Since 1860, Chevillotte is the reference in the manufacture of high range pool and has put all its know-how to offer both game performances and aesthetic tables.
Over the years, Chevillotte has established its reputation in the design and manufacture of contemporary billiards (standard pool tables, competition, convertibles…) and also in the restoration of antique billiards.
Chevillotte offers in addition a full range of accessories and games: billiard cues, lamps, benches, football table, backgammon, poker tables and multi-games…
The Company supports its customers in their projects: “Chevillotte Entertainment Room” is a service of design and development of made to measure entertainment areas around the pool.
Chevillotte is a leading manufacturer of French billiards, American and Russian professional quality pool tables that can easily be converted into a dining room table or desk.
Chevillotte is a leader in the manufacture and supply of pool tables since 1860.
The King of Billiards
The antique billiards restoration
If the international fame of Chevillotte is well established in the manufacture of high-end pool, it is also true for its unparalleled expertise in the restoration of antique billiards.
Since 1860 Chevillotte Company is passionate about billiards: it becomes a natural evolution to restore old billiards. As jewels of art and unique pieces of cabinetry, they are the testimony of a time period and the evidences of the value of our heritage. More than a simple repair, restoration is primarily a philosophy, the respect for the noble art of the past centuries and the desire to perpetuate exceptional furniture….
Do not confuse old billiard and second-hand billiards. An old billiard table is not necessarily an antique billiard table. Are considered and classified antique billiards the furniture dating from the eighteenth or nineteenth century, in good condition and above all made of precious woods: amaranth wood, lemon tree, ebony, walnut, sycamore. Between the billiard table and the collector, there is a passion: the passion to possess an historic piece of furniture.
An antique billiard can also be a playground, in that case the restoration turns differently: originally, the tray is made of hard wood, oak or walnut, but at the end of the XIXth century, it is the slate which develops considerably and which offers the best conditions of game. Generally, The restoration replaces the initial wooden tray by some slate. The specialist can also change the cloth and the cushions which form the frame. At the origins made of simple cloth cushions, they are today in rubber.
The restoration of an antique billiard table is doubly satisfying: you will have a perfect surface on which to play after full technical reconditioning and will be the proud owner of a piece of furniture of great value.
Thanks to its experience, passion and know how, Chevillotte was selected by the Chateau de Versailles to restore the pool of King Louis XVI.
The Billiard: a noble game in Versailles
Initially the word billiard was employed for the staff, used to push the ball, before its meaning was extended to the game itself, the table, and then to the specific room, the nobility playing in their castles and mansions, the middle classes in their houses and the others in any public places as numerous at the time as cafes today.
Louis the Thirteenth became a fervent of the game in his early years, so much so that, in his childhood, he even lent a hand to the joiners who constructed the tables. Louis the Fourteenth, in turn, inherited the taste for this “Game of Intellect” which he practiced with conviction, amongst other activities such as “paume”, now know as tennis, hunting, music and dance. In the Castle of Versailles when Louis the Fourteenth was “entertaining”, the Court Members who shared his passion for billiards were invited to Diane’s Drawing Room where he would take great pleasure in measuring his skills against his subordinates. It was shrewd and advisable to let the King win and many Government Ministers of whom Chamillart, both Finance and War Minister, knew how to accomplish this with diplomacy and efficacy.
Louis the Fourteenth had a billiard room within his private apartments, at the North West corner of the “Marble Court”. It was a four windowed room dressed in rich white wood panelling with gold trimmings, and decorated with some superb paintings illuminated by an astute ray of light invention realised by André-Charles Bulle. The King would often play between the hours of seven and nine in the evening.
Louis the Fifteenth, although he did not completely ignore this noble game, as the years went by, his interest and application for it diminished. He had however been a devoted player from a very early age.
Louis the Sixteenth did not keep all of the apartments of his Grand-Father; he partially renounced to those of the second floor, transforming them into accommodation for his Prime Minister and personal servant. At this time he experienced a “housing crisis” and, to be able to fit in his billiard table, was obliged to use the “Buffet Room” which now satisfied two uses. When the King had need of the next door dining room, the billiard table and couches in the buffet room were covered, and served, to set, and disencumber the dining room. The Countess of Boigne relates in her memoirs that in this instance the King was obliged to accelerate his game of billiards in order to liberate the table, thus allowing the servants’ time to prepare the diningroom for the meal to come.
