October 30 - November 5, 2016: Issue 287

Vintage Wooden Tennis Racquets: A Collectors Item As Popular As Summer

Lawn tennis, 1887. Print. Published in: Viewpoints; a selection from the pictorial collections of the Library of Congress … Washington: Library of Congress …, 1975, no. 121. Made by Prang (L.) & Co.
A few months, after the initial crowds had left elbow room, we went to have a look at The Newport, formerly The Newport Arms, to see how the rejuvenation had turned out. 

The styling had been optimised to make the most of the gardens areas and created little nooks within the curve of the paths, the great eucalyptus retained and framing the water views, while the carts used for making accessible condiments ad serviettes etc. reminded visitors of market gardens, a kind of European touch with an aquatic twist.

What was busiest with those lunching when we were was the gymnasium, most popular with the children of mums and dads getting a few hours basking in the sun. Fitted out with some great good fun items clearly chosen to bemuse younger visitors, and styled to emphasise the classic as well as thread through a nautical theme in colours chosen, this area adjacent to where you can order great food had turned a classic old pub into a classic still old pub conscious of its heritage and being a place for everyone to meet - all generations.

It took a fair amount of time just to wander around taking in the upgrades and their cohesive effect.

Then the, excuse me mum, Ladies Room was visited. Although banned from ever mentioning such places - there's a reason here. Adorning the walls in this necessary place were a series of classic and vintage tennis racquets - one caught the eye as it is definitely one the aforementioned mater once swung with aplomb during her girlish years and has held onto - just in case - along with a tennis dress worn as an adult that nowadays would fit a 12 year old.

The good folks looking after all things The Newport were contacted with an enquiry. It turns out the collection was collated by stylist Amanda Talbot and sourced across the globe. The reasoning behind this was to complement and continue the theme of the gymnasium in the areas adjacent. Most of them are vintage badminton racquets, bar the few we spotted that are not. 

Badminton rackets are smaller cousins of tennis rackets and these too are collecting Collectors as a genre - but we'll stick to tennis here. 

The Newport's display

There are, of course tennis museums, Wimbledon clearly would spring to mind first, but we in Sydney have one at Olympic Park in the Australian Tennis Museum, while if in Victoria and Kooyong, you can visit The Kooyong Museum...

These are proof that people are interested in collecting all things to do with tennis, with the racquet high among tennis-associated items, especially those classic wooden ones, sought after for their heritage value and what they tell of tennis development, for their construction and all this speaks of a lost craft.

Collecting wooden tennis rackets, from antique rackets (about 1860-1920), to the player-endorsed wood rackets, which ended in the early 1980s after powerful composite rackets replaced its wooden counterpart, is a growing worldwide trend. Endorsed racquets, as most of the successful players did, is a niche  within this Collectors interest and these racquets are sought after and collected around the world. Experts state there were more than 200 players who endorsed racquets with some endorsing more than 20 different models. 

These racquets bring in the history of each player and this too can add value to your collection, bring in stories of what they were doing during the year of Issue for a model or even revive a memory of a player and a time long gone.

Add to these “junior” models, racket head covers and presses, poster advertising matches and tennis balls and you begin to understand collecting tennis memorabilia is a passion with some. As with all things collected, the condition of the racquet is important to its value so those that can be found still in their original wrappings will fetch high prices.

Racquet press for tilt top - Year: 1880
Very early hardwood Lawn tennis Press with fruitwood pegs. Only an 1880's racquet will fit into this press Length 35cm, width 26.8cm. These go back as far as the racquets themselves due to the fact that under enormous pressure from strings and combined with often damp or humid conditions racquets would warp. Presses were essential for the longevity of the sports equipment article, which is why you will find many of the wooden racquets have the caution printed on the butt cap, ‘ when not in use store in a press’.

Wilson TopNotch Vintage Wood Tennis Racquet Racket + Press

Collectors take this hobby seriously and have collected pieces for investment purposes with some selling for more than $5,000, although these are so rare that only a few exist in the world. The more common rackets go for as little as $1 on eBay although the average when we looked was around $25.

A few examples:

Doris Hart Autograph Vintage Wooden Tennis Racquet - $45.00
Doris Hart (June 20, 1925 – May 29, 2015) was a World No. 1 American tennis player who was active in the 1940s and first half of the 1950s and was ranked No. 1 in 1951. She won a Career Grand Slam in singles and is one of three players to have a "boxed set" of Grand Slam titles—every possible title (singles, doubles, and mixed doubles) from all four Grand Slam events.

