MANUFACTURE OF CLASSIC
BILLIARD TABLES AND
EQUIPMENT SINCE 1994
: 2021-01-25 03:26
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Our Heritage

This billiard table has gone through quite a few adventures after the revolution! In 1917 the Red Army soldiers stationed at Niasvizh indulged in the “bourgeois” pastime. Russian writer Konstantin Paustovsky was treated at a local field hospital and played the billiards. In 1926 a few games with the last Niasvizh palace owner, Leon Radziwill, were played Marshall Józef Pilsudski, Polish Chief of State. In 1939 the place was visited by Russian writer Valentin Kataev who called the billiards “a silent witness of the whole epoch’s rise and fall.”

 
Antoni Wilhelm Radziwill XIV,
the first owner of the Monarch billiards
 

During World War II the German Luftwaffe pilots used the billiards for their entertainment. When retreating they took along from the castle all they could. Yet, the table had to be left behind, probably, it was bigger than any door and had been assembled in the palace. After the war the palace housed a Belarusian collective farmer health resort, which means that the farmer holiday-makers indulged themselves in billiards. The whole Belarusian Soviet Socialist Republic writer high society are also said to have played the Radziwills’ billiards.

The last safe haven for the legendary billiard table was provided by a Belarusian fire department where it all but ended its lifetime. The matter is that the Radziwills played with pool balls, while now the Russian pyramid balls of a larger diameter are more widespread. If this ball hit the pocket and ran along the chute, it often got stuck. To let it through, the poor monsters of players could find nothing better than kick the table with their boots. Therefore, the side surfaces bore the irresistible traces of the self-declared billiard players’ pounding.

After the table was set free from the fire department captivity, due to a fortunate coincidence, someone remembered the Zhodino-based RuptuR Company. Company chief Alexander Sokolov agreed to repair the ancient Radziwill billiards free of charge.

The Radziwills, a family of princes in the Grand Duchy Lithuanian and then in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Russian Empire and Prussia.

The Monarch was transported to the Zhodino billiards production unit. As woodcarver Alexander Kotsuba said, its colour was black and the paint layer hid beneath also several floor lacquer layers. “It was not before we removed the filth that we saw how beautiful the table was: petty carved elements and the mahogany veneer design appeared.” It took the Company about three months to get ready for the restoration and to catch up with the specialist literature. The job was too sensitive and unforgiving.

- “No historian offered us any assistance, so we had to take our own decisions,” said Valery Shved, Production Director. “We had had an experience of restoring some ancient tables; one was even older, built in 1863. But that one was simpler and the responsibility involved was incomparable. We succeeded in procuring similar species of wood about a century old. How did we? We used to take some fragments of tables which were not suited for restoration any longer and used them. As far as the veneers are concerned, we had to go abroad on purpose to get some.

Three persons sweated over the Radziwill billiards. The operations were supervised by Sergei Biako, a craftsman who is universally acclaimed as “the skilful fingers.” Arts designer Gennady Zhebin told us that for the Monarch’s sake he had given up his school teacher’s career. “During this period in time I learned more about the carver’s trade than in my whole previous life,” admits Gennady.

The Monarch billiards was produced in 1896 by the Brunswiсk Company and  restored by the RuptuR Company experts in 2004.
At present it is kept at the Niasvizh culture preserve.

For two long years the craftsmen revived bit by bit the Monarch’s former grandeur. The table’s playing area was replaced in full with high-quality natural slate, while a decision was taken to preserve its Russian billiard feature which it had acquired through the Soviet epoch. Upon completion of the work the billiard table was transferred back to the Niasvizh culture preserve in the framework of an earmarked gala event.

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: 2021-01-25 03:26
http://en.ruptur.com/about/monarkh/