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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.

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location
Melbourne Park Olympic Boulevard Melbourne Park Melbourne Victoria
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Melbourne Park Olympic Boulevard Melbourne Park Melbourne Victoria

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Print

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A print of an R. Hill illustration, featuring a young lady holding a tennis racquet, picking a rose. Materials: Paper, Ink

Trophy

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Silver trophy inscribed: 'AMATEUR DOUBLES/1904/RACQUET CHAMPIONSHIPS OF AMERICA/WON BY/L.A. SHAW JNR/MATTHEW BARTLETT/TENNIS AND RACQUET CLUB'. and on reverse: 'RACQUET CLUB/PHILADELPHIA'. Stamped on base: 'JW' and 'HS' and 'STERLING'. Materials: Silver/Metal

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Wright and Ditson 'Harvey Snodgrass' tennis racquet, with: bevelled crown; string whipping around shoulders and shaft; and, fine-grooved, octagonal handle. Decal inscription along throat on obverse: HARVEY SNODGRASS. Wright & Ditson Championship logo with tennis player on ball trademark feature on throat on reverse. Materials: Wood, Lacquer, Glue, Metal, Ink, Leather, Gut, String

Ball container, Ball

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Slazenger (UK) 'Nylon-Armoured Tennis Balls' box. Printed on front: 'LTA OFFICIAL BALL 1958'. Contains all six original balls. Materials: Ink, Cardboard, Paper, Rubber, Wool, Synthetic material

Prize cup

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Small metal goblet with racquet motif stem. Materials: Metal

Magazine

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

The July 1979 issue of 'Tennis' magazine (Vol.15, No.3), with illustration, by John Sovjani, of Bjorn Borg, on the cover. Materials: Ink, Paper, Metal

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Bancroft Champion tennis racquet painted white from shoulders to handle, with hide reinforcements, plastic whipping from shoulders to shaft, and leather handle with patterned perforations. Throat on obverse features decal of Bancroft heraldic shield trademark. Throat on reverse features older, Bancroft Eagle and Globe trademark. Materials: Wood, Nylon, Leather, Glue, Lacquer, Metal, Ink, Cloth, Plastic, Adhesive tape, Paint, String, Hide

Print

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Number 244/500 of a limited edition print series, of an original oil painting entitled 'Tennis in the Park', by Raymond Sipos, in 1976. The artwork features a number of male and female spectators, in 19th century dress, watching a game of mixed doubles being played on a grass court, in an open park. The print has been personally numbered and signed by the artist, along the lower border. The print is mounted onto black paper, backed by corrugated cardboard, and air-tight sealed with clear plastic film. Materials: Paper, Ink, Graphite, Paper, Cardboard, Plastic

Prize dish

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Silver bowl engraved 'Davis Cup by NEC World Group Semi Final India vs. Australia Chandigarh 93'. Materials: Silver/Metal

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Wilson Champ tennis racquet. Wilson logo features across base of head. Model name features across throat. 'W' trademark features on lower shaft and butt cap. Leather handle grip features floral perforations. Materials: Wood, Nylon, Leather, Adhesive tape, Ribbon, Plastic, Glue, Lacquer, Metal, Ink, Paint

Brooch

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Gold brooch in shape of a racquet and ball housed in jewellers box. Engraved on obverse: '23 MAY 1910'. Engraved in ornate script on reverse: 'MLM/HARROGATE'. Box is blue velvet, with text printed on lining of underside lid: 'MAKERS TO THE ADMIRALTY/WATCH/MANUFACTURERES/& JEWELLERS/S.GREENOUGH & SONS/45/NEWPORT ST/BOLTON'. Materials: Gold/Metal, Velvet, Wood, Metal

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Rival 'AU 700 Ceramic' tennis racquet. Materials: Metal composite, Plastic, Adhesive tape, Nylon

Page from Magazine

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Page 585 of Harper's Weekly (Vol. 26, No. 1343) features a colour lithographic print by Weldon, entitled: LAWN TENNIS AT NEWPORT. Following page features article entitled: THE NATIONAL LAWN TENNIS TOURNAMENT. Materials: Paper, Ink

