When it comes to buying a pool table, "there are only two limitations," says Ron Blatt, the third-generation owner of New York City's Blatt Billiards. "Your imagination and your wallet."
For those of us whose experience with the game has been relegated to smoke-filled taverns and seedy pool halls, the reason that billiards is sometimes referred to as the game of nobles comes through loud and clear with a visit to the Blatt showroom.
Since 1923, the products sold at Blatt Billiards have not only qualified as gaming tables, but as masterfully crafted pieces of furniture that much more than simply complementing rooms, bring them to life. The company's specialty antique, custom and contemporary pool tables exude the elegance, luxury and refinement that personify high society. Of course, Blatt also affords the state-of-the-art engineering that ensures the functionality and precision necessary to meet playing standards.
The Friar Briggs table (pictured here) is one of the hundreds of high-end tables created by Blatt. Custom-made for the Sinatra Room at the famed New York Friars Club, the table is hand-carved of solid oak and features Italian slate beneath the green baize surface. Inspired by an Oliver Briggs table from 1865, the design is ornate, but like traditional style tables, also restrained. With 24-karat gold center crests and a finish to match the decor of the Sinatra Room, the original Friar Briggs table is valued at $65,000.
While most Blatt custom tables begin around $18,000 and ready-made tables are much cheaper, it isn't unheard of for a table to sell for $45,000 and up. The cost depends primarily on the customer's specifications. With Blatt, these specifications can be limitless. The Briggs Friar table, for example, is available in a variety of woods, including rosewood, maple and mahogany, and finished to fit your needs. Other options include the felt color of your choice, leather pockets or automatic ball return, and snooker or standard-sized tables.
All Blatt tables are manufactured at its factory-showroom at 809 Broadway in Manhattan, and orders take six to eight months to complete. (For custom cues, see page 194.) Rack 'em up.
Visit www.blattbilliards.com or call 800-252-8855.
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