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E Mawson - billiard table manufacturer

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  • E Mawson - billiard table manufacturer

    Greetings everyone - new forum member, bear with me !

    Finally got round to purchasing a snooker table recently - 3/4 sized from a local private owner. Table was sold as being made by Burnley Billiard Works - smart plaque on side states same. It is quite beaten up and clearly q old. I suppose a restorer could have it looking like new but I wanted it to have character, so I decided to simply rewax the finish.
    I found an old faded marking when I was polishing - I can make out 'E Mawson Billiard Table Manuf....' and there is other writing I cannot make out.
    Burnley BW tables don't seem uncommon, and could have put this table at dating somewhere between 1920 -1930, but references to E Mawson tables are rare ont tinternet - a quick search last night only found 2 mentions, one of which was on this forum (which is why I am now here), but possibly dates it back another 100 years! I guess BBW got their hands on it at some point and gave it a refurb and tagged it as theirs.
    Wonder if anyone here could shed any more light on this particular manufacturer - no plans to cart it down to the nearest Antiques Roadshow for a valuation - just trying to find out a bit more about it.
    Thanks in anticipation.

  • #2
    This firm was established in Leeds by Thomas Mawson in 1860 and his wife, Elizabeth, took over after his death in 1887. My last reference to the company is 1908, although it is likely to have been the first world war that finished them off.

    Your table is likely to be between these dates. If you have an address I may be able to pin it down more accurately.

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    • #3
      do you find info like this on ancestry sites ,i find quite a bit like that

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      • #4
        I get information from a number of sources, mainly adverts in old newspapers/magazines (hard copy and online) also old trade directories. The date for the founding of Mawson's business comes from a one of his early table plates, and the details of Thomas' death are in the London Gazette. I don't use ancestry sites – mainly because they are too expensive.

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        • #5
          The burnley billiards works did not tag the table as their own but prob did a rerubber of the cushions and then they put a cushion plaque on the end cushion it would normaly mention a name for their cushion , I forget what they used to name their rubber cushions , but you often see burroughs and watts refer to arroflight as their branding or elston and hopkin billiards ( 1938 to 2004) as the Empire Match cushion , these plates or plaques are normaly on the opposite end to the makers name cushion plaque or transfer , is this the case ?
          every one just uses Northern rubber as the branding of the cushion rubber these days . they are not allowed to call them by made up names anymore as it is against the trades description act.
          Last edited by Geoff Large; 2nd October 2012, 08:09 AM.
          [/SIGPIC]http://www.gclbilliards.com

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          • #6
            Peter any info history of a maker called Denham of leeds table ?
            [/SIGPIC]http://www.gclbilliards.com

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Geoff Large View Post
              Peter any info history of a maker called Denham of leeds table ?
              Not much. Just one reference in 1903 to W. Denham who was at that time operating as a "Practical biliard table maker" from St. James' Street, Halifax. I assume it is the same one.

              Last edited by 100-uper; 30th September 2012, 08:37 AM.

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              • #8
                Thanks , I have a table to move at the end of october and it is a denham table as pictured, just wanted some more info for the buyer
                it is a rather old table with top plates , and has 1.5 inch slate thickness which I think dates it around mid to late 1880s ?
                .
                [/SIGPIC]http://www.gclbilliards.com

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                • #9
                  I've had a dig back through my records, and it appears that William Denham was operating as a French Polisher back in 1881 and remained in this trade until at least 1894. It would seem that the switch to billiard table making took place between this date and 1903.

                  All of these references relate to an address in Halifax. I can't find any mention of anyone of the same name operating in Leeds. I assume you took this reference from the table plate. I don't suppose you have a photo of this do you?

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                  • #10
                    I have to bring the cushions into the workshop for a re-rubber in the next week or so , I will then take a photo of the plate , the thickness of the slate would suggest a little earlier than 1894 -1903 also the top plates , I was thinking 1887ish , the legs are not too thick like the edwardian type , so late victorian , talking about french polishing , the current owners father french polished the table around 30 to 40 years ago , and because they never had any rest hooks fitted on the table there is no x rest or long butt nibble and the polish is in very good condition .
                    Thanks for the update Peter.
                    [/SIGPIC]http://www.gclbilliards.com

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                    • #11
                      Presumably the 'E' relates to the Elizabeth mentioned. I would find it a little strange that a female would be running a company in those days.

                      The romantic in me was hoping 'E' might have been Thomas' dad !

                      Another search throws up several references to a date around 1840 - could just be sales patter, of course.

                      billiard table www.shopwiki.co.uk/l/billiard-tableCached
                      You +1'd this publicly. Undo
                      Product Description A fine Antique Mahogany Snooker or Billiard table by E. MAWSON. This quality ¾ size Snooker table was made by E. MAWSON c 1840.

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                      • #12
                        "E" does indeed stand for "Elizabeth."

                        It was unusual, but not unknown, for women to take over the running of a company after the death of their husband. Annie Raper was another who took over a billiard firm, and they traded as "A. Raper & Sons" for over twenty years, coincidentally covering the same period as Elizabeth Mawson.

                        As I mentioned previously, Thomas Mawson was the founder of that particular firm in 1860, so there is no chance of finding anything of his from 1840. In fact he was still trading as a cabinet maker in 1866. He filed a patent in 1871 for a convertible billiard/dining table, and I would guess that this was effectively the start of his billiard table manufacturing. Any full-sized tables with his name are likely to have been produced some years after this.

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                        • #13
                          I bow in front of your in-depth knowledge!

                          I am happy to have pushed the date of this table a little further back. If I can ever decipher the words that are indistinct on the inscription I will come back to this post, otherwise I shall consider it well and truly answered - many thanks

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                          • #14
                            wilkydent , have you a photo of the leg and the type of pocket plate and cushion capping width , also slate thickness and if any signs of reboring of the cushion holes like a replug and rebore slightly lower ?
                            A photo would help almost date it to within a few years of it's manufacture along with a few descriptions and photo's of the items above ,for instance if the table has not got top plates then it would prob be manufactured after 1900 or slightly just before . if it has top plates then before 1895 ish although a few old stocks of top plates where still being used up at the back end of 1890s , 100 upper will confirm that most Billiard table manufacturers where useing concealed pocket plates rather than the older top plate type by turn of the century. and that the slates where thicker as we moved into the 1900s.
                            [/SIGPIC]http://www.gclbilliards.com

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by wilkydent View Post
                              If I can ever decipher the words that are indistinct on the inscription I will come back to this post
                              If you can get a series of well lit and high res photos it could be possible to use various filters in some software to determine the hard to read text.
                              Last edited by DeanH; 19th October 2012, 08:19 AM.
                              Up the TSF!

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