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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

Location

Melbourne Park Olympic Boulevard Melbourne Park Melbourne Victoria

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5075 items

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Chemold 'Elite' tennis racquet, endorsed by Rod Laver. Facsimile of Laver's signature features along shaft. Materials: Wood, Ink, Lacquer, Glue, Leather, Nylon, Adhesive tape

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Wood tennis racquet branded Buckley & Nunn Melbourne. bare wood handle. Convex throat piece. Small oval head. Materials: Metal, Wood, Leather

Tournament Programme

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Programme for Davis Cup Interzone Final 1960; Italy vs. USA Materials: Paper, Ink

Magazine

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

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

Event Programme

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Programme: WORLD'S PROFESSIONAL HARD COURT TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIPS, NOVEMBER 12 TO 17, 1946 Materials: Paper, Ink

Ball container

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

An empty, unsealed flat-lid Dunlop (U.S.) 'Championship' tennis ball can and domed lid. Key winder and metal seal strip missing. Materials: Metal, Ink

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Wilson 'Sledgehammer 3.4 Stretch' racquet. Materials: Graphite, Plastic, Nylon, Adhesive tape, Rubber

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Donnay 'Bjorn Borg Pro Comfort 680' racquet. Handle sealed in clear plastic wrap. Materials: Metal composite, Plastic, Adhesive tape, Leather, Nylon

Photographic print

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Photograph of young man playing tennis in a gymnasium. Caption on reverse states: 'Hitachi Follow Up camp August 1978'. Materials: Paper, Photographic emulsion

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Tenex MX 350 tennis racquet, with string whipping around shoulders and leather handle grip with X-formation perforations. Tenex Ball trademark features on crown. Tenex logo and model name feature along shaft. Tenex 'T' trademark with net and ball devices features on plastic butt cap. Materials: Wood, Nylon, Leather, Plastic, Ink, Glue, Lacquer, Metal, String, Enamel

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Slazenger P.M.instructional racquet, with blue and white decoration. Decal on throat on obverse features a blue 'S' on a gold disc, with 'SLAZENGERS' below. Inscription at base of stem on obverse: P.M. Insstructions feature on base of racquet head, on both sides, and along right side of handle. Inscription along left side: SPECIALLY MADE BY SLAZENGER IN CONSULTATION WITH WORLD CHAMPION/FRED PER[RY A]ND L.T.A. TRAINING MANAGER DAN MASKELL. Materials: Wood, Nylon, Paint, Ribbon, Leather, Adhesive tape, Ink, Gut

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A B.H. Dyas 'Doug' tennis racquet, with bevelled crown, slender, flat and concave throat, and fine-grooved octagonal handle. Model name across throat on obverse. Retailer's decal across throat on reverse. Materials: Wood, Lacquer, Metal, Glue, Gut, Leather, String, Cloth, Ink

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Dunlop 'Match Point' tennis racquet with no net. Materials: Wood, String, Adhesive tape, Leather, Paint

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A MacGregor laminated wood tennis racquet, with string whipping around shoulders, handgrip wrapped in leather and a plastic butt cap printed with manufacturer's 'M' logo. Manufacturer name in orange along shaft. Painted black from handgrip to top of shoulders with orange/red details. Materials: Wood, Metal, Leather, Adhesive tape, Vinyl, Plastic, Ink, String, Paint

Acrylic painting

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Painting: 'A Volley with Time' depicting a boy in overalls near a house surrounded by garden, hitting a ball with a racquet. Artist's signature at lower left: KEITH '77 and copyright symbol. Inscr: '93' written on back of panel in black marker. Materials: Acrylic paint/Pigment, Wood, Metal

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Wilson 'T2000' metal tennis racquet, with double shaft; yellow plastic shaft casing featuring 'W' logo and silver whipping. Handle wrapped with brown perforated leather. Net anchored to metal wire wrapped around head frame. Yellow plastic butt cap with white label featuring manufacturer's 'W' logo in red. Remains of a white sticker on handlegrip. Materials: Metal, Plastic, Adhesive tape, Nylon, Adhesive label, Leather, String

Tournament Programme

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Roland Garros Magazine, Officiel Programme 1992 Materials: Paper, Ink

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A black Wilson racquet with no net and no model markings. Materials: Graphite, Plastic, Nylon, Adhesive tape, Rubber

Event Programme

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Program: The Mortgage Corporation National League 1988. Materials: Paper, Ink

Racquet & cover

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Two part object. (1) A Slazenger 'Phantom Silver' tennis racquet with open throat, plastic butt cap and handle wrapped with leather. Clear plastic shop wrap still on handle. Manufacturer name along side of right throat pillar and printed as pattern on leather handle wrap. Model name printed along right throat pillar. Adhesive label inside throat states: 'MARSHALL INDUSTRIAL CORP./ITEM NO. SCT-639'. Plastic butt cap features manufacturers name and cat logo. Cat logo also sprayed onto net. (2) 3/4 length silve vinyl racquet cover with zipper and printed with manufacturer's name and logo. Materials: Adhesive tape, Plastic, Leather, Ink, Vinyl, Graphite

Tournament Programme

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Printed A4 booklet: 'The players (Les Jouers)' produced for French Open Championships 1994. Sponsored IBM. 63 pages. Materials: Paper, Ink

Tournament Programme

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Programme: Swan Premium Open Australian Indoor Tennis Championship 1987 Materials: Paper, Ink

Trophy

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A cup trophy mounted on marble plinth, with inscription in French. Awarded to the third place getter at the 1992 Bueno Cup. Materials: Metal, Marble, Plastic, Adhesive label

Tournament Programme

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Official Programme: Australian Indoor Tennis Championships 1993 Materials: Paper, Ink

Trophy

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Small trophy. Label states: 'TC Ambrosiano...16th Torneo Internazionale Avvenire...1st Classificato 1980...Doppio Maschile'. Materials: Synthetic material, Plastic

Tournament Programme

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Programme for 12th Day matches during Wimbledon 1961. Materials: Ink, Paper, Metal

Court barrier

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Two identical court barriers (.1-.2) used around the late 1980's during the Ford Australian Open, at the National Tennis Centre at Flinders Park (now Melbourne Park). The Ford logo features prominently across the two faces of each barrier. Materials: Tarpaulin, Foam, Metal, Ink

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

An Eureka wooden tennis racquet, with concave throat, string whipping around shoulders, and thick, fine-grooved handle. Handle area is hand painted white and red, and painted across the the butt are the initials: B.A.R. Materials: Wood, Lacquer, Glue, Metal, Nylon, Leather, String, Ink, Paint

Photographic print

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Photograph of Davis Cup team, date unknown, but including Harry Hopman, Roy Emerson, Ashley Cooper, Lew Hoad and possibly Frank Sedgman. Materials: Photographic emulsion, Paper

Book

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Book: 'TENNIS BEGINS AT FORTY'. Softcover. First published 1976. First paperback edition 1978. Materials: Ink, Paper