Here's your cue - to take a look at snooker, pool and billiards collectibles

Last night, 'The Rocket' Ronnie O'Sullivan engaged in some extraordinary (but typical) behaviour in initially refusing to pot the final ball of a 147 break at the World Open - the maximum break that can be achieved through the skill of the player alone without an opponent's error.


Ronnie's tenth 'maximum', took him one clear of snooker's multiple-record holding Stephen Hendry's tally, and he finally finished it after the referee persuaded him to think of his fans and their anticipation.

Between them, snooker, pool and billiards have a great many fans worldwide, which raises the question: is there a market for the sport's collectibles?

The death of Alex 'Hurricane' Higgins saw the loss of one of the game's all time greats - and one of the few players easily more controversial than The Rocket.

Higgins had an awkward relationship with autographs in particular, sometimes refusing to sign (unless you count a namestamp), then later offering to sell his signature when short of money in a bar.

Alex Higgins Autograph
Alex Higgins signature (complete with smiley face)

With his death, the value of his autograph has shot up, and whilst the most valuable examples are still only a few hundred pounds, this seems likely to increase making a high quality version a fair choice for an investment.

A 1977 Canadian Open Snooker Championship awarded to the late Alex Higgins is expected to fetch £3,000 - 3,500 at a Bonhams auction next month, and that might be a better choice still.

Perhaps surprisingly, however, the most valuable collectibles associated with snooker and the like are not currently pieces of player memorabilia, but art and antiques.

Christie's has previously offered various antiques, such as a Victorian mahogany billiard-cue stand which brought an impressive £17,250 in their 1998 sale.

Ruskin Spear Snooker painting
Ruskin Spear's At the Snooker Table

Numerous artists have been inspired by the game too - not just that painting of dogs shooting pool that's in every British pub (called The Hustler, by the way), but those such as Ruskin Spear whose At the Snooker Table brought £24,000 in 2006.

Overall, the game has gone from strength to strength in recent decades, that makes it very likely that many watching now will look back on the game with nostalgia for the years of Stephen Hendry and/or Ronnie O'Sullivan. That in turn makes it increasingly likely that snooker and billiard collectibles will hold and better their value.



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