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Tennis Australia Melbourne, Victoria

Tennis Australia is the governing body for the sport of tennis in Australia. The organisation exists to promote tennis and conduct domestic and international tournaments on behalf of Australia, including the Australian Open and the Davis Cup for the Australian Davis Cup Team. Tennis has been played in Australia from around 1877, but it was not until 1904, in preparation for the Davis Cup, that the sport began to organise, with the founding of Tennis Australia's predecessor, the Australasian Lawn Tennis Association. In 2005 TA celebrated its centenary, and that of its first event – the Australian Open. The organisation is currently based in at Melbourne Park.

There are around 6,000 catalogued items in the Tennis Australia heritage collections, and an estimated 2,000 uncatalogued items. The collections include a large amount of tennis equipment dating from the late 19th Century to today including around 4,000 tennis racquets, plus hundreds of balls, racquet-presses, nets, clothing and other equipment which represent the immense changes in technology and materials over a century. They can also tell interesting stories of major manufacturers and champion athletes that made, used and endorsed tennis equipment. Some items are extremely rare, such as handmade wood inlay racquets from the 1860s to be used in the sport that was precursor to modern tennis, known as 'real tennis'. Another fine piece is a large leather and wood banner, c.1900 which was an early advertisement for important tennis equipment manufactures Wright & Ditson.

The collection also includes thousands of photographs and newspaper articles relating to the sport of tennis in Australia and Australian players playing overseas. And it includes rare and important original tickets, programmes and memorabilia from very early Davis Cup and Australian Open matches (1900 to 1960). A fine example of original photographs is the album of pictures created by Eleanor Hopman in 1938 to document herself and other Australian women players travelling to play in England, accompanied on part of the journey by the Australian Cricket team, including Don Bradman. The collection also includes a few thousand journals, magazines, reference books and rare books, dating as far back as the 1870s all relating to tennis.

Also in the collection are hundreds of items which depict or celebrate the sport of tennis, including fine antique jewelry, fine art, decorative art and popular prints and cartoons. Stand-out pieces include a 18th Century oil painting of an English aristocrat and a circa-1870s stained glass panel depicting early tennis, part of a pair, with the other half housed in the Wimbledon Museum collection, UK. Also interesting is a sub-collection of tennis-themed games, from well-preserved 19th Century parlour games to a 1970s pinball machine.

Contact Information

location
Melbourne Park Olympic Boulevard, Melbourne Park Melbourne 3000

Contact

Location

Melbourne Park Olympic Boulevard Melbourne Park Melbourne Victoria

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5075 items

Medal

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Silver medal embedded in a blue velvet box. Inscriptions read: 'A Oceania Tennis...Federation (OTF)...AGM Junio 2000', and 'Sudamerica de tenis...COSAT...confederacione'. Materials: Silver/Metal, Velvet

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

An inlaid, tilt-top tennis racquet, with a strip of red leather binding the stem. Inscription across throat of obverse: HORSMAN/MAKER/7. Materials: Wood, Gut, Leather, Metal, Lacquer

, Photographic print

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Photograph of Doherty brothers standing in a garden, one holding tennis racquet. Photograph is signed and dated by both men, and dated on plaque 'OCTOBER 1902'. UV glass. Materials: Paper, Photographic emulsion, Wood, Cardboard, Ink, Cloth, Metal

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Spalding 'Model AH' tennis racquet, featuring: concave throat; bevelled crown; whipping over hide reinforced shoulders; and, fine-grooved, octagonal handle. 'A.G. Spalding & Bros. Made in U.S.A.' logo encircling ball trademark features on throat on reverse. Decal of model name features across throat on obverse. Materials: Wood, Lacquer, Glue, Metal, Ink, Gut, Leather, Paint, String, Hide

Brochure

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A brochure clipping featuring an advertisement for Spalding 'Slocum' tennis racquets on one side; and an advertisement for Partridge 'American Tate' tennis racquets, on the other side. Materials: Paper, Ink

Racquet & cover, Warranty

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Prince 'Precision Ascent Lite' tennis racquet, with Prince 'Softzorb' synthetic handle grip, and Prince 'Duraflex 17' synthetic gut strings. Also featuring is a vinyl racquet cover, and Identity Card/Warranty. Materials: Graphite, Composite Materials, Paint, Ink, Plastic, Synthetic Gut, Synthetic material, Vinyl, Metal, Plastic, Ink, Cardboard, Ink

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Spalding wood racquet with red and white whipping on shoulders and grooved wood handle. Leather cuff on butt. Materials: Wood, String, Gut, Leather

Brooch

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Brooch in shape of a racquet and ball. Studded with faux diamonds (clear stones or glass). Materials: Metal, Glass

