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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

Print

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Colour print featuring a comic scene of two men talking with tennis racquets. The caption reads: 'Tiger (to Rabbit after match) "Er - don't let it get about that I played you...July 15, 1931". Materials: Wood, Glass, Ink, Paper

Advertisement

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

News ad featuring Segura Materials: Paper, Ink

Ball cleaner

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A cylindrical chamber with a handle, and rotating brush roller across the centre. Chamber has four legs mounted onto a wooden panel. Inscription across the handle side of machine: PATENT/J.OSMOND THORNHILL WORKS LEE LONDON. Materials: Wood, Metal, Hair, Paint

Ball container

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

An unsealed Wright & Ditson 'Championship Tennis balls' domed-top can with lid. Key and seal strip lost. Contains 3 unbranded balls. Materials: Metal, Ink, Rubber, Natural fibre

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Spalding 'Lakeside' model tennis racquet, featuring laminate convex throat & fine-grooved octagonal wooden handle. Leather end wrap and butt cloth. Model name printed on throat on obverse, and manufacturer logo printed on throat on reverse. Logo also printed on butt cloth. Materials: Wood, Metal, Lacquer, Glue, Gut, Ink, String, Leather

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

An unstrung Dunlop prototype, wood-fibreglass composite racquet with oversize head and open throat/split shaft. Only adhesive label, on lower shaft on obverse reads: 361 GRAMS/31.9 CMS. Handle grip is still sealed in plastic wrap-around. Materials: Wood, Plastic, Leather, Glue, Lacquer, Metal, Adhesive tape, Fibreglass

Line marker

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

An hand-pushed, tricyclical line marker, with a paint chamber and conveyor wheel, distributing paint to the application wheel situated behind the chamber. Across a circular metal panel - situated between the stems connecting the chamber to the wooden handle - is the inscription: THE GEM. Materials: Wood, Metal, Lacquer, Paint

Organisational document

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Booklet: 'ITF The Constitution of the ITF Limited 2000' Materials: Paper, Ink

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Dunlop Fort 'Maxply' model tennis racquet, with whipping on shoulders & shaft, and handle wrapped in perforated leather. Model name on base of head/throat on obverse; manufacturer name on base of head on reverse. Materials: Wood, Vinyl, Leather, Ink, Plastic, Paint, Adhesive tape

Photographic print

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Black and white photograph of Czech Davis Cup team. Materials: Paper, Photographic emulsion

Tournament Programme

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Program: Davis Cup: Australia v Zimbabwe Materials: Paper, Ink, Cardboard

Action game

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Ernest Sewell series 'Tiddlytennis' game. Patent no.22857/35 (1935-6). Contains miniature net and wooden net supports, printed cotton as 'court', and eight bone discs (1 large, 5 small). Materials: Cardboard, Ink, Glue, Wood, Natural fibre, Paper

Print

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Lithograph entitled 'A VIEW OF HAMPTION COURT AS FINISHED BY K. HENRY VIII/FIG 4'. Materials: Paper, Ink, Metal, Cardboard, Glass

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

3 part object. Three identical Chemold 'Rod Laver Elite' model tennis racquets, each with whipping around shoulders, handle wrapped in perforated leather and plastic butt cap embossed with manufacturer's 'C' logo. Model and manufacturer's name on throat. Endorser signature decal along shaft. On crown is printed: 'BAMBOO LAMINATED'. Materials: Wood, Plastic, Ink, Vinyl, Fibre, String, Leather, Adhesive tape

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Chemold Roy Emerson Pacer tennis racquet, with ribbon whipping around shoulders, and vinyl handle grip with X-formation perforations. Chemold logo features across base of head. Model name features on throat. Chemold trademark with large 'C' features on lower shaft and black plastic butt cap. Materials: Wood, Nylon, Ribbon, Paint, Ink, Plastic, Glue, Lacquer, Metal, Adhesive tape, Vinyl

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Spalding Top-Flite model tennis racquet, featuring whipping around shoulders and shaft, and wood grain finish on shaft & bottom section of head. Has leather wrapped handle and plastic butt cap. Manufacturer name features across base of head. Model name features across throat. On shaft is printed: 'SYNCHRO-POWER SHAFT'. Wreathed 'S' symbole features on lower shaft and on butt cap. Materials: Wood, Metal, Lacquer, Glue, Leather, Vinyl, Ink, String, Plastic, Adhesive tape, Paint

Ball container, Ball

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Slazenger (UK) 'Lawn Tennis Ball' box. Printed on lid: 'MADE ENTIRELY IN ENGLAND/OFFICIALLY/AUTHORISED/BY/THE LAWN TENNIS ASSOCIATION /AND STAMPED'. On front of box is printed: ' EXCLUSIVELY USED AT/THE CHAMPIONSHIPS/WIMBLEDON/ SINCE 1902'. Colour advertisement adhered to underside of lid, depicting 1920s/30s tennis racquets. Contains all six original balls. Materials: Ink, Cardboard, Paper, Rubber, Felt

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Spalding, "Pancho Gonzales" Tournament Model tennis racquet, featuring whipping around shoulders, leather handle grip with perforations, and a white leather butt cloth . 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 cloth. Materials: Wood, Metal, Lacquer, Glue, Ink, Nylon, Paint, Adhesive tape, Leather, String

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Pastime tennis racquet, featuring: solid convex throat; gut stringing; cross-hatch carved handle; and leather end wrap and butt cover. Model name is impressed across throat, on obverse. Materials: Wood, Metal, Lacquer, Glue, Leather, Gut

Racquet Press

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Racquet press for 5 racquets. Materials: Wood, Metal

Photographic print

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Black and white photograph of Roy Emerson and Neale Fraser playing doubles. Place and date unknown. Materials: Paper, Photographic emulsion

Ball container , Ball

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A sealed clear plastic container of three Wilson multicoloured 'Peppers' tennis balls. Plastic reclosure cap over ring-pull style metal lid. Materials: Metal, Ink, Rubber, Plastic, Synthetic material

Ball container , Ball

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A sealed clear plastic container of three Wilson multicoloured 'Peppers' tennis balls. Plastic reclosure cap over ring-pull style metal lid. Materials: Metal, Ink, Rubber, Plastic, Synthetic material

Tournament Programme

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Programme: 1995 NEWSWEEK CHAMPIONS CUP Materials: Paper, Ink

Magazine

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

The July 1979 issue of 'Tennis' magazine (Vol.15, No.3), with illustration, by John Sovjani, of Bjorn Borg, on the cover. Materials: Ink, Paper, Metal

Ball container, Ball

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A sealed can of four Harrods tennis balls. INtact ring pull and plastic reclosure lid. Materials: Metal, Ink, Rubber, Synthetic material, Plastic

Paddle

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A ping-pong paddle, with stretched hide double face, leather-bound head framework, leather collar, and a rounded, solid wood handle. During this period of table tennis history, it was merely a parlour game, and very distant from the professional competitive sport it was to become. Materials: Wood, Hide, String, Leather, Glue, Metal, Lacquer

Metal container

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Swallow & Ariell's Biscuits tin containing six white tennis balls and one yellow-green tennis ball. Materials: Metal, Paint, Rubber, Wool, Synthetic material

Photographic print

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Photo of Helen Wills Moody Materials: Paper, Photographic emulsion

Ball press

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Edgeroy BP-1 ball press. Materials: Plastic, Metal, Adhesive label