Brunswick Balke Collender Model 360 c. 1917-1922 - (B360)
The Model 360 is one of the most sought-after cues among collectors. Any example is rare, but this one qualifies as “super-rare” for two reasons. First, the cue is in very fine original condition (most have been altered or beat up or both). Second, most 360s have full-spliced rosewood points. Ebony was used more rarely because it was a premium exotic wood even then, and could only be used for heavier weight cues (this one is 21 oz.). I have only encountered two ebony versions of the 360 over the years.
As described in a BBC brochure of the era, the Model 360 is a “fancy four-spliced cue with inlaid woods, ivory joint, ebony point (shaft), ivory tip (ferrule), and pearl name plate. The handsomest cue made.” The bottom ebony points and butterfly splices (4+4) are set into Brazilian rosewood and have five veneers (maple, rose, orange, green, maple). The splices on the upper forearm are set into ebony and have four veneers each. Although slightly faded, all the veneers still show nice colors. The ¾ inch female ivory joint is in perfect original condition and has been cleaned up by buffing. The mother-of-pearl wedge name plate has four veneers of rose/maple/green/maple, and matching veneers around the base of the butt sleeve. Number “21” is stamped into the ebony. The original brown “button” bumper is still tacked into the end of the butt.
The ebony shaft has a third set of four Berger-style points alternating with four butterfly splices, again with four veneers. These are inlaid into two maple Vignaux-style butterflies, spliced into the ebony. A 1-5/8 inch 20-thread brass screw on the 26.5 inch shaft is typical of the time. The original 12.75mm, 1-7/8 inch ivory ferrule was recently replaced by one of exactly the same length (the original was cracked through), with a Champion tip.
The black silk wrap may be original; it shows fading and signs of wear but is overall in good shape. If it were added to the cue as a modification, it would have to have been early in the life of the cue. With its 30.5 inch butt the cue is 57 inches long. The original French polished finish still has some shine, although the cue shows fine scratches from 82+ years of play. There are no chips or other damage; it has obviously been well cared-for. Some finish has worn thin just below the joint. The overall condition is 95%.
This is the most beautiful cue ever made by BBC and the most desirable.