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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

Ball container

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

An empty Barnet Glass (Australia) 'All-Court' tennis balls box. Materials: Ink, Cardboard, Paper

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Spalding 'Nassau No.6' model tennis racquet, featuring concave throat & fine-grooved octagonal wooden handle. Has a leather end wrap and leather butt cloth. Manufacturer and 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

A Gamma 'System 35' composite metal tennis racquet. Materials: Metal composite, Plastic, Adhesive tape, Nylon, Leather

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Multi-part object of 5 identical racquets (parts are numbered from 2008.956.1 to 2008.956.5). Each racquet is: a Wilson 'Chris Evert Autograph' racquet with no net. Materials: Wood, Plastic, Leather, Adhesive tape, String

Collage

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Framed collage of three components: 1) Time magazine cover of Sept 13, 1937 featuring Gottfreid von Cramm; 2) stamped ticket to Wimbledon Centre Court Championship match on July 4, 1936; 3) original photograph of von Cramm and Peryy shaking hands over the net in a crowded stadium. UV glass. Materials: Paper, Ink, Cardboard, Metal, Wood, Adhesive tape

Tournament Programme

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

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

Transparency

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Four colour stereoscope slides of humorous cartoon scenes, one depicting a tennis match. Materials: Photographic emulsion, Glass

Book

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Book: 'Budge on Tennis', 180 pages. Hardcover. First edition. Materials: Paper, Ink, Cardboard, Cloth

Magazine

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Three issues of 'American Lawn Tennis', dating from 1925. Materials: Ink, Paper, Metal

Book

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Book: 'PIERRE'S BOOK: THE GAME OF COURT TENNIS'. Hardcover. Materials: Ink, Paper, Cardboard

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A wooden, slotted handle racquet. Inscription along neck of obverse: UNIVERSITY. Inscription across neck of reverse: HARRY C. LEE & CO/NEW YORK. Inscriptions featuring manufacturing and patent details situated along the sides of the stem. Materials: Wood, Glue, Lacquer, Ink, String, Gut, Leather, Paint, Metal

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

An unmarked tennis racquet with solid convex throat, and fine-grooved octagonal handle. Materials: Wood, Lacquer, Metal, Glue, Gut, Leather

Racquet & cover

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Le Coq Sportif, Yannick Noah Crescendo tennis racquet (.1) and racquet head cover (.2). Company logo features across the base of the head, with rooster trademark across the throat and butt cap. Logo and trademark also feature on the cover. Materials: Wood, Nylon, Ink, Glue, Lacquer, Metal, Leather, Fibre, Adhesive tape, Plastic, Vinyl, Metal, String, Ink

Photographic print

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Photograph of two men playing tennis as a doubles team. Norman Brookes at far right. Other man identity unknown. Part of a series of images taken during a tennis day involving Norman Brookes. Materials: Paper, Ink

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Broadway Tennis Racquet manufacturing Co. 'Pepin' wooden tennis racquet with composite concave throat. String whipping around shoulders. Octagonal handle with thin grooves, and trace remains of grip tape and butt cloth. Model name printed as decal across throat on obverse. Manufacturer name, details and slogan 'QUALITY' printed as decal across throat on reverse. Materials: Wood, Lacquer, Metal, Glue, String, Ink, Leather, Gut, Cloth

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A SIRT Quardruplex tennis racquet, commemorating the 40th anniversary of the company's founding in 1901. Materials: Wood, Nylon, String, Ribbon, Leather, Ink, Glue, Lacquer, Metal, Paint

Photographic print

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Photo of Stan Smith Materials: Paper, Photographic emulsion

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Dunlop 'Maxply Fort' racquet. Materials: Wood, Paint, Adhesive tape, Leather, Plastic, Nylon

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A John Wanamaker Germantown tennis racquet, with laminated convex throat, and octagonal fine-grooved handle. Materials: Wood, Lacquer, Glue, Metal, Gut, Ink, Paint

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A collection of 10 Spalding '"Pancho" Gonzales Autograph' tennis racquets, featuring: brown/black with gold, perforated leather handle grips; clear gut netting with red support strings; and ribbon whipping around shoulders and shaft. Materials: Wood, Adhesive tape, Leather, Paint, Ink, Ribbon, Vinyl, Lacquer, Glue, Metal, Plastic, Gut, String

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Wright & Ditson 'All American' model wooden racquet with open throat and octagonal grooved handle. String whipping around shoulders, throat pieces and around base of throat. Leather end wrap. On obverse, model name appears as a decal atop throat on base of head. On both obverse and reverse the trademark, patent information and country of manufacture are printed on shaft. On reverse, Manufacturer name is printed as decal on base of head, above throat. Indistinct letters carved into handle,and into shaft. Instructions on side of throat state: BAL/FROM/THIS/POINT. On one side of shaft:WRIGHT & DITSON/MAKERS/MADE IN U.S.A. and further down:STRUNG BY. Materials: Wood, Gut, Metal, Lacquer, Glue, Ink, Leather, String

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Magnan Rex badminton racquet, with plastic whipping around shoulders and shaft, and leather handle grip with large floral-patterned perforations. Materials: Wood, Nylon, Leather, Glue, Lacquer, Metal, Paint, Cloth, Adhesive tape, Plastic, String, Ink

Black and white transparency

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Metal plate photographic negative image of 1962-3 Davis Cup team. Metal plate fixed to wood block. Materials: Wood, Metal

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Williams & Co. Volla tennis racquet with no net. Materials: Wood, Metal, Leather

Pincushion

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Pin doll, with ceramic upper and padded fabric lower section. Ceramic upper represents a flapper girl holding tennis racquet. Materials: Ceramic, Cloth, Thread, Wool

Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Rawlings, John Newcombe Finalist tennis racquet, with ribbon whipping on shoulders and shaft, and leather handle grip with triangle-patterned perforations. Rawlings logo features across crown, and base of head. Model name features across throat. Cursive 'R' trademark features on lower shaft and in sunken butt cap. Materials: Wood, Nylon, Ink, Glue, Lacquer, Metal, Plastic, Adhesive tape, Leather, Ribbon

Paddle, Racquet

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A piece of sporting equipment which seems to be a ping pong paddle with stretched hide face, on one side, and a junior lawn tennis racquet, with stringing, on the other side. Impressed gold designs geature around frame and shaft. 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, Ink, Leather, Paint, Glue, Metal

Book

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Book: THE OFFICIAL WIMBLEDON ANNUAL.

Cardboard container

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Cardboard box, originally packaging for chocolates. Lid depicts a woman and man seated on grass with a tennis racquet, and a tennis net partially visible in the background. Materials: Cardboard, Ink, Paper

Tournament Programme

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

(1) Tournament Programme: 1961 USLTA Singles Championships (2) Draw Sheet USLTA Mens Singles Championships 1961 Materials: Paper, Ink