Thomas Rowlandson (1756-1827)
The Billiard Room
Pen and grey ink and watercolour, framed in a gold leaf frame
11.4 x 18.8 cm; 4 1/2 x 7 3/8 inches; frame size 37 x 43 cm; 14 ¼ x 16 7/8 inches
Mrs Caroline Scott, 1858;
Private collection, U.K. until 2018
A similar drawing of a game of billiards is in the collection of the Yale Center for British Art, New Haven (TMS 5665). The player about to make a shot is using a mace, with which the ball was shoved rather than struck. The dominant billiard game in Britain from about 1770 until the early 20th century was English Billiards, played with three balls and six pockets on a large rectangular table.
The subject was engraved in W. Combe and T. Rowlandson, The Dance of Life, 1817, p. 230.