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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

Photographic print

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Black and white photographic print of four male tennis players at the net on a tennis court. Print is signd by all players, only one sig is readable: E. Vines Jnr. Materials: Paper, Photographic emulsion, Ink

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

An unstrung Atlas 'Club' tennis racquet, with cloth tape reinforced shoulders, plastic ribbon whipping on shoulders and shaft, and a fine grooved handle. Model name and emblem on throat on obverse, manufacturer's logo across the shaft, and 'A' trademark on butt cover. Materials: Wood, Lacquer, Glue, Metal, Leather, Nylon, Ink, Plastic, Cloth tape

Tournament Programme

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Programme for Davis Cup Challenge Round 1946 at Kooyong Materials: Paper, Ink

Tournament Programme

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Tournament Programme: Davis Cup 1996 Australia vs Japan Materials: Paper, Ink

Sepia, Digital print

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

An e.21st century digital print on canvas, of an original l.19th-e.20th century sepia photographic print. Image features a group of men and women, with a child and dog, seated, or standing in a wooded field, in front of a large mansion. Most of the participants are holding tennis racquets. Signature of photographer 'BACMNER' features at lower left of print. Materials: Canvas/Cotton, Ink, Wood, Metal, Paper, Paint, Linen

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

An R.M. Co. (or M.R. Co.) West End flat top tennis racquet, with solid concave throat, and fine-grooved handle. Manufacturer and model details on throat on obverse, and seem to be a very early use of decal and laminated framing. Impressed inscription: ORIENTAL GUT, along right side of shaft implies silk was used for racquet strings. Materials: Wood, Lacquer, Glue, Metal, Silk, Ink

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Grenvilles 'The Varsity' wooden tennis racquet, with solid convex throat, cloth tape reinforced shoulders with string whipping, and a slightly fantailed handle butt. Materials: Wood, Lacquer, Glue, Metal, Gut, String, Cloth tape, Ink

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

An Oliver International tennis racquet, with ribbon whipping around shoulders and shaft, and leather handle grip with continuous patterned perforations. Oliver logo featurs across crown, along shaft, and across butt cap. Model name features across base of head. Illustrated decal of stylised kangaroo features on throat. Reproduced signatures of Anderson and Sedgman feature on the sides of throat. Materials: Wood, Gut, Leather, Ink, Glue, Lacquer, Metal, Ribbon, Fibreglass, Rubber, Enamel, Adhesive tape

Book

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Book: 'Book of Tennis'. 89 pages. Hardcover. Third printing (first published 1958). Materials: Paper, Ink, Cardboard

Racquet & cover

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Pro Kennex 'Power Dominator' split shaft tennis racquet, with a black plastic bridge, and strung with Wilson 'Gyro' (P174) nylon strings. The racquet is accompanied by original racquet cover. Materials: Metal, Composite Materials, Paint, Plastic, Adhesive tape, Leather, Ink, Adhesive label, Nylon, Vinyl, Metal, Plastic, Ink

Tournament Programme

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Tournament Programme: Davis Cup Jubilee 1961 Challenge Round Materials: Paper, Ink

Ball

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Wilson '3' tennis ball. Autographed with black marker by Zina Garrison. Materials: Felt, Rubber, Ink

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Frank Sugg 'Court' tennis racquet with solid convex throat, and fine-grooved handle with fish-tail butt. Model and manufacturer's names impressed across the throat and along the shaft on the obverse, respectively. A circular cavity across the throat on the reverse may have contained a medallion featuring manufacturer's details, similar to the decal situated immediately below. It reads: RES[TR]UNG/FRANK SUGG LTD./LOR[D S]T. LIVERPO[OL]/S[H]EF[F]IE[L]D/.../C[ARD]IFF. Materials: Wood, Lacquer, Glue, Metal, Gut, Ink