Ken Rosewall Champion Wilson wood tennis racquet - $24.99 to $28.99 US
Kenneth Robert ("Ken") Rosewall AM, MBE (born 2 November 1934) is a former world top-ranking amateur and professional tennis player from Australia. He won a record 23 tennis Majors including 8 Grand Slam singles titles and before the Open Era a record 15 Pro Slam titles and a record 35 Major finals overall. He won the Pro Grand Slam in 1963. Rosewall won 9 slams in doubles with a career double grand slam. He is considered to be one of the top male tennis players of all time. He had a renowned backhand and enjoyed a long career at the highest levels from the early 1950s to the early 1970s. Rosewall was one of the two best male players for about nine years and was the World No. 1 player for a number of years in the early 1960s. He was ranked among the top 20 players, amateur or professional, every year from 1952 through 1977. Rosewall is the only player to have simultaneously held Pro Grand Slam titles on three different surfaces (1962–1963). At the 1971 Australian Open he became the first male player during the open era to win a Grand Slam tournament without dropping a set.

The modern game of tennis originated in Birmingham, England, in the late 19th century as "lawn tennis". It had close connections both to various field ("lawn") games such as croquet and bowls as well as to the older racket sport of real tennis. During most of the 19th century, in fact, the term "tennis" referred to real tennis, not lawn tennis: for example, in Disraeli's novel Sybil (1845), Lord Eugene De Vere announces that he will "go down to Hampton Court and play tennis."

Real tennis – one of several games sometimes called "the sport of kings" – is the original racquet sport from which the modern game of lawn tennis (usually simply called tennis) is derived. It is also known as court tennis in the United States, formerly royal tennis in England and Australia, and courte-paume in France (a reference to the older, racquetless game of jeu de paume, the ancestor of modern handball and racquet games; many French real tennis courts are at jeu de paume clubs).

The term real was first used by journalists in the early 20th century as a retronym to distinguish the ancient game from modern lawn tennis (even though the latter sport is often not contested on lawns these days outside the few social-club-managed estates such as Wimbledon). Real tennis is still played on about 43 surviving courts in the United Kingdom, Australia, the United States and France. 

Jeu de paume in the 17th century

Historians believe that the game's ancient origin lay in 12th century northern France, where a ball was struck with the palm of the hand. Louis X of France was a keen player of jeu de paume ("game of the palm"), which evolved into real tennis, and became notable as the first person to construct indoor tennis courts in the modern style. Louis was unhappy with playing tennis outdoors and accordingly had indoor, enclosed courts made in Paris "around the end of the 13th century". In due course this design spread across royal palaces all over Europe. In June 1316 at Vincennes, Val-de-Marne and following a particularly exhausting game, Louis drank a large quantity of cooled wine and subsequently died of either pneumonia or pleurisy, although there was also suspicion of poisoning. Because of the contemporary accounts of his death, Louis X is history's first tennis player known by name. Another of the early enthusiasts of the game was King Charles V of France, who had a court set up at the Louvre Palace.

By the 16th century, the glove had become a racquet, the game had moved to an enclosed playing area, and the rules had stabilised. Real tennis spread across Europe, with the Papal Legate reporting in 1596 that there were 250 courts in Paris alone, near the peak of its popularity in France.

The game began to be called "tennis", from the French term tenez, which can be translated as "hold!", "receive!" or "take heed!", an interjection used as a call from the server to his opponent. It was popular in England and France, although the game was only played indoors where the ball could be hit off the wall. Henry VIII of England was a big fan of this game, which is now known as real tennis. During the 18th century and early 19th century, as real tennis declined, new racket sports emerged in England.

The patenting of the first lawn mower in 1830, in Britain, is strongly believed to have been the catalyst, world-wide, for the preparation of modern-style grass courts, sporting ovals, playing fields, pitches, greens, etc. This in turn led to the codification of modern rules for many sports, including lawn tennis, most football codes, lawn bowls and others.

Chamberlayne's "State of Great Britain," published in George the Second's Reign, affords curious proof of the change in popular pastimes within so short a period. Under the head of 'Recreations,' he says-.
" For variety of divertisements, sports, and recreations, no nation excels the English.
"The King hath abroad his forests, chases and parks, - full of variety of game, red and fallow deer, foxes, otters, hawking ; his paddock courses, horseitices, &c. At home, tennis, bowling, billiards, comedies, operas, masquerades, balls, ballets, Sec.
"The Nobility and Gentry have their parks, warrens, decoys, paddock courses, horse races, hunting,  coursing, fishing, fowling, hawking, selling-dogs, tumblers, lurchers, duck-hunting, cock fighting, guns for birding, low-bells, bat fowling, angling, nets, tennis, bowling, billiards, tables, chess, draughts, cards, dice ; backsword, sword and dagger, sword and gauntlet, sword and buckler, rapier, quarter-staff, single faulchion, double faulchion ; stage plays, masquerades, balls, dancing, singing ; all sorts of musical instruments, &c. OFFICERS ON THE CONTINENT. (1829, January 13). The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842), p. 3. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article2191619

The origins of the modern game of tennis are ascribed to British army officer Major Walter Clopton Wingfield who in December 1873 designed and patented a similar game ;– which he called sphairistikè (Greek: σφαιριστική, meaning "ball-playing"), and was soon known simply as "sticky" – for the amusement of guests at a garden party on his friend's estate of Nantclwyd Hall, in Llanelidan, Wales.

