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American Game Tables

Tabletop games like billiards have a rich history dating back to the 15th century. While contemporary table-top games like air hockey and foosball have a dedicated following of enthusiasts, true game tables maintain nostalgic appeal.

Although game tables have been used in the United States for playing common games like backgammon to chess, most American game tables were created for cards. The earliest tables made specifically for playing cards can be traced to late 17th century Europe, when 78-card decks were used on walnut-veneered tables with half-round folding tops sitting on turned tapered baluster legs joined with flat stretchers.

By the Civil War era, a number of games were played on tables with French 52-card Mameluke decks in the United States. In the Wild West period poker tables in particular came into their own. In the heyday of Five Card Draw, game tables could be found in every saloon and casino, as well as many private homes, from coast to coast.


Quick Facts

  • Ellen Liman, whose husband Arthur investigated the Iran-Contra Affair, donated more than 500 historical board and table games to the New York Historical Society Museum & Library
  • A 19th century American Classical mahogany games table sold at Bonhams in San Francisco for only $500
  • In July 2015, a Victorian walnut games table sold at a Skinner auction in Boston for $461

Recommended Items at Auction

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MAHOGANY FRAMED SNOOKER TABLE
Dec 06, 10:00 AM GMT
MAHOGANY FRAMED SNOOKER TABLE
by Sheppards
Est: €500- €800
€3000 Bids

Sellers Who Sell American Game Tables


Sheppards

Sheppards