The Origins of Snooker.

The Origins of Snooker
The game of Billiards was originally known as ground billiards and was played on grass. It probably derived from bowls which was played by the Egyptians in 5200BC. Describing his travels through Greece in the 6th century BC the philosopher Anacharsis describes seeing a game played similar to what later became known as billiards. At the battle of Moigh Acha in the 2nd century AD the legendary Irish high king Cathair Mor bequeathed his brass bowls on his death bed.
Ground billiards was popular across Europe from 1340 up until the 17th century. It is thought that the transition from the ground up to being played on a table was to stop people having to bend down.
The exact etymology of the word billiards is still a bit of a mystery. The obvious conclusion would be of French origin, deriving from the words billart (mace) and bille (ball). Samuel Johnson, the author of the first English dictionary ascribed an English root to the word, claiming it derived from halyards (a game played with balls and sticks).
The pockets on a billiard table were originally counted as a penalty if a ball went down. Snooker tables were originally billiards. When I go out on a job snooker table recovering I often come across beautifully designed billiard tables. We recently did a snooker table removal for the duke of Rutland at Belvoir Castle and came across a beautiful Burroughs and Watts billiard table.
The easiest way to tell the difference between billiards and snooker tables is by the brass pocket plates. The brass on a riley snooker table and snooker dining table has none showing on the top of the cushion rail.
To be Cont.….

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