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THE MACE Pool Cues

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Implement used to play lawn and table billiards from the 1100s to the early 1900s, primarily in Europe.
The mace was the predecessor to both the cue and the mechanical bridge stick. Based on portrayals in engravings, cues were thought to have evolved in the mid-1600s from curved mallets used in lawn games comparable to croquet. The word "mace" originates from the French word "masse," a term that, when translated, means "hammer." In England, they were labeled "masts" or in simple terms, "sticks." For the most part maces had solid wooden heads affixed to wooden handles, while some were carved from one solid piece of wood. The head was normally set at a slope to allow the end of the mace to rest comfortably on the player´s shoulder (see illustration). An aiming line was often cut or inlaid into the midpoint of the head to aid in sighting the ball. As a rule, maces were nearly four feet in length, though several longer maces were implemented. Maces were occasionally capped with ivory on the front end, and later on maces frequently boasted leather pads on the front edge, an enhancement that was translated to the cue in the early 1800s.
The mace and ball were glided concurrently across the table with an extended, sweeping reach. But, keeping the mace in contact with the ball for a prolonged time was regarded as dishonest and was penalized as a foul, in the same way the "push shot" foul rule is present in contemporary billiard games. Given that it was challenging to drive a ball resting near a cushion, the mace would be reversed and the competitor would use the tip of the handle to make the shot. This handle was frequently alluded to as the "tail" - or, in French, the "queue." By 1680 the "cue" was being utilized exclusive of the mace head and advanced on its own as an independent apparatus. Prior to the conception of the leather tip, only proficient players were permitted usage of the cue, because of the possibility of damaging the table cloth by mis-cues from an untipped stick. The mace gradually descended into disuse. By the late 1700s it was put into application as a mechanical bridge. Throughout the 19th century the mace was used predominantly by ladies, for whom it was not only "improper" to bend over to make a shot, but physically challenging due to the corsets that were mainstays in apparel at the time. The mace became archaic by 1900. As they are undeniably dissimilar from pool cues, the grading procedures in this text do not pertain to the mace. Antique maces commonly trade from several hundred to thousands of dollars, contingent on age, features, condition, originality, and rarity.

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