High Victorian style was popular during the later part of the 19th century. This architectural style appeared in buildings, artwork, and pool tables. The design was characterized by an eclectic assortment of patterns, textures, and colors, and even some Gothic elements.
In the High Victorian Era, the J.M. Brunswick & Balke Company designed and created their ‘Novelty’ series of pool tables. Notable features of this series include having the legs of the table are turned at a 45 degree angle to the cabinet. This draws the discriminating viewer’s eyes to the cabinet where the corners are scooped out, creating a pointed arch – a classic Gothic design element.
The Brilliant Novelty is the perfect embodiment of this architectural era and a very popular member of the Novelty series.
Original Catalog Description from 1882-1892:
“The main object in the construction of the ‘Brilliant Novelty’, and the one most noticeable, is that it embodies all the more salient or most important features that have rendered popular all the other styles of tables of The J. M. Brunswick & Balke Co.’s make. The purchaser of a ‘Brilliant Novelty’ possesses a table that has all the advantages and good points of all the other styles of tables of our manufactures. The ‘Brilliant Novelty’ is a happy combination of the most popular tables, and will rapidly take the foremost place in the estimation of all players and purchasers of Billiard or Pool Tables.
The Illustration here conveys a good idea of the appearance of “The Brilliant Novelty.” It is finished and handsomely inlaid in many different colors, made up from Califorina laurel, Burl Ash, French Walnut, Birds-Eye Maple, Mahogany, Rosewood, Tulipwood and Ebony. It is supplied with the finest of Vermont Slate bed, Simonis Cloth, and a first-class outfit of everything necessary and the price is reasonable.”