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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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5043 items with images

Ball container

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

An unsealed Slazenger (U.K.) 'Lawn Tennis Ball' container. Originally packed under pressure (solder spot on base). Lid and balls missing. Materials: Metal, Paint, Rubber, Felt

Page from Magazine

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A page with a colour pin-up picture of popular U.S. tennis player, Gussie Moran, known for wearing controversial frilled panties during her 1949 Wimbledon campaign. Page is autographed by Moran. Materials: Paper, Ink

Book

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Book: 'Budge on Tennis', 180 pages. Hardcover. Third printing (First printed 1939). Materials: Paper, Ink, Cardboard, Cloth

Tournament Programme

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Programme for 72nd NSW Championships (White City, Sydney). Materials: Paper, Ink

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Cassiobury convex throat transitional flat top tennis racquet. Materials: Wood, Metal, Gut, Leather

Tournament Programme

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Tournament Programme: Davis Cup 1987 World Group Semi Final; Australia vs India Materials: Paper, Ink

Book

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Book: Dwight Davis, The man and The Cup, by Nancy Kriplen Materials: Paper, Ink, Cardboard

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A children's tennis racquet, featuring slightly lobbed head, solid convex throat, wood/cardboard laminated frame and shaft, and paper collar and end wrap. Materials: Wood, Twine, Paper, Glue, Lacquer, Metal, Cardboard

Book

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Book: 'Jean Borotra: the Bounding Basque' by John Smyth Materials: Paper, Ink

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Wright & Ditson Ace badminton racquet, with cplastic ribbon whiping around shoulders and shaft, and cloth handle grip. Materials: Wood, Lacquer, Nylon, Ink, Adhesive tape, Plastic, Metal, Cloth, Leather, Glue

Photographic print

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Signed picture of Lacoste Materials: Paper, Ink

Vinyl recording: 'Tennis with John Newcombe'.

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Vinyl recording: 'Tennis with John Newcombe'. Materials: Paper, Ink

Photographic print

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Photograph of Neale Fraser near a tennis court complex and shaking hands with unidentified man. Both are examining a book called Successful Tennis. Hnadwritten on back is 'Kooyong December 1974'. Materials: Paper, Photographic emulsion

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A cream, orange, yellow and brown enamel painted wooden racquet with fibreglass strip around outside of head. Black panther emblem features across throat, on both sides, and butt cap. Inscription, from head to handle, on both sides: .../SLAZENGER CHALLENGE/FINEST QUALITY IMPORTED TIMBER/SMOOTH. Inscription along right side of stem: EXCLUSIVELY CHOSEN BY THE WINNERS OF THE WORLD'S MAJOR FOUR TITLES/* KEN ROSEWALL * JOHN NEWCOMBE * MARGARET COURT. Materials: Wood, Gut, Metal, Glue, Lacquer, Leather, Ink, Ribbon, Plastic, Paint, Adhesive tape, Fibreglass

Bracelet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Silver prize cuff bracelet with hinge opening, decorated with exotic birds. Inscr: 'TENNIS TOURNAMENT/BEECH LAWN/AUGUST 30TH 1880'. Materials: Silver/Metal, Metal composite

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

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Dunlop Hire, wooden squash racquet, with string whipping around shoulders, and leather handle grip. Materials: Wood, Enamel, Nylon, Ink, String, Adhesive tape, Leather, Plastic, Lacquer, Glue

Clock, Horology

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Circular metal and glass wall clock with electrical cord. Printed on face of clock is text: TIME/TO/RESTRING/WITH ARMOUR'S/TENNIS STRINGS. Materials: Metal, Glass, Plastic

Cigar, cigarette cutter

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Cigar/cigarette cutter in shape of tennis racquet. Pushing ball-shaped knobs together releases cutters. Materials: Bone, Brass/Metal composite

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A 13 1/2 inch head, wooden racquet. Inscription across neck and stem of obverse: DREADNOUGHT/DRIVER/.../LEE/CUSTOM BUILT. Inscription across neck and stem of reverse: HARRY C. LEE & CO/NEW YORK/DREADNOUGHT/DRIVER/.../POWER/MODEL. A sticker with orange text adhered onto neck of obverse reads:STRUNG WITH/DU PONT/NYLON. The butt cap is missing - instead, the bare butt is painted white, upon which is handwritten: SIMON E./BRUCE. Materials: Wood, Leather, Nylon, Glue, Lacquer, Ink, String, Paint

Information pamphlet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Australian Open 2003 Information pamphlet Materials: Paper, Ink

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Feltham 'The Alexandra' flat-top tennis racquet, with solid convex throat, a slither of wood lamination between the throat and outer frame, and a fine-grooved, rounded handle. Company name and trademark impressed across throat on obverse. Model name impressed across crown. Materials: Wood, Lacquer, Glue, Metal, Gut, Leather

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

An 'Atlantic' tennis racquet with composite concave throat. String whipping around shoulders. Trace remains from plastic tape around shaft. Octagonal handle with leather end wrap and a butt cloth. Model name imprinted as decal across throat on obverse. Materials: Wood, Lacquer, Metal, Glue, Gut, Ink, String, Leather, Cloth

Photographic print

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Black and white photograph of Jaidip Mukerjea and Harry Hopman at Kooyong 1961. Materials: Paper, Photographic emulsion

Event Programme

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Programme: Nike International, Agassi vs. McEnroe; October 4, 1992 Materials: Paper, Ink

Magazine

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Davis Cup Magazine - 2001 First Round Materials: Paper, Ink

Ball container

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A sealed Spalding 'Pancho Gonzales' ball can, of three 'Hi Visibility Yellow' balls, with a metal pulltab closure and plastic outer cap. Materials: Metal, Plastic

Press kit

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Media Guide: 1988 Lawn Tennis Championships Wimbledon Materials: Paper, Ink

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Wilson "Butch" Buchholz Signature tennis racquet. Base of head features Wilson logo. Throat features model name, with a wreathed 'S'. Lower shaft and butt cap feature 'W' trademark. Leather handle grip features triangular perforations. Inscription along left side of shaft: MADE EXCLUSIVELY FOR [SEAR]S [ROEBUCK & CO]./BY WILSON SPORTING GOODS. Materials: Wood, Nylon, Leather, Glue, Metal, Lacquer, Paint, Adhesive tape, Ribbon, Plastic

Commemorative Gift

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Silver commemorative dish, presented on the occasion of the Centenary of the Australian Open 2005 Materials: Silver/Metal