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Maker of pool cues from 1973 to present in Miami, Florida.
Abe Rich has a deep heritage in the craft of cuemaking that recalls a time when a wood-turner´s shop had little more than a simple lathe and an extensive selection of tools. He is the third master cuemaker from a family whose tradition spans nearly one hundred years.
Abe credits his uncle Isadore Rutzisky ("The Professor") as his greatest teaching influence. Rutzisky, a Lithuanian immigrant who arrived in 1911, was a talented wood-turner. Abe learned his trade as an apprentice in his uncle´s company, The New York Billiard Table Company, founded in 1912 and located on the Bowery. Though no tables were made there, the company supplied the brisk demand for "custom" two-piece cues. Abe recalled one of the company´s big breaks when it sold a special three-piece cue to Fred Astaire. An excellent player himself, Mr. Astaire wanted a cue that could be stowed inside his suitcase. A special cue was made and the publicity that followed drew many successful and famous people. Celebrities like Sammy Davis Jr., Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon and Milton Berle patronized the shop.
While the New York Billiard Table Company made some of the best two-piece cues for that time, it was also well known for turning ivory billiard balls. Speaking about his uncle´s mastery of the art, Abe would say admiringly, "My Uncle was the best." Samuel Blatt, a successful cuemaker and respected expert at making ivory billiard balls, learned the trade from Isadore Rutzisky. Blatt´s family business still thrives today in New York City.
As an adult, Abe Rich worked for the Rich Cue Company with his cousin Saul. Saul Rich´s business had an established reputation for making quality cues and Abe eventually took what he learned there to Florida, where, in 1965, he and his brother Morris made cues under the name "Florida Cues." Abe worked with his brother for about eight years before moving into his own shop in March of 1973. Abe chose the name "Star Cue Mfg." instead of using his own name to prevent any confusion with his cousin Saul´s company.
Star Cues are still made today by Abe Rich, in a time honored "old-fashioned" way, by hand, in his one-man shop. Abe´s shop is small, 20 ft. by 100 ft., but the available space is utilized with a degree of thought and care that allows for separation of the various areas required for making quality cues. Abe has an 8 ft. wide, 12 ft. high stack of wood and materials in the center of the room. The wood has aged there for more than 25 years and when asked about it, Abe will say simply, "You have to make sure the wood is dry." Ferrules are threaded on.
Abe no longer makes cues with points, favoring cues that are designed simply, with an emphasis on playability and exact player specifications. Abe also has a cue area where he keeps finished cues that are ready for customer selection. He still works in the shop six days a week, but his cuemaking has slowed down. Additionally, he offers a variety of other cues, cases and equipment. He loves to make customers happy.
Star cues can be identified by the Abe Rich signature on each and have been made with a variety of different joints, including wood screws. Each was constructed with great pride and displays a care and attention to detail that can only come from a true craftsman. Abraham Rich has been described as a man of deep convictions and extraordinary insight, yet like a cue with masterful construction and simple design, he chooses to remain humble and down-to-earth. In this way, Abe´s character lives in his work; his business card echoes this tradition: "Star Cue Mfg...Manufacturer of two-piece custom cues...Hand made by A. Rich."
If you have a Star cue that needs identification or repair, or you would like to talk to Abe Rich about the design of a new Star cue, contact Star Cue Company, listed in the Trademark Index.

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