Finding or inheriting an old pool cue is exciting. Not only are pool cues works of art, but they can also be valuable. The difficult part may be in finding the original maker of the cue. There are a few things to look for in a custom made pool cue to find clues to its maker.
Look at the butt of the pool cue for a maker's mark or signature. Major cue manufacturers stamp the butt of each cue with their name brand. The cue may still be very old or custom ordered with a manufacturer's stamp. Individual cue makers often do not sign their work.
Look at the joint of a two-piece pool cue for a maker signature. Different cue makers choose different joints to suit the needs of the cue they are making. The joint can help determine when the cue was made. Most old two-piece cue joints are fatter than the newer sleek designs.
Look at the artwork or inlays on the cue. Try to find out what they are made of. Some materials, such as real ivory, are not legal to sell in various part of the world. This can help identify where the cue was made by process of elimination. Most cue makers use products readily available to them.
Take the pool cue to a woodworking specialty shop to identify the type of wood used to create the butt. Custom cue makers often work with the same woods on every cue they make. Narrowing down the type of wood used may point to a specific maker.
Ask local cue makers and billiard shop managers if they recognize the design or woodworking of the cue. Ask to look at old cue catalogs to match a picture. Local specialty cue makers can identify wood and sometimes match patterns to a particular maker or brand. Ask other billiard players if they recognize the pattern on the cue. Take it to large tournaments to get many opinions at one time.
Post detailed, close-up pictures of the pool cue online in billiard cue forums and ask for help with cue maker identification. Give details about the type of wood used on the butt and any inlay wood or precious materials. Give as much information as possible about where you found the pool cue.