Paddle

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A ping-pong paddle, with stretched hide double face, leather-bound head framework, leather collar, and a rounded, solid wood handle. During this period of table tennis history, it was merely a parlour game, and very distant from the professional competitive sport it was to become. Materials: Wood, Hide, String, Leather, Glue, Metal, Lacquer

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A badminton racquet with wooden head and handle, and metal shaft, reinforced with conical plastic tubes. Shoulders and shaft feature string whipping, and handle features rubber grip. Model logo and emblem feature on throat on obverse, whilst head photo image of Budge features on throat on reverse. Materials: Wood, Lacquer, Nylon, Ink, Adhesive tape, Metal, Paint, Rubber, Plastic, Glue, String

Magazine

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

July 15, 1985 issue of Sports Illustrated with Becker on cover. Materials: Paper, Ink

Tournament Programme

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Programme for 72nd NSW Championships (White City, Sydney). Materials: Paper, Ink

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Challenge Classic tennis racquet, with string whipping around shoulders, and leather handle grip with quatrefoil perforations. Materials: Wood, Nylon, Ink, Glue, Lacquer, Metal, Leather, String, Adhesive tape, Paint

Page from Magazine

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Page 892 of Harper's Weekly (Vol. 35, No. 1789) featuring a tinted photographic print of the major players of the 1892 U.S. Open. Materials: Paper, Ink

Press kit

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Roland Garros 2000 French Open Championships Media Guide Materials: Paper, Ink

Page from Magazine

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Two pages from Harper's Weekly magazine (pp. 873 & 874), unknown issue. The pages feature a section entitled: 'AMATEUR SPORT', including images (from photographs) of seven leading players, and two American championship trophies; and including a results tree from the 1893 Championships at Newport. Materials: Ink, Paper, Cardboard, Wood, Metal, Adhesive label, Glass

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Bancroft Winner tennis racquet, with bamboo laminated frame, ribbon whipping around shoulders, and leather handle with triangle-patterned perforations. Bancroft logo features across base of head. Throat features model name, with wreath device. Wreathed 'B' trademark on lower shaft, and red 'B' trademark on butt cap. A furry lady bug sticker is adhered to shaft on obverse. Materials: Wood, Nylon, Leather, Glue, Lacquer, Metal, Ink, Plastic, Paint, Ribbon, Adhesive tape, Bamboo

Button

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Set of six buttons, each with crossed racquets, ball and net motif. Materials: Metal

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Wright & Ditson 'Championship Mohawk' tennis racquet.String whipping around shoulders and around base of throat. Racquet model name 'MOHAWK' , printed along throat on obverse and model name 'CHAMPIONSHIP' printed across throat on reverse. Manufacturer name and place of manufacture printed on right side of shaft. Octagonal fine-grooved handle , with leather end wrap. Materials: Wood, Metal, Lacquer, Glue, Ink, Leather, Nylon, String

Entry pass

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Tournament Official's pass for Davis Cup December 4-6, 1992 . Metal chain attached. Materials: Ink, Plastic

Tournament Programme

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Official Programme: Final programme, 1977 Centenary Lawn Tennis Championships, Wimbledon. Materials: Paper, Ink

Tournament Programme

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Tournament Programme: Davis Cup Final 1983; Australia vs Sweden Materials: Paper, Ink

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Wilson Andrea Jaeger Victory tennis racquet. Base of head features Wilson logo. Shaft features model name. Lower shaft and butt cap feature 'W' trademark. Leather handle grip features X-form perforations. Materials: Wood, Nylon, Leather, Glue, Metal, Lacquer, Paint, Adhesive tape, String, Plastic

Photographic print

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Photo featuring Julie Heldman Materials: Paper, Photographic emulsion

Book

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Book: 'THE HANDBOOK OF TENNIS'. Hardcover with dust jacket. Copyrighted 1982. Materials: Paper, Ink, Cardboard

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Chemold Owen Davidson Hawk tennis racquet, with ribbon whipping around shoulders, and a vinyl handle grip with X-formation perforations. Chemold logo features across base of head. A blue and turquoise toned wave pattern features from shoulders to handle. Model name features along shaft. Chemold trademark with large 'C' features on lower shaft and black plastic butt cap. Materials: Wood, Nylon, Ribbon, Paint, Ink, Plastic, Vinyl, Glue, Lacquer, Metal, Adhesive tape

