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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

Ball

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Slazenger '2' tennis ball, commemorating the centenary of the N.S.W. Tennis Championships, 1885-1985. Materials: Rubber, Felt, Ink

Event Programme

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Virginia Slims Championships Program November 1988. Materials: Paper, Ink

Ball

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Slazenger 'Hopman Cup' tennis ball. Materials: Rubber, Felt

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Mark 77 brand tennis racquet. West German. Reinforced stringing across centre of net. Aluminium frame. Fluorescent cloth tape along top of head with words 'Fischer Besaitungstechnik'. Materials: Metal, Nylon, Cloth tape

Page from Magazine

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Page 813 of Harper's Weekly (1894), featuring an article on the upcoming 1894 U.S. Open. Materials: Paper, Ink

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A transitional flat-top wooden tennis racquet with a solid, convex throat, and, a grooved, slender octagonal handle. Materials: Wood, Metal, Lacquer, Gut, Leather, Glue

Ball

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Three tennis balls, with inscription: SPALDING/APP. U.S.L.T.A./CHAMPIONSHIP. Materials: Rubber, Felt, Ink

Page from Magazine

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Page 121 of Scribner's Magazine Advertiser, featuring an advertisement for Pinehurst Estate, which holds weekly tennis tournaments. Materials: Paper, Ink

Book

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Book: 'Aces and places'. 240 pages. Hardcover, no dustjacket. First edition print, in Fakenham in 1957 (F.357). Materials: Paper, Ink, Cardboard, String, Glue

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Spalding 'Lakeside no.5' model tennis racquet, featuring laminate convex laminate throat & fine-grooved octagonal wooden handle. Has string whipping around shoulders and a leather end wrap. Model name printed on throat on obverse, and manufacturer logo printed on throat on reverse. Materials: Wood, Metal, Lacquer, Glue, Vinyl, Ink, String, Leather

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Tennis racquet. Spalding brand, Ashley Cooper Match Play model. Wood, with nylon strings. Red and white decals. Leather covered grip. Materials: Wood, Nylon, Paint, Leather

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Child's wooden racquet. Branded with F.A.O Schwarz logo and model 'Sport'. Finely grooved wood handle. Leather cuff on butt. Oval head. Materials: Wood, String, Gut, Leather

Tournament Programme

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Program: Davis Cup: Australia v Argentina Materials: Paper, Ink, Cardboard

Prize dish

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

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

Book

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

1996 MTC Media Guide Materials: Paper, Ink, Cardboard

Block puzzle

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Block puzzle set. Contains 35 wood blocks covered with printed paper that can be arranged to make 6 different scenes. Housed in custom wooden box with hinge lid. Hinge is cloth tape. Box also contains five picture guide cards (sixth picture guide appears on box lid). Complete set. Small swinging metal hook as box closure device. Materials: Cardboard, Paper, Ink, Wood, Glue, Cloth tape, Metal

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Donnay 'Ace' wood tennis racquet. Materials: Wood, Plastic, Adhesive tape, Leather, Nylon, Fibreglass

, Photographic print

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Studio portrait photogrpah of girl with headscarf and racquet. Materials: Paper, Photographic emulsion, Wood, Cardboard, Glass

Book

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Book: 'Tennis A to Z'. 193 pages. Hardcover. No edition information (content copyrighted 1950). Materials: Paper, Ink, Cardboard

Tournament Programme

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Tournament Programme: Davis Cup 1954; Challenge Round Materials: Paper, Ink

Book

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Book: Australia's Wimbledon Champions, by Allan Kendall Materials: Paper, Ink, Cardboard

Ball container , Ball

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A sealed clear plastic container of three Penn 'Davis Cup Extra Duty Felt' tennis balls. Has intact ring-pull seal and original plastic reclosure lid. Materials: Metal, Ink, Plastic, Rubber, Synthetic material

Book

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Book: 'CARNIVAL AT FOREST HILLS'. Hardcover with dust jacket. First edition. Materials: Paper, Ink, Cardboard

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A wooden racquet with a convex throat and grooved handle. The throat of obverse features the inscription: NEWPORT. Below inscription is the Horsman 'centaur' trademark in black and gold. Inscription across right side of stem: MANUFACTURED EXPRESSLY FOR/JORDAN MARSH COMPANY. Materials: Wood, Gut, Metal, Lacquer, Glue, Ink, Paint

Photographic print

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Photo postcard of Betty Nuthall Materials: Paper, Photographic emulsion

Tournament Programme

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Tournament Programme: Davis Cup 1955; Japan vs Australia Materials: Paper, Ink

Ball container

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A sealed clear plastic container of three commemorative Slazenger tennis balls. Commemorating Pat Cash being inducted into Australian Tennis Hall of Fame 2003. Materials: Metal, Ink, Plastic, Synthetic material, Rubber

Page from Magazine

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A page from a magazine featuring reproductions of four pastel drawings by Helen Wills Moody of herself and three other tennis palyers of her time. Materials: Paper, Ink

Poster, Advertisement

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A small poster promoting the game of Paddle tennis (known in Australia as Bat Tennis). It features a photo image of boys and girls playing a bat tennis game in Washington Square, New York City; an illustration of a 'paddle'; lawn tennis player endorsements; and media reports. Materials: Paper, Ink

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