D. Hiolle's cues (France):

The famous French billiard house Hiolle bears the name of the man who founded it in 1820. Its factory was located in Maranville (Haute-Marne).

Several Marillier family members succeeded M. Hiolle and settled their shops in Paris. The factory was taken over by Klein about 1950-60 and closed down in 1982.


For more details, see Section Q. History and the paper entitled Les Billardiers Hiolle et Klein by Gilles Fourtier, published in the French review Folklore de Champagne, 130, pp.14-25, 1992. This journal also features a reproduction (pp. 20, 21) of a full-page report published on April 8, 1949 in the daily newspaper «La Haute-Marne Libérée». It reads : 'It is no exaggeration to say that the factory at Maranville in the late 1800s supplied nearly the whole world with billiard cues... Before 1914 it employed 35 workers ...At the time it was machining 300,000 cubic meters of wood every year... '
Originally, Hiolle cues were made mainly in ebony, Indian rosewood, amaranth, Macassar ebony, bubinga, service tree and hornbeam (*). They were quite often carved and inlaid with mother-of-pearl and ivory. Hiolles are especially known for their 4 (or more) points (see Section L 2 b Manufacturing). Other models were successful, too.
Some samples (**) are shown below:

'4-point' butts (those are classified according to their approximate ages, decreasing from 135 to 35 years).

Carved. Ivory and mother-of-pearl. For details, see cue No.1 in Section B.

One-piece cue. Ivory and mother-of-pearl. For details, see cue No.2 in Section B.

Cue quite similar to the previous one but in two pieces.


Signed (***). Superb intricate decoration. Carved rosewood and maple. For details, see beginning of Section C.

Ash and carved amaranth. For details, see cue No.3 in Section B.

Cues 1 to 5 are of the late 1800s.

Hand-carved and encrusted with mother-of-pearl
. Hiolle Hiolle


Also hand-carved, with some motives similar to the previous ones.

Carved rosewood and maple. Bevelled and decorated with 2 opposite triangular plates (***).

Adorned with a mother-of-pearl triangular plate.

10 to 13

Hiolle ancienne

Ecusson signé O T S

Inlaid with a mother-of-pearl escutcheon, with monogram for 10 (***) and 12, and finely carved.
Shafts of 10 and 12 are rare. The first one has 4 points and the second one is signed and provided with a bell shaped ferrule (see Section L 1 c).

14 to 16

Carving details, see cue No.2 in Section L 2 e.

Three L'Universelle (see Section A).

Macassar ebony and mother-of-pearl.

18 to 23

Six old 'cross-ruling' decorations.

Carving details, see cue No.1 in Section L 2 e.

Rare, because ash has been little used for making Hiolle butts.

26 to 28

Inlaid with the same large escutcheon and the hollow carvings of No.28, adorned with six pointed petal flowers, are gilded.

Notice that there is also a gilt version of No.26.


Dating from the 1960s.

Below, models distributed or sold by Belgian and German billiard firms:






Dating from the 1950-60s.


Carving details, see cue No.3 in Section L 2 e.

Van Laere

Carving details, see cue No.5 in Section L 2 e.


Bour (Köln)


Provided with Hiolle and Bour decals and Hiolle marks in butt and shaft.

'8-point' butts.

Here are four butts distributed by Horemans.

36 to 39

They are handmade because, e.g., the points and the carvings of the five round petal flowers

are different. Notice that butt 38 has probably lost decals and the gilt of its hollow carvings.

Butts without points:

a. truncated cone shaped


Finely carved and inlaid with a very large mother-of-pearl escutcheon with monogram, signed and dating from before 1920.

Covered with an embedded rubber wrap.

b. 'bottle' shaped

- '1-piece'.


Probably made by Hiolle-Klein and distributed by Caro.

Provided with an embedded textile thread 'grip' and a copper collar .Probably manufactured by Klein.

- '2-piece' (of variable weight)

Covered with the original embedded rubber wrap and provided with a brass collar
. Distributed by Horemans.


Provided with the original embedded leather 'grip'. Distributed or sold by Bour (Germany).


Same mdel as the two previous ones, but carved.

- '3-piece' (of variable weight)

Adorned with nice floral inlays.

Probably made by Hiolle-Klein and distributed by Caro.

It seems, as evidenced by the above cues and among others, that the signature 'HIOLLE' engraved
a. appears after 1880 and dissapears around 1970
b. is located first near the butt end, then on a light-coloured point and finally from the 1920s close to the butt's collar, as described in an advertisement page 2 of the French newspaper 'Le Billard Sportif' No. 5 published in 1922

c. is sometimes accompagnied by a decal until about 1920 and much later (in the 1960s) by a sticker that will survive it until 1982.

(*) Almost all shafts were made in the last two woods.
(**) All those made of several pieces have wooden joints.

(***) The signature is located on one of the four light-coloured points.