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Spalding 'Leader' tennis racquet, featuring: laminated convex throat; and, handle with fine-grooved faces and deep-grooved sides. Decal of model name, with Native American emblem, feature across throat on obverse. 'A.G. Spalding & Bros. Made in U.S.A.' logo encircling ball trademark features on throat on reverse. Materials: Wood, Lacquer, Glue, Metal, Ink, Gut, Leather

Book

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Book: 'How to teach Lawn Tennis'. 89 pages. Edition uncertain (first published 1947). Hardcover. Materials: Paper, Ink, Cardboard

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Penn 'Center Court' racquet with clear vinyl 'Championship' net strings. Materials: Wood, Plastic, Leather, Adhesive tape, Nylon

Print

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Colour lithograph of match being played at Newport, Rhode Island. Materials: Paper, Ink, Wood, Cardboard, Glass

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A white protoype racquet; composite matierals; no model or maker markings. Plastic wrap on handle and adhesive label atating: '3609/30-6' Materials: Metal, Plastic, Adhesive tape, Plastic, Adhesive label

Book

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Book: 100 YEARS OF THE WIMBLEDON TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIPS Materials: Ink, Paper

Photographic print

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Photo of Martina Navratilova Materials: Paper, Photographic emulsion

Badminton & lawn tennis set

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A wooden chest (.1) containing badminton and lawn tennis equipment, specifically: net posts (.2 - .3, two parts each); tennis net (.4); and, a badminton net (.5). A colour lithographic print, by Cahrles Hart, displaying mixed doubles playing on a lawn, with a small pavillion & large house in the background, features on the inside of the lid. Inscription across litho.: HORSMAN'S/CELEBRATED/LAWN TENNIS/... Materials: Wood, Metal, Lacquer, Rope, Cloth, Ink, Cord, Paper

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

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

Photographic print

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Photo postcard of Lacoste Materials: Paper, Photographic emulsion

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Wilson Club Champion tennis racquet. Wilson logo features across base of head. Model name features across throat. 'W' trademark features on lower shaft and butt cap. Leather handle grip features quatrefoil perforations. Materials: Wood, Nylon, Ribbon, Plastic, Glue, Lacquer, Metal, Ink, Paint, Leather, Adhesive tape

Book

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

1990 Media Guide, Virginia Slims Tour Materials: Paper, Ink, Cardboard

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Chris '5-Star' graphite tennis racquet, with a very broad open throat, shaped by convex curved sides, and Chris 'Topline' strings. Materials: Graphite, Composite Materials, Paint, Plastic, Leather, Adhesive tape, Ink, Nylon

Press kit

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Tournament Programme: Davis Cup 1990; New Zealand vs Australia Materials: Paper, Ink

Racquet & cover

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Wilson 'Court Champ Stretch' racquet with handle covered in clear plastic and adhesive label stating 'STRETCH'; and a vinyl cover with zipper. Materials: Metal composite, Plastic, Adhesive tape, Vinyl, Cardboard, Nylon

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Tenex Magnum tennis racquet, with string whipping around shoulders and leather handle grip with X-formation perforations. Tenex Ball trademark features on crown and on shaft. tenex logo features across base of head. Model name features along shaft. Materials: Wood, Nylon, Leather, Plastic, Ink, Adhesive tape, Glue, Lacquer, Metal, String, Paint

Tournament Programme

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Programme for Davis Cup World Group Final 1986 Materials: Paper, Ink

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Spalding, "Pancho Gonzales" Signature Model tennis racquet, featuring whipping around shoulders and shaft, leather handle grip with patterned perforations, and a plastic butt cap. Manufacturer's name across base of head; model name across throat and along shaft. Illustrated head and neck decal image of Gonzales features on throat. Materials: Wood, Metal, Lacquer, Glue, Ink, Nylon, Paint, Plastic, String, Adhesive tape, Leather, Fibre

Photographic print

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Photo of Dwight Davis Materials: Paper, Photographic emulsion