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 Post subject: Gus on eBay
PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2017 8:53 pm 
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Any thoughts on this one? Interesting specimen, either way


Look at this on eBay http://www.ebay.com/itm/371946532405

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 Post subject: Re: Gus on eBay
PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2017 10:14 am 
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ideologist wrote:

Any thoughts on this one? Interesting specimen, either way

Look at this on eBay http://www.ebay.com/itm/371946532405


From the ad: "White Phenolic Joints"

100% bullshit.

I was serving a 1-year apprenticeship with a top custom knifemaker in the mid-70's, and if there had been a "white phenolic" in existence ANY time in the 70's we would have known about it.

There WAS no "white phenolic" in the 70's. The closest you could have some would have been "Ivory Micarta" from GE (Micarta was their brand-name for fiber-reinforced phenolic resin). THAT was never bright white (like on that cue), and would be a very dark yellow by now. Those joint collars are probably some version of LBM.

No way did Gus Szamboti build that cue. Total scam by an either uninformed, or unscrupulous seller.

TW



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 Post subject: Re: Gus on eBay
PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2017 11:03 am 
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ThomasWayne wrote:

No way did Gus Szamboti build that cue. Total scam by an either uninformed, or unscrupulous seller.

TW

[/size]


I agree that there was no white micarta, but it could be any white plastic from back then. Implex stays pretty white. I'm not deep enough in the composite and plastic catalogs of the era to be sure of anything without having it in my
hand.

It does have a letter from Barry with it if you check the other pictures. I've never seen a white collar with black ring, very unique.

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 Post subject: Re: Gus on eBay
PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2017 12:09 pm 
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ThomasWayne wrote:

There WAS no "white phenolic" in the 70's. The closest you could have some would have been "Ivory Micarta" from GE (Micarta was their brand-name for fiber-reinforced phenolic resin). THAT was never bright white (like on that cue), and would be a very dark yellow by now.


One of my first real job interviews after graduate school in 1981 was at GE in their plastics division. The position was to be part of a team of chemists trying to keep their phenolic resins from yellowing. The properties of the resins were outstanding and were not adversely affected by the yellowing. But their marketing group said they couldn't sell dishwashers where the interior linings were harvest gold.


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 Post subject: Re: Gus on eBay
PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2017 1:09 pm 
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ideologist wrote:
[...]
It does have a letter from Barry with it if you check the other pictures. I've never seen a white collar with black ring, very unique.


Yeah, I saw that. Not going to address it directly, other than to say I have a couple of stories about the "authentication" practices and processes that have transpired in this industry over the years...

I would have to examine it in hand AND x-ray it before I would change my opinion. Absent that, I stand by my previous statement.

TW


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 Post subject: Re: Gus on eBay
PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2017 5:22 pm 
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Gus used Ivory.

Barbara


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 Post subject: Re: Gus on eBay
PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2017 6:38 pm 
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ThomasWayne wrote:
ideologist wrote:
[...]
It does have a letter from Barry with it if you check the other pictures. I've never seen a white collar with black ring, very unique.


Yeah, I saw that. Not going to address it directly, other than to say I have a couple of stories about the "authentication" practices and processes that have transpired in this industry over the years...

I would have to examine it in hand AND[size=150] x-ray it before I would change my opinion.
Absent that, I stand by my previous statement.

TW
[/size]

7/16 aluminum A-joint stud to the forearm is the telling part ?

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 Post subject: Re: Gus on eBay
PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2017 7:10 pm 
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There is another possibility I only just now considered, and that is the joint collars may be elephant ivory, and the seller is describing them as "white phenolic" to get around the eBay restriction on selling real ivory. Traders in antique straight razors (for example) will post an eBay sale, describing a razor as "pre Civil War" and note that it has "faux ivory" handle plates. There was no "faux ivory" before the Civil War - but buyers and sellers know the "code" to use on eBay.

TW



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 Post subject: Re: Gus on eBay
PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2017 7:28 pm 
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ideologist wrote:
ThomasWayne wrote:

No way did Gus Szamboti build that cue. Total scam by an either uninformed, or unscrupulous seller.

TW

[/size]


I agree that there was no white micarta, but it could be any white plastic from back then. Implex stays pretty white. I'm not deep enough in the composite and plastic catalogs of the era to be sure of anything without having it in my
hand.

It does have a letter from Barry with it if you check the other pictures. I've never seen a white collar with black ring, very unique.

Implex and phenolic aren't in the same area code to be confused with one another.

