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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

Eight issues of 'Tennis' magazine, dating from 1995. Materials: Ink, Paper, Metal

Racquet & cover

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Puma 'Boris Becker Super (PCS)' tennis racquet, and a vinyl racquet cover. Materials: Graphite, Fibreglass, Adhesive tape, Leather, Vinyl, Nylon, Plastic, Metal

Book

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Book: 'Lawn Tennis', from the series 'British Sports - Past & Present', 241 pages. Hardcover with duskjacket. Clear plastic dustjacket cover. Edition uncertain (first published 1953). Materials: Paper, Ink, Cardboard, Plastic

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A concave wooden racquet with blue, black, and gold whipping and short, leather handle grip. Inscription along throat on obverse: RELIANCE. Inscription across throat on reverse: "BENTLEY"/NIAGARA/FALLS. Inscription along right side of stem: MADE IN CANADA. Name carved into leather grip on reverse: C. GREEN. Materials: Wood, Nylon, String, Metal, Ink, Glue, Lacquer, Leather, Cloth

Ball

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A white-felted tennis ball. Inscription: WRIGHT & DITSON/CHAMPIONSHIP/1934/APPROVED BY U.S.L.T. ASSN./PERMAWELT. Materials: Felt, Rubber, Ink, Plastic

Ball container, Ball

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

An unsealed Pennsylvania 'Centre Court Heavy Duty Championship' tennis ball can. Has domed metal lid, contains all three original balls. Materials: Metal, Ink, Wool, Rubber

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

An unstrung Dunlop 'Ceramic SC95' tennis racquet frame. Materials: Composite Materials, Plastic, Adhesive tape, Leather

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Hedleys 'Model de Luxe' tennis racquet. Materials: Wood, Leather

Photographic print

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Photograph of group beside a tennis court, wearing tennis attire. Identities unknown. Part of a series of images taken during a tennis day involving Norman Brookes. Materials: Paper, Ink

Tournament Programme

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Programmes for the Final day during Wimbledon 1972. Materials: Ink, Paper, Metal

Racquet & cover

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Two part object. (1) A Slazenger 'Phantom IMF' tennis racquet with open throat, plastic butt cap and handle wrapped with leather. Manufacturer name across base of head. Model name printed along left throat pillar. Plastic butt cap features manufacturers name and cat logo. Logo also featured at base of throat.(2) Full length navy blue vinyl racquet cover with two zippers and printed with manufacturer's name and logo and model name. has woven adjustable shoulder strap. Materials: Metal, Adhesive tape, Plastic, Leather, Ink, Vinyl, Graphite

Mold

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A two piece metal mold, shaped in the form of a tennis racquet, with a clip to clamp mold sections together. Materials: Metal

Ball

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A tennis ball contained in original translucent red viscose seal. Inscription: WRIGHT & DITSON/CHAMPIONSHIP/1933/APPROVED BY THE U.S.L.T.ASSN./PERMAWELT. Materials: Felt, Rubber, Ink, Plastic

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Garcia, Cragin-Garcia Hallmark tennis racquet, with leather handle featuring X-formation perforations. Model name features across base of head. Company logo features along shaft. Garcia 'G' trademark features on plastic butt cap. Materials: Wood, Nylon, Leather, Plastic, Ink, Adhesive tape, Glue, Lacquer, Metal

Photographic print

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Photograph of Rod Laver hitting a backhand shot Materials: Photographic emulsion, Paper

Tournament Programme

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Tournament Programme: Davis Cup 1968 Challenge Round Materials: Paper, Ink

Racquet & cover

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A wooden racquet (.1), with Slazenger-brand handle grip, and black and silver butt cap, featuring Slazenger logo and black panther emblem. Emblem also features across throat and stem, on both sides. Inscription across the base of the head, on both sides: SLAZENGER. racquet is accompanied by a gold, black and white racquet head cover (.2). Materials: Wood, Nylon, Metal, Glue, Lacquer, Leather, Ink, Ribbon, Plastic, Paint, Adhesive tape, Synthetic material, Metal, Bamboo

Tournament Programme

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Programme: Colonial Mutual Classic (Kooyong) 1991 Materials: Paper, Ink

Magazine

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

World Tennis Magazine April 1964 Materials: Paper, Ink

Tournament Programme

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Tournament Programme: Davis Cup 1993; Italy vs Australia. Materials: Paper, Ink

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

An unmarked wooden tennis racquet, with solid convex throat, string whipping around shoulders, and fine-grooved octagonal handle. Most likely a part of a tennis set. Materials: Wood, Lacquer, Glue, Metal, Gut, Leather, String, Paint

Tournament Programme

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Programme: Peters International (Sydney) 1996 Materials: Paper, Ink

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

An Andreef 'Speedshaft' tennis racquet with large open throat. Plastic whipping and reinforcements around shoulders. Nylon whipping around base of throat. Handle grip and butt cloth. Model name painted across throat on both sides of racquet. Decal stating 'AA" on shaft on reverse. Endorsement: 'FRANK L. KOVACS 2ND/PERSONAL MODEL' painted onto shaft on obverse. Painted on crown on obverse: PLASTIC BOUND PAT. CONSTRUCTION. Materials: Wood, Lacquer, Metal, Glue, String, Ink, Leather, Plastic, Nylon

Commemorative Gift

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Red, black and white banner commemorating 2000 Davis Cup, Australia vs. Switzerland; Zurich 4-6 Feb 2000. Materials: Cloth

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Hewson & Hutchinson 'Acme' tennis racquet with oval head, solid convex throat and string whipping around shoulders. Rounded fishtail handle with fine grooves and butt cloth. Imprinted across throat on reverse is manufacturersor retailers details: HEWSON & HUTCHINSON/YORK&HARROGATE. Model name imprinted on throat on obverse: "ACME". Materials: Wood, Lacquer, Metal, Glue, Gut, Ink, Cloth, String

Ball

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Spalding tennis ball, still contained within translucent green viscose seal. Inscription across ball: 1929/SPALDING/APPROVED BY/U.S.L.T. ASSN. Materials: Felt, Rubber, Ink, Plastic

Commemorative Gift

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Wood plaque mounted with a metal medal and a plastic label which states 'US - Australia...September 28030, 1984'. Materials: Wood, Metal, Plastic

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A wooden, slotted handle racquet. Inscription across neck of obverse: DREADNOUGHT/DRIVER/... Inscription across neck of reverse: HARRY C. LEE & CO/NEW YORK. Company logo 'LEE' is stamped on leather butt cap. Manufacturing and patent information along the sides of the handle, with size and production numbers punched in. Materials: Wood, Gut, Leather, Metal, Ink, Glue, Lacquer, String

Gouache

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Gouache depicting a barefoot, unshaven male figure with open shirt and rolled up pants hems, holding a perforated wooden paddle. Inscription in German on reverse only partially visible through backing. Materials: Pigment, Paper, Wood, Cardboard, Metal, Felt, Adhesive tape

Poster, Advertisement

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A poster featuring an illustration of Rod Laver on the front, and an advertisement for Rod Laver-endorsed Dunlop racquets and balls, as well as an instructional article on playing back-hand, on the reverse. Materials: Ink, Paper