10ft Magnus scagliola solid slate arched frame c1825

An extremely rare example of a wonderful Magnus threequarter size (10ft x 5ft) antique billiard table by one of the oldest billiard table manufacturers in the world.  Very few Magnus billiard tables are still existing due to the specialist handling required for their installation & subsequent future removals but if handled with care & consideration & installed as a more permanent specimen they are a truly wonderful billiard table & a tribute to the men who produced them.

George Magnus was slate importer in London around c1820-1900 and perfected & patented a method of applying a 'scagliola' finish to slate in order to immitate marble. It was a very complicated and laborious process involving several ovens of gradually increasing temperature in order to bond & bake the finish onto the slate surface, without cracking the slate itself.  There was also a similar range of ovens for decreasing the temperature, again to avoid cracking & damage.  Slate is a very dense & heavy material and as a consequence this process was very time consuming & expensive to produce.  George Magnus worked in conjunction with John Thurston to produce & supply the first ever billiard table with slate bed sections in place of wood or steel, and from this decided to produce the whole table from slate.  Slate had the perfect combination of strength, weight & stability for the surface of a billiard table, and it was easily worked & 'floated' to a fine & level finish so from that day onwards it has been standard fare for the playing surface on all billiard,snooker & pool tables of any decent quality. It was however soon realised that to make the whole table of slate was impractical compared to constructing the frameworks of timber or steel and so few slate Magnus tables have survived, and as a consequence are extremely collectible.

Further images to follow, and for more information on George Magnus and his wonderful tables please   Click here

 

 

 

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