look very smart and seem to be made out of quality materials, and it is refreshing to see someone start up such as enterprise and I hope that they manage to sell a few. But quite honestly the 4ft version will probably seem just too much of a dinky toy to a seasoned player.
The 5ft version might be worth a punt at a bit less than the buy-it-now price.
My grandfather used to own one and the family used to shelter under it during the Blitz as it had a heavy slate bed. Sadly their home in New Malden took a direct hit and the table was destroyed - but very fortunately no-one was home at the time so my mum didn't get killed and due to that I can speak to you on this Forum now. ;D 8-)