Louis the Sixteenth’s billiard table was delivered to him in 1776 by Masson “Supplier to the King” for the sum of 1200 pounds: “including a billiard table manufactured from good and fine oak, measuring twelve feet long by six feet wide (3.90 X 1.95 m) of which the panels, cross-beams and sockets are two inches thick (5.4 cm), the legs and labour charges”. To this figure it was necessary to add all the trimmings, extra-thin pure wool cloth from Spain, gold braid, gold-plated nails for the cushions, etc….There were also twenty wrought iron strips on which candles were placed, these strips were held in place by four vertical clamps, the unity thus assuring comprehensive light cover of the full playing surface (fig. 2). There were also twelve ivory billiard balls engraved with numbers, allowing a game called “War” to be played, four larger balls for the practise of French Billiards and twenty eight cues of different sizes and lengths with four cue racks to hold them in. The value, all included, worked out at more than 3000 pounds, the auction sale price was knocked down to only 600 pounds after the Revolution and was won by a Citizen named Rouger on the 19th of March 1794. On the other hand it was a certain Mr Bouchard who won for the modest sum of 21 pounds on the 5th of July the porcelain hen which had been delivered to the King in 1786 by the Company “Manufacture de Sevres”.
This was about the only curious object in the room, a room very simply decorated, as its principal function as that of antechamber required, The Masculine and Feminine Court Members who did not practice the art of playing billiards disposed of cards and dice for distraction, in an adjoining games-room, capable of receiving thirty-six players.
A new qualified patronage
The first contact between the Versailles Castle and the Chevillotte Company dates back to 2002. It was during the fitting of a billiard table and its lighting system at the Grand Trianon that we first met Valerie Bajou, Curator of the Versailles Castle. We exposed our expertise to the team of Castle Curators who, some months later, entrusted us with the task of the removal and maintenance of Louis Philippe’s billiard table, from the Castle to Trianon. From this moment on a reciprocal confidence was formed.
In 2004 we contacted once again the Versailles Castle and arranged an appointment with Mr Christian Baulez, Principal Curator in charge of Furniture, and Mrs Serena Gavazzi in charge of Patronage projects. This was a meeting that I, as a young Company Director, will never forget. Christian Baulez, accompanied by Mr Pierre-Xavier Hans, provided documents going back to the reign of Louis the Sixteenth mentioning a billiard : these copies, of documents dating from the eighteenth century, are genuine treasures for us.
We now take the decision with Serena Gavazzi to develop the idea of restoring Louis the Sixteenth’s billiard to his private apartments in the Castle.
The soul at the heart of this project, which was to last a year, four months of which being spent in our workshops, was to construct this piece of furniture, not only in an identical fashion from an aesthetical point of view, but equally with the same materials and manufacturing techniques as those dating from the original epoch.
What a pleasure it was to touch, compare and admire so many iconographical reproductions dating from the eighteenth century, our Company only possessing one, showing Louis the Sixteenth playing on his table. A very valuable piece making up the jig-saw was an article taken from the brochure «The art of Joinery» by Jacques-Andre Roubo (1771-1774). By cross checking with a billiard cloth manufacturer, founded in 1680, as well as with the Billiard Museum in Vienna, we were able to determine that the colour of the cloth was blue-green, the copies of the invoice dating from 1776 only gave us the composition of the cloth. We also studied the invoices pertaining to the annual upkeep of the table between the years of 1777 and 1779. We found that the yearly maintenance consisted of re-levelling the table, of having to plane the oak playing surface and changing the cloth, because, at that period, there was no question of either slate being used for the playing surface or of rubber for the cushions of course.
Be it, the construction plans, the wood-working of the fifteen legs, the colour and patina of the wood, the width of the gold coloured braid or the diameter of the 956 gold plated tacks, nothing was overlooked by the expert eye of the Curator during his numerous visits to our workshops in Orleans and Bordeaux whilst the table was being constructed. In spite of the fact that he demanded that we absolutely respect to the letter the known techniques of assemblage, he showed great humility towards our efforts. Thus, we were able to decide together whether we should gold-plate the specially re-created assembly bolts, and how to go about fixing the cloth to the interior of the six holes in the playing surface.
After an ultimate assemblage in our workshops and once the table had been stamped with the Chevillotte name (in case our descendants need to intervene in two hundred years time to restore the table!), it finally arrived at the Castle in January 2006. The assemblage took a full ten hours of scrupulous attention.
A large thank you to all of the actors who contributed to this project and who, in doing so, combined to consolidate the image that animates our Company: the respect of traditions and the force of innovation.
Specially selected solid French dried Oak
Gold laced thread
Finely gold gilded nails and screws
100% pure virgin wool cloth, a selection of some of the finest combed wool providing a perfectly flat and precise game surface
Competition slate rubber and world champion designed pocket openings
- External Dimension : 286 cm long x 159 cm wide / 113′ X 63′
- Height : 85 cm / 33′
- Playing surface : 254 cm long x 127 cm wide / 100′ X 50′
- Minimum room size needed: 544 X 417 cms / 18ft’ X 14ft’
Available in American game version.
Chevillotte, official provider:
- Chevillotte the official provider of the big prize Panamericano 2010 (mexico), the biggest competition of carom billiard of the American continen
- Asian Games: Chevillotte is the only official supplier of billiards “Non made in Asia” during this competition (Vietnam,October 2009)
- Supplier of Olympic games of southeast Asia 2009