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Wendt Blue Seal
Wendt was one of the few manufacturers with a national, rather than a regional presence to survive the Brunswick-Balke-Collender domination of the billiard industry after the turn of the century (1900). Wendt persisted until 1942, then absorbed by A. E. Schmidt Co. of St. Louis, which remains today one of the last American billiard manufacturers.
Catalog image of the Blue Seal as originally advertised
Most notable were their Arts and Crafts and Mission styled tables. Stylistically, Wendt’s extra-deep cabinets gave their tables a massive presence and the construction was correspondingly substantial as you can see in the photograph showing the size of the top member of the cabinet.
Massive size of cabinet top-member supporting the slate bed
The “Blue Seal”, with its corbels and archways between legs, is a variation in the style of the BBC "St. Bernard”. Compared with the “St. Bernard”, it is a bit understated and may be preferable to some for that reason. It must have been a popular model, manufactured for some time, as we have seen several small variations in details such as the pocket irons, rail blinds and decorative trim among individual tables.
As mentioned above, Wendt was one of the last standing competitors to Brunswick’s domination of the industry and produced tables for many smaller regional companies to market under their own labels. Thus we see Wendt tables popping up in catalogs like the G.H. Jenkinson Company of Sioux City, Iowa and this also explains the Minn Company of Milwaukee nameplate in the table shown here.
At this writing, we have two distinct versions of the “Blue Seal”.
The Blue Seal was one of Wendt’s most popular designs and it was made in several versions. Among the characteristics that varied were: Blind panels or exposed rail bolts - #3 or #6 style pocket irons – circle or diamond rail sights – and the “spiked” tenon motif on the legs (shown below).
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