Recollection Cues

Collectible Cues, Cases & Quality Players


This is another Josswest cue that has been in a private collection for approximately 26 years.  However, the unique nature of this cue is not just its unusual design (box cue), but its history.  This cue was originally owned by Omaha John Shuput, a deadly road player with a long and storied reputation.  He was a mentor to C.J. Riley, and one of the first people to take C.J. on the road when he was an up and coming young player from Northern Missouri.  You can still find many stories about him on the internet, and he was the subject of one of C.J.'s recent Youtube videos.

It is also unusual because Bill Stroud had not made many box cues at the time this one was built.  And, it has somewhat of a native American motiff, which became very popular with Bill, as in later years he moved west to Oklahoma, Colorado and New Mexico, and built many high-end, very fancy native American designed cues.

This is a classic, very traditional Josswest box design, in a maple cue with ebony boxes.

The large maple inlaid window in the butt sleeve is patterned after a very traditional native-American shape.  Inside, he uses one of his favorite early patterns - a rectangle with pointed ends (of ivory) with a red veneer coming out of each end.  Stroud, Tad and Gutierrez (Ginacue) all used this basic shape frequently. 

This cue was refinished by Stroud, and is now in virtually "new" condition.  I see only one thing that keeps me from saying it's "mint", and that is that I see just a bit of ingrained chalk in the wood at the base of one shaft, so I think that one shaft has been lightly played, but cleaned up so well (probably by Stroud) that you have to look hard to see it.

Each box is built from sheer, black Gabon ebony and framed in black, red and natural wood colored veneers.  Emerging from the end of each box is a long red veneer, with a black veneer on each side, topped with an ebony clover leaf with a small mother of pearl dot in the middle.

He uses a simple ivory ring with ivory dots above and below the handle.  He adds a long phenolic butt cap for durability.

We know by the logo, the J with the upright W, that this cue was made between 1980 and 1983.  Another indication that this is a fairly early Josswest are the stacked veneers around the blocks, as opposed to "V" cut veneers on the corners which he would have used in later years.

Just a simple, classy and traditional box cue design, in pretty birdseye maple.

This cue tells several stories, if you look and "listen" closely.  At this time, you can see that Bill is trying to not only improve the quality and complexity of his overall designs, but also to perfect his work.  The corners of his inlays are getting sharper, and the work is tighter than in the past.  And, of course, think of the stories this cue could tell about the adventures of Omaha John Shuput, if it could talk.

It is wrapped with a black Irish linen wrap with white specks.  Looks perfect on this stick.

A closer look at the boxes and veneer work ...

It comes with original old joint protectors. The butt cap has a matching ring, and the shafts have the classic turned, polished stainless steel caps that he used at the time for his "upper end" cues.

It's built with Stroud's piloted stainless steel joint with a 5/16 X 14 steel pin.  It comes with two 13mm shafts, one of which looks unplayed, and the other (if you look really close) looks like it might have been played a bit, but it's almost new.  It weighs 19.9 ounces with the one shaft, or 20.5 ounces with the other (16.1, 3.8, 4.4).  The ferrules are ivory, and the tips are likely LePros.  The difference in shaft weights make me think that one shaft may have been added later - perhaps when it was refinished.  It is 58 inches long.

This is a great cue in a number of ways.  First, it's a classic Josswest built at a time of crucial development in Stroud's career.  Second, it's a JW Box Cue, always a unique feature.  Third, it was owned and played by a legendary player and has a unique history.  And finally, it's just an excellent playing cue.  I can see why Omaha John chose it as his personal stick.