Racquet, Grommet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Multi-part object of 7 identical racquets (parts are numbered from 2008.961.1 to 2008.961.7). Each racquet is: a Paramount metal racquet with no net and leather grip wrap branded with 'FAIRWAY BY BALMFORTH'. Plastic packet of loose grommets taped to shaft. Adhesive label inside throat states: 'EUROPEAN FEDERATION/M5/ SPORTS GOODS MANUFACTURERS'. Materials: Metal, Leather, Adhesive tape, Plastic, Adhesive label

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A wooden racquet with a convex throat, and a cork inlaid handle. Inscription across the throat and stem of the obverse: DOUBLE/MAIN/1/GGB/BUSSEY'S/TENSIVE/GRIP. Inscription across right side of stem: GEO. G. BUSSEY & CO./LONDON. Inscription across left side of stem: HIGH TENSION. Materials: Wood, Gut, Metal, Glue, Lacquer, String, Leather, Cork

Ball

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

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

Information pamphlet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Australian Open 2003 Information pamphlet Materials: Paper, Ink

Book

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Book: 'TENNIS STYLES AND STYLISTS'. Hardcover. First American edition (copyrighted 1969). Materials: Ink, Paper, Cardboard

Ball container, Ball

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A sealed Wilson dome-top tennis ball can. Key winder attached to base. Materials: Metal, Ink, Rubber, Felt

Tournament Programme

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Programme: Danone Southern Cross Classic (Adelaide) 1988 Materials: Paper, Ink

Ball container, Ball

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

An unsealed Wilson dome-top tennis ball can with lid. Key and seal strip lost. Contains three unbranded cream-coloured balls. Materials: Metal, Ink

Book

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Book: 'THE FAMILY TENNIS BOOK'. Hardcover with dustjacket. Copyrighted 1975. Materials: Ink, Paper, Cardboard

Attire, Personal items

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

An Interwoven 'John Newcombe Active Sportswear' tennis outift. (.1) shirt size Small and (.2) shorts size 38. Materials: Cloth, Plastic

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Spalding Metalite tennis racquet, with an aluminium head, open throat and upper shaft, and wooden lower shaft and fine-grooved handle. Materials: Wood, Metal, Glue, Lacquer, Gut, Leather, Paint, String, Ink

Racquet, Packing cover

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Multi-part object of 6 identical racquets (parts are numbered from 2008.991.1 to 2008.991.6). Each racquet is: a Dunlop 'Californian' model with clear net strings. Racquet in clear plastic factory bag with Dunlop branding. Materials: Wood, Plastic, Adhesive tape, Paint, Leather

Book

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Book: THE TENNIS EXPERIENCE Materials: Ink, Paper

Page from Magazine

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Page from The Graphic (page 45, July 10, 1875) featuring partly coloured lithograph depicting a man and woman playing tennis in an enclosed courtyard. Architecture is North African. Title caption reads: 'A TENNIS COURT IN ALGERIA'. Materials: Ink, Paper, Glass, Metal, Adhesive label, Plastic

Photographic print

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Black and white photograph of Mark Edmondson and Kim Warwick (?) in on court ceremony, behind sign stating 'Australie'. Possibly 1981 Davis Cup in France. Materials: Paper, Photographic emulsion

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Dunlop, Marty Riessen Autograph tennis racquet, with ribbon whipping around shoulders and shaft, and leather handle grip with linear formation perforations. Dunlop logo features across base of head. Head and neck photo decal image of Riessen features on throat. Model name, and 'D' in arrowhead device, feature along the shaft. 'D' trademark in arrowhead device also features on plastic butt cover. Materials: Wood, Nylon, Plastic, Ink, Leather, Glue, Lacquer, Metal, Enamel, Adhesive tape, Fibreglass, Ribbon, Paint

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Slazenger Panther Club squash racquet. Racquet primarily comprises of a frame made from a singular piece of tubular metal, secured by a plastic bridge across the throat, and the hardened plastic handle below. Materials: Metal, Plastic, Synthetic material, Ink, Nylon