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Slazenger, Panther Cup squash racquet. Racquet primarily comprises of a frame made from a singular piece of tubular metal, secured by a plastic bridge across the throat, and the hardened plastic handle below. Materials: Metal, Plastic, Synthetic material, Ink, Nylon, Adhesive tape

Report

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Australian Open 2003 International Television Broadcast and Distribution Report. Materials: Paper, Ink, Plastic

Magazine clipping

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A cartoon from 'Punch' magazine, featuring a female tennis 'star' complaining to an older lady. Materials: Paper, Ink, Cardboard

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Pro Kennex 'Graphite Dominator' tennis racquet, strung with Wimbledon 'Court 5' nylon strings. Racquet features original plastic wrap around handle. Materials: Graphite, Paint, Plastic, Adhesive tape, Leather, Ink, Adhesive label, Nylon, Metal

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Spalding, "Lady Hallmark" Model tennis racquet with whipping on shoulders. Manufacturer's name along shaft and on butt cap; model name across base of head. 'S' symbol spray-painted across net. Leather hand grip and white plastic butt cap. Materials: Wood, Metal, Lacquer, Glue, Ink, Nylon, Paint, Leather, Plastic, Adhesive tape

Tournament Programme

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Album Programme: French Open 1984 (hardcover) Materials: Paper, Ink

Magazine

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Ten issues of 'Tennis' magazine, dating from 1996. Materials: Ink, Paper, Metal

Press kit

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

U.S. Open 1991 Media Guide Materials: Paper, Ink

Tournament Programme

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Three programmes for the 1949 Pacific Southwest Tennis Championships. Materials: Ink, Paper, Metal

Tournament Programme

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Programme for the Final day during Wimbledon 1965. Materials: Ink, Paper, Metal

Ball

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A tennis ball advertising 'Uncle Tobys' cereal products, in plastic bag. Materials: Rubber, Felt, Ink, Plastic

Ball

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Spalding '"Pancho" Gonzales' tennis ball. Materials: Rubber, Felt, Ink

Book

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Book: 'FAMOUS FIRSTS IN TENNIS'. Hardcover with dust jacket. Copyrighted 1978. Materials: Ink, Paper, Cardboard

Page from card Album

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Page from an album designed for Allen & Ginther collectible cigarette cards. Features place holder for one card (depicting RD Sears). Framed with galss backing to also display back of card. Text on back of card: 'SECOND SERIES/THE WORLD'S CHAMPIONS/ONE PACKED IN EACH BOX OF 20 RICHMOND STRAIGHT CUT NO.1 CIGARETTES'. Materials: Paper, Ink, Glass, Wood

Magazine

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

'Pro Tennis' - publication for The Queensland Open and the Australian Indoor Tennis Championships 1991 Materials: Paper, Ink

Magazine

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Programme: World's Championship 1946 Materials: Paper, Ink

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A PDP 'Fiberstaff' model tennis racquet, with handle wrapped in perforated leather, and a plastic butt cap with adhesive label. Manufacturer name & model name in orange along shaft. Manufacturer's logo on throat decals and butt cap label. Frame painted white with orange details. Materials: Wood, Metal, Adhesive tape, Vinyl, Plastic, Ink, Paint, Leather, Adhesive label

Print

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Colour lithograph depicting two women in long dresses and bonnets, holding tennis racquets and standing by a high wall, and the face of a man with a lit cigarette looking over the wall from the other side. Materials: Ink, Cardboard, Cloth, Wood, Glass, Metal, Adhesive label

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Dayton tennis racquet, with a steel head, and small, open throat, and, wooden shaft and deep-grooved handle. Racquet strings made from piano wire. Small metallic plaque on shaft on obverse, with image of tennis player, reads: DAYTON/STEEL/RACQUET. Materials: Wood, Metal, Glue, Lacquer, String, Paint, Leather, Ink

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

An H.B.C. Special badminton racquet, with green tape shoulder supports, and fine-grooved handle grip. Materials: Wood, Nylon, Leather, Glue, Lacquer, Metal, Cloth tape, Ink, String

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Slazenger 'Phantom Silver' tennis racquet with open throat, plastic butt cap and handle wrapped with leather. Clear plastic shop wrap still on handle. Manufacturer name along side of right throat pillar and printed as pattern on leather handle wrap. Model name printed along right throat pillar. Adhesive label inside throat states: 'MARSHALL INDUSTRIAL CORP./ITEM NO. SCT-639'. Plastic butt cap features manufacturers name and cat logo. Cat logo also sprayed onto net. Materials: Adhesive tape, Plastic, Leather, Ink, Vinyl, Graphite

Cap

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Cap in Belarus colours and stating Belarus in Belarusian language on front. Cap is red and green and has red and white patterened trim around side edges. COlours and pattern match elements of Belarusian national flag. Materials: Cotton, Thread