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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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Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Trio Hollander tennis racquet, with string whipping around shoulders, and leather handle grip. Materials: Wood, Nylon, Ink, Glue, Lacquer, Metal, Leather, String, Adhesive tape

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Spalding, "Ashley Cooper" Anzac Model tennis racquet, featuring whipping around shoulders and shaft, leather perforated handle grip, and embroidered white butt cloth. Manufacturer's name across base of head; model name across throat. Graphic of kangaroo wearing a hat on throat. Wreathed 'S' trademark features on lower shaft and embroidered on butt cloth. Signed by Ashley Cooper on shaft (both sides). Leather butt wrap. Butt cloth stained with black ink writing, now illegible. Materials: Wood, Metal, Lacquer, Glue, Ink, Nylon, Paint, Adhesive tape, Leather, Cloth, Thread

Tournament Programme

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

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

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Spalding, "World Championship Tennis " Impact-500 Model tennis racquet. Manufacturer's name along shaft and on butt cap; model name across base of head and WCT logo on lower shaft (both sides). 'S' symbol spray-painted across net. Perforated leather hand grip and white plastic butt cap. Materials: Wood, Metal, Lacquer, Glue, Ink, Nylon, Paint, Leather, Plastic, String

Spoon

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Silver spoon with racquet motif on end of handle. Bird hallmark stamped on reverse, and 'JL&S' makers mark. Materials: Silver/Metal

Poster

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Two part object: two framed monochrome posters, reproductions of 17th Century prints, both entitled 'TENNIS'; (.1) features image of court tennis and below specifications for eight paddles and early racquets. (.2) features drawings and specifications for balls, racquets, racquet strings, poles and ground stakes. Both parts framed in blue plastic frames. Materials: Ink, Paper, Metal, Cardboard, Wood

Photographic print

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Black and white photograph of Brad Drewett and Mark Edmonson playing on court. Writing on reverse states :'Stars of the Australian Open' and 'The Year that Was'. Materials: Paper, Photographic emulsion

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Prince 'Woodie' wood/graphite tennis racquet, with Wilson 'Championship' nylon strings. Materials: Wood, Graphite, Nylon, Leather, Plastic, Adhesive tape, Ink, Glue, Lacquer, Enamel

Photographic print

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Photo of Lori McNeil Materials: Paper, Photographic emulsion

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Stellar Classic tennis racquet. Materials: Wood, Ink, Glue, Lacquer, Metal, Leather, Nylon, Fibre, Enamel

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Prosser Super Phenomenon tennis racquet with ribbon whipping around shoulders and shaft, cloth shoulder reinforcements, twine reinforcing around throat, rare angular shaft and leather handle grip. Model name features across base of head and throat on obverse, accompanied by a fleur-de-lis and trapezoid devices. Inscription along shaft on obverse: T.H. PROSSER + SONS LTD. Inscription across base of head on reverse: PROSSER'S. T.H.P. trademark features on butt cover. Materials: Wood, Nylon, Ink, Glue, Lacquer, Metal, Cloth, Leather, Ribbon, Twine

Print

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Limited edition (133/850) print of pastel work by Luis Morris of male tennis player about to deliver forehand shot. Signed by artist in lower left corner. Materials: Ink, Wood, Paper, Glass, Metal, Graphite

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Bobby Riggs, Fox 'Hustler' split shaft tennis racquet, with black plastic bridge. Materials: Metal, Leather, Ink, Adhesive tape, Nylon, Plastic, Paint

Book

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Book: THE ART OF TENNIS.

Book

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Booklet: 'Regualtions: 1996 Olympic Tennis Event' 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 blue and green background are a number of decals advertising Slazenger, the quality of the racquet, and the retailer. Decals across base of head and throat on obverse: SLAZENGERS/BEAUFORT/CUSTOM STRUNG/DAWSON'S/SPORTING GOODS/SAN FRANCISCO. Decal on throat on reverse: SLAZENGERS/CHOICE OF/THE CHAMPIONS. Materials: Wood, Nylon, Leather, Ribbon, Adhesive tape, Ink, Paint, String, Glue, Lacquer

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A wooden racquet, featuring a decal of the Slazenger coat-of-arms, on both sides of throat. Inscription, from head to stem, on obverse: KEN ROSEWALL/SIGNATURE/SLAZENGER. Inscription along right side of stem: MADE EXPRESSLY FOR SEARS ROEBUCK CO. Butt cover: CERTIFIED/&/APPROVED/BY/TED WILLIAMS/FOR/ACTIVE AMERICANS. Materials: Wood, Adhesive tape, Nylon, Metal, Glue, Lacquer, Leather, Ink, Ribbon, Plastic, String

Cover

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Wright & Ditson racquet cover. Materials: Felt, Wood

Book

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Book: 'Lawn Tennis Made Easy'. 111 pages. Hardcover. Edition uncertain. Copyright 1935. Materials: Paper, Ink, Cardboard

Lacrosse stick

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Lacrosse stick Materials: Wood, Leather

Book

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Book: 'THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF TENNIS' Hardcover with dustjacket. Copyrighted 1974. Materials: Paper, Ink, Cardboard

Tournament Programme

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Programme of 1934 Davis Cup Championships Materials: Ink, Paper

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Spalding, "Doris Hart" Signature Model tennis racquet, featuring whipping around shoulders and shaft, leather perforated handle grip, and a burgundy plastic butt cloth. Manufacturer's name across base of head; model name across throat and along shaft. Silhouette of female tennis player as graphic symbol on throat. Wreathed 'S' trademark features on lower shaft. Materials: Wood, Metal, Lacquer, Glue, Ink, Nylon, Paint, Adhesive tape, Leather, String

Magazine

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

ITF World Magazine, Sept 2000 Materials: Paper, Ink, Cardboard

Print

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Number 244/500 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. Materials: Paper, Ink, Graphite, Paper, Cardboard, Plastic

Book of Australian Open Draw Sheets 1905 to 2004

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Book of Australian Open Draw Sheets 1905 to 2004 Materials: Paper, Ink

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Dunlop 'Eclipse' tennis racquet, with black Gosen 'Hy-Sharp' netting. Materials: Graphite, Carbon, Paint, Plastic, Leather, Ink, Synthetic material, Adhesive tape

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Spalding, "Pancho Gonzales" Signature Model tennis racquet, featuring whipping around shoulders, leather handle grip with quatrefoil perforations, and a black plastic butt cap. Manufacturer's name across base of head; model name across throat and along shaft. Black and white photo, head and neck decal image of Gonzales features on throat. Wreathed 'S' trademark features on lower shaft and butt cap. Materials: Wood, Metal, Lacquer, Glue, Ink, Nylon, Paint, Plastic, String, Adhesive tape, Leather, Fibre

Davis Cup cap

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Cloth baseball cap branded with Davis Cup NEC. Green and white. Materials: Cloth, Thread, Cardboard

Racquet & cover

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Wilson 'Court Slam Stretch' racquet and vinyl three-quarter length cover. Shop label affixed to net. Materials: Metal composite, Plastic, Nylon, Adhesive tape, Vinyl, Cardboard