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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

Instruction Manual

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

'Orientation to Coaching Manual' published by Tennis Australia Materials: Paper, Ink

Dishware

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Seven piece painted ceramic children's tea set, decorated with dogs-playing-tennis motif. (.1 and .2) saucers (.3) jug (.4) two-handled sugar pot; (.5) teapot with lid and (.6) cup. No makers marks. Materials: Ceramic, Pigment

Case

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A travelling case featuring curved metal panels across the base, creating compartments to house tennis balls and at least two racquets. Three cloth straps feature along the underside of the lid, probably also used to house racquets, or other equipment. Materials: Metal, Cardboard, Wood, Plastic, Cloth, Paper, Leather, String

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Head 'Professional' tennis racquet, featuring: twin shaft, 'I-beam', aluminium alloy frame; red plastic bridge; leather handle grip around red plastic shaft casing; and, black plastic butt cap. Manufacturer's name across base of bridge, and across butt sticker. Model name along outer side of left shaft. Materials: Metal, Plastic, Nylon, Adhesive tape, Leather, Paper, Ink

Tournament Programme

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Programme for 53rd Lawn Tennis Tournament at Queens Club West Kensington (UK) Materials: Paper, Ink

Racquet & cover

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

An Head 'Ultimate Competition' composite tennis racquet (1), featuring: split shaft; and, leather handle grip. Original leather handle grip is concealed by a later, synthetic, Prince 'Duratred' grip. Racquet is accompanied by a Head '660' racquet cover (2) - originally used for a '660' series racquet model. Materials: Composite Materials, Nylon, Leather, Plastic, Adhesive tape, Ink, Synthetic material, Vinyl, Ink, Metal

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Two Dunlop Club 2, wood/composite squash racquets, with string whipping around shoulders, and cotton handle grip, still sealed in original plastic wrap. Materials: Wood, Composite Materials, Nylon, Ink, String, Adhesive tape, Cotton, Plastic, Lacquer, Glue

Magazine

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Magazine: JACK HARRIS PRESENTS WORLD'S CHAMPIONSHIP TENNIS TOUR 1947-48. Materials: Paper, Ink

Brooch

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Jet brooch in shape of a racquet and ball held by a hand. Materials: Metal, Jet (Lignite)

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Bancroft Wimbledon tennis racquet, with plastic whipping from shoulders to shaft, and leather handle with patterned perforations. Bancroft logo features across base of head. Throat features model name, and a decal image of Wimbledon main court. 'B' trademark features on lower shaft. Materials: Wood, Nylon, Leather, Glue, Lacquer, Metal, Ink, Plastic, Cloth, Adhesive tape, Paint, String

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Champ Tournament Model tennis racquet, with string whipping around shoulders and shaft, and leather handle grip with trapezoidal-patterned perforations. Materials: Wood, Nylon, Ink, Glue, Lacquer, Metal, Leather, Adhesive tape, Fibre, Vinyl, String, Hide

Photographic print

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Black and white photograph of Margaret Court playing a forehand shot Materials: Ink, Paper

Tournament Programme

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Tournament Programme: Davis Cup 1986 World Group Semi Final; USA vs Australia. Materials: Paper, Ink

Photographic print

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Photo of Billy Jean King Materials: Paper, Photographic emulsion

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Wilson 'Pro Staff 4.0' racquet. 'JAEGER' printed on shoulder in black marker. Materials: Graphite, Plastic, Nylon, Adhesive tape, Rubber

Tournament Programme

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Roland Garros magazine for French Open 1997. 200 pages. Materials: Paper, Ink

Board game

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

'Slam'' board game. Appears complete according to Rules pamphlet: contains board, six token, tournament cards, Slam cards and two dice. Also contains Rules pamphlet. Materials: Cardboard, Paper, Ink, Plastic, Glue

Cardboard container

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Empty cardboard box, lid section covered with printed paper. Lid depicts a woman dressed in 1890s fashion holding a racquet and a group of men and women. Materials: Cardboard, Ink, Paper

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A wooden racquet with a convex throat and bulbous handle. Throat of obverse features the inscription: HORSMAN SPECIAL. below inscription is the Horsman 'centaur' trademark in black and gold. Materials: Wood, Gut, Metal, Lacquer

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Tretorn '4' metal tennis racquet with double shaft; a screw-type tensioning bracket at bridge and separate aluminium head insert. Handle wrapped with maroon perforated leather grip tape. Nylon strings. Plastic butt cap with tensioning dial. Materials: Metal, Nylon, Adhesive tape, Adhesive label, Leather, Plastic

Book

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Book: 'The Road To Wimbledon'. 167 pages. Hardcover with dustjacket and clear plastic cover. Edition uncertain (first published 1949). Materials: Paper, Ink, Cardboard, Plastic

Prize cup

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Silver prize tankard with glass base. Inscr: 'RACQUET AND TENNIS CLUB/NEW YORK/INTER CITY TENNIS DOUBLES/BOSTON VS NEW YORK/SATURDAY APRIL 12TH 1919/FIRST TENNIS TEAMS/WON BY/D.P. RHODES AND FULTON CUTTING/BOSTON'. Stamped near base 'STERLING'. Materials: Silver/Metal, Glass

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Wright & Ditson 'Park' model tennis racquet. String whipping around shoulders and around base of throat. On both sides of racquet the model name and manufacturer name are printed across throat. Manufacturer's trademark features on the shaft on both obverse and reverse . Handle spiral-wrapped with leather hand grip. Butt cloth with manufacturer's trademark printed on it. Frame painted burgundy to half-way up the head. Materials: Wood, Metal, Lacquer, Glue, Ink, Leather, Nylon, String, Paint, Cloth, Plastic

Magazine

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Five issues of 'Tennis U.S.A.', dating from 1979. Materials: Ink, Paper, Metal

Prize dish

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Small silver cup, commemorating 1974 Davis Cup. States that Australia defeated Pakistan and lost to India 3 matches to 2. Names players on Australian team. Materials: Silver/Metal

Magazine

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Tennis Championships Magazine: Special US Open 1985 Edition Materials: Paper, Ink

Racquet & cover

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A two-piece object, comprising of: a Rayco 'Ruler' graphite tennis racquet, with a split shaft, and synthetic handle grip (1); and, a vinyl cover, featuring model name and measuring ruler device along the length of cover (2). Racquet is accompanied by a copper screw, sealed in a small transparent bag. Materials: Graphite, Synthetic material, Plastic, Ink, Paint, Adhesive tape, Nylon, Vinyl, Ink, Metal

Magazine clipping

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A cartoon from 'Punch' magazine, featuring a 'new member' of a tennis club hanging his coat during a mixed doubles match. Materials: Paper, Ink, Cardboard

Event Programme

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

'40 Years in the Making: a Wellington tennis headquarters history'. 10 pages. Materials: Paper, Ink

Organisational document

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Booklet: 'Handbook and Rules of the ITF Limited 1997' Materials: Paper, Ink