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 Post subject: Re: Gus on eBay
PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2017 7:43 pm 
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Cornerman wrote:
Implex and phenolic aren't in the same area code to be confused with one another.


100% agreed, however, the seller is a pawnshop and I assume their knowledge is non-existent.

The reserve on this cue is $20,000 - says enough about their knowledge for me

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 Post subject: Re: Gus on eBay
PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 3:24 am 
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close-up of the joint (using ebay's "zoom in" feature)

doesn't look like ivory to me


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 Post subject: Re: Gus on eBay
PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 1:03 pm 
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eddiewalker wrote:
close-up of the joint (using ebay's "zoom in" feature)

doesn't look like ivory to me


In close-up that looks an awful lot like linen-based Melamine, and it's obviously made from wound rod. Melamine resin itself goes WAY back - maybe as much as 100 years - and has been chiefly used in molded utensils and laminated countertop materials such as "Formica" and "Wilsonart". So it's possible that somebody somewhere was producing wound rod, and that Gus Szamboti stumbled across it and used it in a cue.

But there are several problems with that scenario, not the least of which is WTF would it be used for in the 70s besides cue parts? There's no way Szamboti commissioned some manufacturer to make rod stock so he could build one cue with it. If it DID exist, why did it not surface in any other cuemaking form (such as ferrules) until the mid-80s? Why didn't Szamboti use it any other cues (that we know of)? Why would any company make it in stark white (which is difficult in itself) if it was being used for utility items such as electrical isolation components (chief purpose of early thermoset resins) and things like that? And probably most important, why would Szamboti NOT have used ivory, given its traditional appeal, great abundance, and relatively cheap price?

However, in the end, the value of the cue is inextricably linked directly to the maker. If Szamboti made the cue it's worth a buttload... if not, it's worth bupkis (or thereabouts). Barry Szamboti has signed off on it being a genuine Gus Szamboti, which would be a very hard argument to overcome - so it's worth a buttload.

TW


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 Post subject: Re: Gus on eBay
PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 2:36 pm 
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Quote:
In close-up that looks an awful lot like linen-based Melamine,

It sure does.
What a head ache of a material to use.

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 Post subject: Re: Gus on eBay
PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 4:57 pm 
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There were a few cuemakers in NJ building cues with white collars, e.g., Palmer, Paradise, Fedunka, Meyer. Gus sold blanks to at least 2 of them. What did they use?

I have a similar receipt from 7 months earlier for a cue that Barry verified for me. Others should chime in if my understanding from that time is not correct. But I thought that a receipt for work on an ‘Old’ Szamboti is a bit short of signing off on the cue as genuine. He could not find my cue specifically in his father’s book. But he described several signs that led him to believe the cue was made by his father and provided a range of likely years for its production. The ‘Old’ Szamboti receipt was more in the line of written confirmation that he believed the cue was made by his father. I only spoke with him the one time about the cue and perhaps I was too excited to grasp everything he was telling me.


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 Post subject: Re: Gus on eBay
PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 11:27 pm 
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ThomasWayne wrote:
eddiewalker wrote:
close-up of the joint (using ebay's "zoom in" feature)

doesn't look like ivory to me


In close-up that looks an awful lot like linen-based Melamine, and it's obviously made from wound rod. Melamine resin itself goes WAY back - maybe as much as 100 years - and has been chiefly used in molded utensils and laminated countertop materials such as "Formica" and "Wilsonart". So it's possible that somebody somewhere was producing wound rod, and that Gus Szamboti stumbled across it and used it in a cue.

But there are several problems with that scenario, not the least of which is WTF would it be used for in the 70s besides cue parts? There's no way Szamboti commissioned some manufacturer to make rod stock so he could build one cue with it. If it DID exist, why did it not surface in any other cuemaking form (such as ferrules) until the mid-80s? Why didn't Szamboti use it any other cues (that we know of)? Why would any company make it in stark white (which is difficult in itself) if it was being used for utility items such as electrical isolation components (chief purpose of early thermoset resins) and things like that? And probably most important, why would Szamboti NOT have used ivory, given its traditional appeal, great abundance, and relatively cheap price?

However, in the end, the value of the cue is inextricably linked directly to the maker. If Szamboti made the cue it's worth a buttload... if not, it's worth bupkis (or thereabouts). Barry Szamboti has signed off on it being a genuine Gus Szamboti, which would be a very hard argument to overcome - so it's worth a buttload.

TW


Interesting insights, thanks. It would be nice to hear from Barry on the points you raise. Having said that curious mysteries are kinda cool too.

Dave


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