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Cue Collecting - The Golden Tascarella
 Posted on Wednesday, August 19 2009 @ 10:15:11 UTCby admin
Cue Corner Cue Corner

Presented by Simon "The Diamond" D'Vali
The UK's foremost authority on collectible cues

A cue collecting article concerning a magnificent cue!

Well, I have owned some cues in my time...

...But then something comes along that is truly huge. This thing is absolutely massive in terms of its place in billiard history.

A bit of background about the maker first. Pete Tascarella was a police officer in the same neighbourhood as a certain George Balabushka (you may have heard of him) in New York. Quite often when Pete was on the beat, he used to call in on George and share stories over a coffee. The two became good friends. Pete witnessed first hand the great man working his magic on that famous lathe named Brutus. When George passed away, Pete considered his options and always fancied having a go at making cues so he ended up buying all of George’s equipment and wood stock from George’s wife. Over the years Pete became a Master Cue Builder and players and collectors alike respect his work for the playability and construction. In my opinion, Pete Tascarella is top 5 in the world today. Uncompromising quality with that old school look, feel and construction is something which I love and the type of cues I collect display that.

"Read More..." for the details.

What is great to know is that every Tascarella cue was, and still is, made with George’s equipment, and some cues (even today) will utilise George’s old stock materials.

Now George made cues for all the great players of the 1950s, 60s and 70s and he was known for his uncompromising attention to detail and he disregarded more raw material than any other cue maker of his time if it didn’t meet his stringent quality standards. Pete has certainly carried on this legacy.

Meeting him for the first time was a big moment for me. In the picture, Pete is on the right and on the left is my good friend and well known cue collector, Mark Kulungian (www.classiccues.com).

Both Mark and Pete are recognised experts on George Balabushka cues. The cue I am holding in the picture is a Balabushka of exceptional quality that Pete brought to the cue show. This is probably one of the most valuable cues in existence.

Now back to this baby. Of all the Tascarella cues made to date, this is by far the biggest cue Pete has ever made in terms of inlay work and materials. Pete was very keen to point out to me that without the input and time and effort put in buy his son, Pete JR, this cue would not exist. In fact, Pete (Senior) went on to say that if it wasn't for the forward thinking of Pete JR in the workshop, he would only be making plain four point Bushka style cues.

Nicknamed the Golden Tascarella (very apt given the materials used) in ode to the famous ‘Golden Balabushka’ which is quite probably the most valuable cue on earth and will probably remain so, this cue is constructed of a highly figured piece of amboyna burl which is naturally orange in colour.

The detail in the wood is spectacular. There are 4 points of ebony with 4 veneers and then we come to the best bit. The cue is stacked out with solid gold and ivory. All the rings are solid gold and the ivory diamonds are surrounded by scalloped solid gold diamonds.

Even the ivory diamonds in the ringwork have solid gold borders. The joint is block ivory with a 3/8-10 pin. The wrap is teju lizard. The butt sleeve is ebony with even more gold and ivory inlays. The butt cap is ivory and there is a brown bumper which looks like old stock Brunswick, the same as George would have put on his own cues.

I haven’t confirmed it yet but I would wager the bumper is Balabushka old stock. Quite cool. There are two matching shafts with ivory ferrules. The cue features 120 separate inlays and must have taken months to complete. Not something you would want to take to your local pool hall and shoot balls with but as a piece of classic cue art, this cue is nearly at the top of the heap.

Check out the THE PRO CALENDAR for details of other events.


  Cue Corner


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