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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.

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location
Melbourne Park Olympic Boulevard, Melbourne Park Melbourne 3000

Location

Melbourne Park Olympic Boulevard Melbourne Park Melbourne Victoria

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5075 items

Accessory

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

'Tennis Ball Caddy'. Ball-holding bracket for wear during tennis play. Holds five balls and is intended to be worn around the waist. Materials: Cardboard, Ink, Plastic, Synthetic material, Paper

Acrylic painting

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Painting: 'A Volley with Time' depicting a boy in overalls near a house surrounded by garden, hitting a ball with a racquet. Artist's signature at lower left: KEITH '77 and copyright symbol. Inscr: '93' written on back of panel in black marker. Materials: Acrylic paint/Pigment, Wood, Metal

Action game

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

'Battledore & Shuttlecock' set. Contains two hollow vellum & leather paddles and two shuttlecocks containing bird feathers. Materials: Cardboard, Ink, Wood, Metal, Cloth tape, Paper, Leather, Vellum, Bird feather, Ink

Action game

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

'Tennisette' set in box. Appears incomplete: contains two paddle, piece of rope, and 9 metal net support components. Missing original ball and net. Materials: Cardboard, Ink, Glue, Metal, Natural fibre

Action game

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

'Ting Tong Table Pole'Tennis' game. Made in Denmark. Contains two wood paddles, a wood pole and cloth tape as 'net' and two wood poles and bases to anchor net. 'Ball' is a large wooden bead held in a string pouch. Pouch attached by string to a wood rod which is to be place in holder at centre of net. Appears complete. Materials: Cardboard, Ink, Wood, Lacquer, Metal, String

Action game

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

'Pillow-dex' game set with coloured lithograph on cover. Contains two balloons, a thin rope divider weighted with wooden cubes, and an instruction sheet. Rules printed under lid. Appears complete. Materials: Cardboard, Ink, Rubber, Natural fibre, Wood

Action game

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

'Tiddlytennis' game. Contains plastic 'net', felt 'court' and five plastic discs (two large, three small). Appears complete. Materials: Cardboard, Ink, Glue, Felt, Paper

Action game

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

'Snap Tennis' game. Contains two felt mats, 2 cardboard 'nets', four net bases, two identical instructions sheets, four miniature plastic paddles, and four small plastic discs. Also contains an unused scorecard and spinner. Materials: Cardboard, Ink, Felt, Wood, Plastic, Paper

Action game

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Ernest Sewell series 'Tiddlytennis' game. Patent no.22857/35 (1935-6). Instructions sheet states: 'The game that interested H.R.H. The Duke of Kent at the/British Inductries Fair 1936'. Contains miniature net and wooden net supports, printed cotton as 'court', eight plastic discs (2 large, 6 small) and an instruction sheet. Materials: Cardboard, Ink, Glue, Wood, Natural fibre, Paper

Action game

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

'Tennis Tiddledy Winks' game. Contains 4 plastic miniature racquets (1 broken in half, 2 missing bottom half), a cardboard 'net', four felts, glass cup and 9 plastic 'winks'. Incomplete according to instructions. Missing 3 'winks'. Materials: Cardboard, Ink, Glue, Plastic, Glass

Action game

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

'Tiddle-E-Pong' game. Contains printed felt mat, miniature net, four plastic discs (two small, two large), a pencil and a rules/scoring card. Incomplete, one plastic disc missing. Materials: Cardboard, Ink, Wood, Metal, String, Paint, Felt

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

Action game

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

'Table Tennis' game. Appears complete: contains a woven 'net', two net supports, two wood paddles, and a plastic hollow ball. Also contains an instructions sheet. Three non-original metal clips contained in box. Made in Germany Materials: Cardboard, Paper, Ink, Plastic, Glue, Metal, Cloth

Action game

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

'Wink Tennis' game. Incomplete according to Instructions sheet: contains two 'winks-on-a-string', four plastic discs, a plastic 'net' and a playing board. Should contain two plastic side clips - one plastic clip present, one missing. Also contains an instructions pamphlet. Three non-original metal clips contained in box. Materials: Cardboard, Paper, Ink, Plastic, Glue, Metal

Action game

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A boxed Nintendo (Japan) game with unknown title. Design of game and illustration on lid indicates a tennis theme. Inside box are 3 play panels, two with 'shooters'. Materials: Cardboard, Paper, Ink, Plastic, Metal

