1954 Pair of English EJ Riley Lignum Vitae Lawn Bowls

PRESENTING a LOVELY 1954 Pair of English EJ Riley Lignum Vitae Lawn Bowls.

In original brown leather case with original ivorine counters and clip.

Both bowls are fully marked as being made by the famous English maker E. J. Riley Ltd of Manchester.

Also marked as “Official BB 1954”.

Very RARE to find the original set so complete !

E.J. Riley are WORLD FAMOUS today for the snooker cues, tables and accessories.

E.J. Riley Ltd: Riley was originally established, in 1897, as a humble sports shop in Manchester. By 1912, the Company had diversified into manufacturing Snooker tables in Accrington. It soon produced 4000 full size tables a year and exported to all parts of the globe.

By the mid 1920’s the Riley brand, based upon creative design, quality materials and immaculate craftsmanship had grown into a leading premium snooker tables, cues and accessories brand.

BCE was founded, in 1976.  The Company started life as a distributor to the coin operator sector, supplying cues, balls and table spares.  By 1980, BCE had diversified into the manufacture of snooker tables.  From 1982-1992 the BCE Westbury snooker table was the table being used at all the World professional snooker tournaments and BCE had become one of the biggest names in snooker.

In 2002, Stuart Lacey brought the Riley and BCE brands together within the same Group.

Today, Riley and BCE Snooker tables continue to be made entirely in the United Kingdom. Our products have an aspirational mix of style, craftsmanship, performance and desirability, with many of the sport’s leading professionals endorsing Riley and BCE products.

Our employees will ensure that our story continues by passing our skills and values onto the next generation. Our highly skilled chief fitter, was trained by his father, and is now training his son, who wants to follow in the footsteps of his father and grandfather.

Link: https://www.riley-snooker-international.com/history


Bowls, or lawn bowls, is a sport in which the objective is to roll biased balls so that they stop close to a smaller ball called a “jack” or “kitty”. It is played on a bowling green, which may be flat (for “flat-green bowls”) or convex or uneven (for “crown green bowls“). It is normally played outdoors (although there are many indoor venues) and the outdoor surface is either natural grass, artificial turf or cotula (in New Zealand).

Bowls is a variant of the boules games (Italian Boccia), which, in their general form, are of ancient or prehistoric origin. Ancient Greek variants are recorded that involved throwing light objects (such as flat stones, coins, or later also stone balls) as far as possible. The aspect of tossing the balls to approach a target as closely as possible is recorded in ancient Rome. This game was spread to Roman Gaul by soldiers or sailors. A Roman sepulchre in Florence shows people playing this game, stooping down to measure the points.[1]

Bowls in England has been traced certainly to the 13th century, and conjecturally to the 12th century. William Fitzstephen (d. about 1190), in his biography of Thomas Becket, gives a graphic sketch of the London of his day and, writing of the summer amusements of young men, says that on holidays they were “exercised in Leaping, Shooting, Wrestling, Casting of Stones [in jactu lapidum], and Throwing of Javelins fitted with Loops for the Purpose, which they strive to fling before the Mark; they also use Bucklers, like fighting Men.”[2] It is commonly supposed that by jactus lapidum, Fitzstephen refers to an early variety of bowls, possibly played using round stone; there is a record of iron bowls being used, though at a much later date, on festive occasions at Nairn.[year needed]. On the other hand, the jactus lapidum of which he speaks may have been more akin to shot put.

It is clear, at any rate, that a rudimentary form of the game was played in England in the 13th century. A manuscript of that period in the royal library, Windsor (No. 20, E iv.), contains a drawing representing two players aiming at a small cone instead of an earthenware ball or jack. The world’s oldest surviving bowling green is the Southampton Old Bowling Green, which was first used in 1299.

Link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bowls

1954 Pair of English EJ Riley Lignum Vitae Lawn Bowls.

Provenance: Acquired at a Dallas Estate Sale.

Condition: The Bowls are in very good original condition. Some surface scratches consistent with being used to play the sport. The counters are complete and mint as id the clip. The leather bag has some condition issues with loss of stitching as is evident from photos.

Dimensions: The bag is 11″ Wide, 6″ Tall and 6″ Deep. Each bowl has a diameter of 4.5 inches.

PRICE NOW: $750

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