An Itinerant Australian Colonial Billiard Table, John Wade

Vol 45 no 1, Feb 2023
Article from Vol 45 no 1, Feb 2023

An Itinerant Australian Colonial Billiard Table, John Wade


The National Museum of Australia in Canberra has purchased an Australian billiard table, carved in high relief with multiple panels of scenes of colonial life, and its matching marking board. Its price of $1,100,000 sets a new record for a piece of Australian furniture. The NMA is not known for collecting Australian furniture, apart for some well-known examples from the collection of the late Trevor Kennedy. John Wade looked into the history of Australian billiard tables, and specifically the history of this much-exhibited and much- travelled billiard table and its makers, to put it into a broader context.

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The Australiana Society acknowledges Australia’s First Nations Peoples – the First Australians – as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of this land and gives respect to the Elders – past and present – and through them to all Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.