Action game

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Horsman's (English) 'Improved Parlor Tennis' game. Photographic advertisement for Horsman racquets underside of lid. Contains felt playing mat, 17 playing pieces, cardboard 'net', wooden cup. Patented 9 Dec 1890. Materials: Cardboard, Paper, Ink, Felt, Wood, Bone

Action game

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

'Tiddle Tennis' game. Inscribed on lid: 'MADE IN U.S.A.'. Contains felt playing mat, cardboard 'net', 2 wooden net stands, 4 plastic bats, 1 bag of 8 plastic playing bits and an instruction sheet. Materials: Cardboard, Paper, Ink, Felt, Plastic, Wood

Action game

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

A Balloon Tennis set, comprising of a chest (.1), with a colour lithographic print across top of lid, featuring the images of men and women playing the game, and inscription: GAME OF BALLOON. Contents include: racquets (.2 - .3); a stand (.4, 7 parts); a scorer (.5, 4 parts); and instructions (.6, 2 parts). Game was U.S. patented in August 1889. Materials: Wood, Cane, Paper, Ink, Paint, String, Metal, Lacquer, Glue, Leather

Action game

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

'Jokari' game set in cardboard box. Contains two painted wooden paddles and a ball anchor box with string handle. Ball and cable missing from set. Also contains instructions pamphlet, and two instructional pamphlets by famous players. Materials: Cardboard, Ink, Paper, Metal

Action game

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

'Horsman's Tiddledy Wink Tennis' game set. Lithographed cardboard box containing a dyed felt playing area, 30 small and two large coloured discs, a cardboard 'net' with wood support stands, and a small wooden cup. Materials: Cardboard, Paper, Ink, Wood, Glue, Bone

Action game

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

'Tiddledy-Wink Tennis' game. Contains a cardboard 'net' with two wood support stands, a piece of printed felt as the 'court', four miniature wood paddles, three wood balls, three bone discs and five cardboard discs. No instructions or rules document. Materials: Cardboard, Paper, Ink, Wood, Glue, Bone, Felt

Action game

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Set of six circular dexterity games, each consists of sealed metal casing with printed paper image inside (except for one in which the imagei si printed onto metal). Tiny balls inside casing, which players must try to manouvre into small indentations. Two are large, one medium, two small and one is very small. All are backed with mirror glass. Materials: Metal, Paper, Ink, Glue, Glass

Action game

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

'15-Love' game set. Contains a playing board, a scoring back, four die, our wooden player tokens and one wooden 'ball' token. Also contains an instructions pamphlet. Set complete. Materials: Cardboard, Paper, Ink, Glue, Wood

Action game

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

'Grasshopper Tennis' game. Contains four bone discs, four painted wooden miniature paddles, a rules pamphlet and a tournament invitation/instruction sheet. Inside of box line with printed felt (as 'court') and miniature net attached to hinge of box. Two metal net braces are missing. Materials: Cardboard, Ink, Wood, Metal, Natural fibre, Felt, Bone

Action game

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

'Tennis' game set. Consists of a playing board, and a small box. Box contains two die, a dice shaker, and a circular 'pawn' piece. Also contains instuctions sheet. Set is complete according to documentation. Materials: Cardboard, Paper, Ink, Glue, Wood

Action game

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

'Lawn Tennis' game. Contains an instructions sheet, a wood mallet and four circular wooden tokens. Appears to be missing a mallet. Bottom of box features printed play area. Materials: Wood, Ink, Plastic

Action game

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

'Paddle Tennis' set in red box with a lid label featuring image of game played on street before a crowd. Contains two solid wood paddles a string net and two rubber balls. Materials: Cardboard, Ink, Wood, Metal, Natural fibre, Felt, Bone

Action game

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

'Piladex or Hand Ball' game set with coloured lithograph on cover. Contains two balloons, and a thin rope divider weighted with wooden cubes. Also contains an instructions/rules pamphlet. Set appears complete. Materials: Cardboard, Ink, Rubber, Natural fibre, Wood

Action game

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

'Trap Tennis' game. Complete according to Instructions sheet: contains a two-section playing base, pedestal and spinner arm, two catchers, two paddles and four bumpers. Also contains an instruction sheet. Materials: Cardboard, Paper, Ink, Plastic, Glue, Rubber

Adidas tennis top

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Blue and white Adidas top worn by Martina Hingis at Australian Open 2006, and front signed by Martina Hingis in black marker. Materials: Synthetic material, Metal