Early Kersenbrock or South West Custom Cue

David Kersenbrock is widely regarded as one of the most important cue makers ever. During a time when Balabushka and Szamboti were perfecting the traditional cue, Kersenbrock was re-inventing the wheel, or the custom cue as we know it. David's contributions to cue knowledge are too many to list, but you can surely thank him for the South West Cues Company. It was his cue that inspired the late Jerry Franlkin to begin making custom cues. And the ever famous "South West Style" was really that of Kersenbrock's cues at the time. While not producing many cues in his lifetime (although he is still making a few annually), his legacy to cue making is enormous. His designs, taper, joint, etc. have inspired many...have been copied by many, and his cues owned by some of the best players and astute collectors.

This early example has seen a lot of action in the Chicago area over its lifetime. It has also caused some confusion in the industry. Differentiating Kersenbrock's work from South West's work is difficult; much of what they turned out while working together looks similar. When I purchased this cue I bought it as an unknown, meaning that we knew it was either a Kersenbrock or a South West. I showed it to Ed Young who in turn talked to Kersenbrock about the cue. I was told that it was one of David's cues. Then I showed the cue to Laurie Franklin of South West. She thought it was a South West cue. A few years later I sold the cue to Dick Abbott of billiardcue.com. Since there was some confusion as to who made it, I sold it to him as a South West. Had it been completely authenticated as a Kersenbrock, the value would have been much higher. However, any time a cue can't be authenticated one way or another, I think it's important that the cue be considered the lesser-valued piece until such time that an authentication is achieved. There are six razor sharp points, three of them high and three low, each with one reddish-orange veneer. The base wood is highly figured birds eye maple, into a nicely figured wood most likely in the rosewood family. The Irish linnen wrap is nicely aged. The joint is phenolic. There are three shafts and only one is shown in the picture. Two of the shafts are old (and look it) and one is new as of 2004 made by Kersenbrock himself. The finish is dinged up in many places and has began to rub through to the phenolic at the joint. There is a small chunk out of the butt cap that is a few millimeters, and difficult to see in the photo. The cue is straight, tight, and plays great. The cue is roughly 19oz. Depite its well used condition, it is all original down to the ferrules. I like the battle scars and keeping cues original, so I chose not to have it restored.

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