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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

Magazine

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Four issues of 'Tennis' magazine, dating from 1974. Materials: Ink, Paper, Metal

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

An AMF Head Vilas, wood/graphite composite tennis racquet, with open throat design. Head logo features across base of racquet head. Model name features along shaft. AMF Head emblem and logo feature on top of handle, above grip. AMF Head logo features on plastic sticker over black butt cap. Registration number written along left side of shaft: W-58305. Materials: Wood, Graphite, Leather, Plastic, Nylon, Glue, Lacquer, Metal, Ink, Adhesive tape

Drinking vessel

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Drinking bottle with embossed text: 'J B TENNIS/HAMPTON, VA'. On reverse: 'THIS BOTTLE NOT TO BE SOLD'. Hooked metal stopper. Materials: Glass

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A transitional flat top tennis racquet with a convex throat. Inscription across throat on obverse: ECLIPSE/TRADE MARK/HORSMAN/N.Y. Across the top of the head is a partly illegible inscription, which may spell 'SPECIAL'. Across the length of the side of the stem is the inscription: ORIENTAL/GUT. Ornamentally latticed cuts into the handle around all sides act as the grip. Materials: Wood, Gut, Metal, Lacquer, Leather, String

Ball container

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

An empty Rexall (USA) 'Bobby Riggs Championship' tennis balls box. Materials: Cardboard, Ink

Tournament Programme

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Tournament Programme: Davis Cup 1992 World Group; USA vs Switzerland Materials: Paper, Ink

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Prince 'Precision' tennis racquet, with Prince 'Duratac' synthetic handle grip, and Prince 'Duraflex 17' synthetic gut strings. Materials: Graphite, Paint, Ink, Plastic, Synthetic Gut, Synthetic material

Page from Magazine

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Page 445 from Harper's Weekly featuring lithograph entitled 'LAWN TENNIS IN PROSPECT PARK'. Materials: Paper, Ink, Cardboard, Glass, Metal, Wood

Magazine

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Souvenir magazine: JACK KRAMER PRESENTS WORLD'S CHAMPIONSHIP TENNIS (AUSTRALIA VS. AMERICA), SOUVENIR MAGAZINE 1953. Materials: Paper, Ink

Scoring Chair

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A fold-up umpire's scoring chair. Metal plaque along back reads: "GOLD MEDAL" FOLDING FURNITURE CO./.../RACINE, WIS./MADE IN U.S.A. Materials: Wood, Metal, Lacquer

Booklet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A 32-page red covered booklet, entitled: LEARNING/TENNIS. Written by Karel Kozeluh. Materials: Paper, Ink, Metal

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A black Fansteel 'SuperGraphite' model tennis racquet, with open throat & shaft; handle wrapped in leather, and a plastic butt cap with adhesive label. Manufacturer name on base of head on reverse & model name on base of head on obverse. Materials: Wood, Metal, Adhesive tape, Vinyl, Plastic, Ink, Leather, Adhesive label

Tournament Programme

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Compaq Grand Slam Cup (Munich) program 1994. Contents in German. Materials: Paper, Ink

Poster, Advertisement

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Poster: Reproduction of painting by LeRoy Neiman of a male figure serving. Poster signed by Marty Reissen lower centre. Framed in a white plastic frame. Has horizontal hanging wire from D-rings. Number '117' handwritten on backing. Materials: Ink, Paper, Plastic, Metal

Poster, Advertisement

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A poster promoting the new Yamaha 90 Gold, 90 Silver, and 90 Bronze ceramic/graphite composite tennis racquets. Materials: Paper, Ink

Event Programme

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Two copies of programme, and one copy of ticket from Borg vs. Laver Benefit Match, 1976. Top copy of programme shows cover; lower copy shows inside of programme featuring blurb about and image of each player. Left side featureas Borg and is hand signed in blue by Borg; right side features Laver and is hand signed in red by Laver. Front of ticket displayed. Materials: Paper, Ink, Glass, Cardboard, Glue, Wood, Metal, Felt

