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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

Book

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Book: 'TENNIS'. (Belgian). Hardcover. Materials: Ink, Paper, Cardboard

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Pretty tennis racquet with solid convex throat, and leather collars around cupper shaft and butt. Model name is impressed in cursive script across throat, on obverse. Materials: Wood, Gut, Glue, Lacquer, Metal, Leather

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Wilson 'Hammer 7.4' racquet. Handle sealed with clear plastic. Materials: Graphite, Plastic, Nylon, Adhesive tape, Leather

Ball

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

An unbranded grey tennis ball. Materials: Rubber, Felt

Press kit

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

1990 Ford Australian Open Media Guide Materials: Paper, Ink

Book

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Book: Wimbledon Compendium, by Alan Little Materials: Paper, Ink, Cardboard

Ball container

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

An empty, unsealed Rawlins 'Championship Tennis Balls' can. No lid. Key winder and metal strip seal also missing. Materials: Metal, Ink

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Gamma 'Big Bubba' oversize composite metal tennis racquet. Handle wrapped with non-original grip branded: 'BABOLAT TOUR GRIP'. Materials: Metal composite, Plastic, Adhesive tape, Nylon

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Sportime 'Smash' tennis racquet. Materials: Graphite, Composite Materials, Paint, Plastic, Leather, Adhesive tape, Ink, Nylon

Photographic print

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Photo of Tory Ann Fretz Materials: Paper, Photographic emulsion

Print

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Framed artists proof 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. Framed under Truguard UV glass. Materials: Paper, Ink, Graphite, Paper, Cardboard, Glass, Metal

Magazine

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

World Tennis Magazine June 1964 Materials: Paper, Ink

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Bancroft Billie Jean King Tournament 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, and decorative swirl device. Shaft features decal of King signature. Wreathed 'B' trademark on lower shaft, and red 'B' trademark on butt cap. Materials: Wood, Nylon, Leather, Glue, Lacquer, Metal, Ink, Plastic, Paint, Ribbon, Adhesive tape, Bamboo

, Photographic print

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Photographic print of Alfred Beamish Materials: Paper, Photographic emulsion

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

Book

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Book: 'THE GUINESS BOOK OF TENNIS FACTS AND FIGURES''. Softcover. Materials: Ink, Paper

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Pro Kennex 'Graphite Dominator' tennis racquet, strung with Wimbledon 'Court 5' nylon strings. Racquet features original plastic wrap around handle. Materials: Graphite, Paint, Plastic, Adhesive tape, Leather, Ink, Adhesive label, Nylon, Metal

Racquet & cover

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

This object consists of 89 identical racquets. Each is a Spalding 'Lotus One' racquet, and a vinyl racquet head cover with zipper. Materials: Composite Materials, Plastic, Adhesive tape, Leather, Vinyl, Nylon, Paint

Ball

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Wilson '4' tennis ball. Autographed in black marker by Martina Navratilova. Materials: Felt, Rubber, Ink

Metal container, Ball

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Tin of 6 Tretorn tennis balls, limited edition commemorating 100 years of the Tretorn brand. Materials: Metal, Rubber

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Yonex 'Carbonex' model tennis racquet, with handle wrapped in leather, and a plastic butt cap featuring manufacturer logo. Manufacturer name on base of head;model name along shaft. No net Materials: Wood, Adhesive tape, Leather, Ink, Plastic, Paint

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Sportcraft Super Server tennis racquet, with string whipping around shoulders and shaft, and leather handle grip with X-formation perforations. Sportcraft logo features across base of head. Model name feature along shaft. Illustrated decal of male tennis player features on lower shaft. Sportcraft 'S' trademark features on plastic butt cap. Materials: Wood, Nylon, Leather, Plastic, Ink, Glue, Lacquer, Metal, String, Enamel

Bottle

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Glass bottle marked with unidentified tennis symbol (Tennis ball inside an 'A' shape). Materials: Glass

Ball container

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

An unsealed Wilson Don Budge-endorsed dome-top tennis ball can with lid. Key and seal strip lost. Contains 1 of 3 original balls. Materials: Metal, Ink, Rubber, Natural fibre

Tournament Programme

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Program: Davis Cup: Australia v USA Materials: Paper, Ink

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A wooden racquet with enamel-painted shoulders, throat, and stem, and leather handle grip with trefoil perforations. Amongst a black and yellow background are a number of decals advertising Slazenger, and the quality of the racquet. Decals across base of head, throat, and along stem on obverse: MATCHPOINT/THE CHOICE/OF CHAMPIONS/SLAZENGER. Throat on reverse features illustration of a sword through a crest, with inscription 'SLAZENGER' above. Materials: Wood, Nylon, Leather, Ribbon, Adhesive tape, Ink, Paint, Glue, Lacquer

Racquet & cover

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A wooden racquet (1), with a white throat, and fibreglass reinforcing. Slazenger logo and black panther emblem features across the stem, on both sides, and on the butt cover. Emblem also features across the throat. Inscription, from head to stem, on both sides: SLAZENGER/FIBRE/ARMOURED/TOURNAMENT. Racquet is accompanied by a red and white racquet head cover (2). Materials: Wood, Nylon, Metal, Glue, Lacquer, Leather, Ink, Ribbon, Plastic, Paint, Adhesive tape, Synthetic material, Metal, Cloth

Cameo brooch

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A cameo brooch with carved image depicting a female playing tennis and inscr: 'US OPEN'. Maker name inscribed in side of shell section. Brooch framed by gold filigree. Materials: Shell, Gold/Metal

Book

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Book: 'VIC BRADEN'S LAUGH AND WIN AT DOUBLES'. Softcover. First published 1996. Second printing. Materials: Ink, Paper, Cardboard

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A green, yellow and brown enamel painted wooden racquet with fibreglass strip around outside of head. Inscription, from head to handle, on both sides: CHALLENGE/OC/OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP BY SLAZENGER/SMOOTH. Inscription along right side of stem: EXCLUSIVELY CHOSEN BY THE WINNERS OF THE WORLD'S MAJOR FOUR TITLES/& WORLD PROFESSIONAL STARS * KEN ROSEWALL * JOHN NEWCOMBE. Materials: Wood, Nylon, Metal, Glue, Lacquer, Leather, Ink, Ribbon, Plastic, Paint, Adhesive tape, Fibreglass