Q: I have inherited a unique combination dining table–pool table from my great-grandmother. She must have purchased it in 1902 or ’03, because I found a 1903 magazine ad for the table among her papers. The table, made by the Combination Billiard Manufacturing Co., has five heavy hand-carved legs and is 7 feet long. The ad says this particular style sold for $125, but that other styles were available for $30 to $150. I had the cloth restored and I have the dining table top and the triangle for the balls. But I don’t have the cues or balls. Can you tell me more, including the table’s value today?
A: Around the turn of the 20th century, pool was enjoying a popularity boom among both men and women. During the same era, furniture manufacturers were becoming excessively creative in combining pieces of furniture. Pool table–beds, pool table–bookcase–desks and pool–dining table combinations were on the market. The Combination Billiard Manufacturing Co. of Indianapolis sold combinations like yours during the first decade of the 20th century. An Arts and Crafts model made by the same company at about the same time was up for bid at a fall Rago auction in Vineland, N.J. Presale estimate was $1,500 to $2,000.