Racquet & cover

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Davis Classic tennis racquet (.1), with Davis Classic vinyl racquet head cover (.2). Davis logo and model name features across base of head, flanked by classical design motifs around the shoulders. TAD "Kings of the Court" trademark features on throat on obverse. Davis coat-of-arms "Duce virtute comite fortuna" trademark features on throat on reverse. TAD trademark features on rubber butt cap. Materials: Wood, Nylon, Ink, Glue, Lacquer, Metal, String, Leather, Adhesive tape, Paint, Rubber, Fibreglass, Vinyl, Metal

Book

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Book: 'Learn to Play Tennis' . 72 pages. Second paperback edition (first published 1968). Materials: Paper, Ink, Cardboard

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A 'Superb' wooden tennis racquet, with string whipping over cloth tape reinforced shoulders, and a fine-grooved handle with fish tail butt. Materials: Wood, Lacquer, Glue, Metal, Gut, Ink, Cloth tape, String

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Rawlings, John Newcombe Court King tennis racquet, with plastic whipping around shoulders and shaft, and mottled leather handle grip. Rawlings logo features across base of head. Model name features across throat. Inscription: LAMINATED CONSTRUCTION features along shaft. Gold Rawlings 'R' trademark features on lower shaft. Red, white and black 'R' trademark features in sunken butt cap. Materials: Wood, Nylon, Ink, Glue, Lacquer, Metal, Plastic, Adhesive tape, Paint, Leather, Plastic, Cloth tape

Ball container , Ball

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A sealed plastic container of two pink Penn 'Courreges Paris' tennis balls. Has intact metal ring-pull lid and a plastic reclosure cap. Materials: Metal, Ink, Plastic, Synthetic material, Rubber

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Hobbies' steel tennis racquet, with a vinyl handle grip winding up the tapering shaft to the open throat. Head of racquet is tension tightened, as can be seen by the screw, nut, and spring projecting from the base of the head. Racquet string is piano wire. Materials: Metal, Glue, Paint, String, Glue, Vinyl, Leather, Ink

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A grey Bancroft 'Laser' composite (graphite/fibreglass/wood) tennis racquet, featuring open throat; nylon net strings; black leather handle grip; and red & white butt cap. Manufacturer name printed on bridge. Logo embossed in red on butt cap. Model name printed along shaft. Materials: Fibreglass, Wood, Adhesive tape, Ink, Leather, Plastic, Graphite

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Dayton Pilot tennis racquet, with a steel head and throat, and, wooden shaft and deep-grooved handle. Racquet strings made from piano wire. Racquet head stringing continues through into the fully opened throat. Decals of maker and model, with patents, feature on right side of shaft. Materials: Wood, Metal, Glue, Lacquer, Paint, Leather, Ink, Cord

Book

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Book: 'Lawn Tennis Made Easy'. 111 pages. Hardcover. Edition uncertain. Copyright 1935. Materials: Paper, Ink, Cardboard

Magazine

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

ITF World magazine, Winter 2003 Materials: Paper, Ink

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Dunlop Autograph Series 'Tony Roche' Junior model tennis racquet Materials: Wood, Leather, Vinyl

Cigarette swap card

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Set of 15 cigarette cards (of a possible 25 available in the series). The "Lawn Tennis Series" produced by Godfrey Phillips Cigarettes. Each card presents a playing technique used in tennis. Sepia images, brown and cream text side. Materials: Paper, Ink

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Two identical (.1-.2) Fox 'GT' split shaft tennis racquets, with black plastic bridge, and netted with Wilson 'Championship' strings. Materials: Metal, Leather, Ink, Adhesive tape, Nylon, Plastic, Paint

Figurine

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Small metal figurine of a male tennis player delivering a backhand stroke. Mounted on marble base. No other markings. Materials: Marble, Metal