According to R. D. C. Evans, turfgrass agronomist, "Sports historians all agree that [Wingfield] deserves much of the credit for the development of modern tennis."

According to Honor Godfrey, museum curator at Wimbledon, Wingfield "popularized this game enormously. He produced a boxed set which included a net, poles, rackets, balls for playing the game – and most importantly you had his rules. He was absolutely terrific at marketing and he sent his game all over the world. He had very good connections with the clergy, the law profession, and the aristocracy and he sent thousands of sets out in the first year or so, in 1874." 

The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, a private club founded on 23 July 1868, originally as "The All England Croquet Club" had its first ground was off Worple Road, Wimbledon. In 1876, lawn tennis, the game devised by Major Walter Clopton Wingfield, was added to the activities of the club. In spring 1877, the club was renamed "The All England Croquet and Lawn Tennis Club" and signalled its change of name by instituting the first Lawn Tennis Championship. A new code of laws, replacing the code administered by the Marylebone Cricket Club, was drawn up for the event. Today's rules are similar except for details such as the height of the net and posts and the distance of the service line from the net.

The inaugural 1877 Wimbledon Championship opened on 9 July 1877. The Gentlemen's Singles was the only event held and was won by Spencer Gore, an old Harrovian rackets player, from a field of 22. About 200 spectators paid one shilling each to watch the final.

In Australia, during our Spring of 1878, items such as this appeared:
'Lawn' tennis, which has become a very popular game here, had a great day out at Wimbledon last week, when the championship cup was contended for. The final match was between Mr. Hadom and Mr. Spencer Gore.
The former gentleman, however, won somewhat easily, although the game was an exciting one, and was witnessed by all the elite of the London
season, now drawing to a close. ENGLISH SPORTING. (1878, September 14). Adelaide Observer (SA : 1843 - 1904), p. 5. Retrieved fromhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article160113717

In 1880 the Sydney Lawn Tennis Club,  Australia's oldest grass tennis club, commenced. Some sources indicate playing began as early as 1878, on Sydney's Cricket ground. We were certainly playing tennis here by the Summer of 1880 - as this little item indicates:

Lawn Tennis.
THE recent introduction of lawn tennis to New South Wales bids fair to absorb the leisure hours of a number of adults and youths. The pastime has become highly popular and fashionable among the higher circles of Great Britain. Select clubs have been inaugurated in these colonies, and the pastime is making a high bid for rivalry against other out-door amusements of a like nature. It is one of the recreations we advocate strongly for our rising generation to indulge in. The athlete as well as the ladies may take part in the game and the beneficial influences which it possesses over the body and mind are truly astounding. There are a few morbid minds who endeavour to throw cold water on all sports-field or indoor-as calculated to debase an intellectual mind, but the time is fast approaching for the extinguishing of such fancies. Lawn tennis is a pastime congenial to most natures, and after an exciting game, players can often indulge in pleasing recollections of how he or she had played. In a colony like New South Wales, where climate influences are so much in favour of all outdoor sports, lawn tennis should take a very prominent position. Like cricket it is healthy and invigorating, and possesses a tendency to longevity. To those whoso avocations are sedentary, we would especially recommend light outdoor pastimes, such as lawn tennis, &c, and for individuals who suffer from the baleful influences of melancholy we would recommend such pastimes, for they absorb the thoughts and drive away dulness. 

This pastime has been accorded the patronage of kings and queens, and members of the royal family, while bishops and clergymen of all denominations patronise the game, not only by their presence, but are active playing members. The increased popularity of lawn tennis in New South Wales has become the reason of our publishing this week an illustration which, though small, sufficiently depicts the character of the game. From secretaries of lawn tennis clubs we will learn of the result of any matches played or to come.

For the benefit of those who are not conversant with the rules, &c., of the game of lawn tennis we publish the following few, which have been adopted at recent conferences of the Marylebone Cricket and All England croquet and lawn tennis clubs ..

The court is 27 feet wide and 78 feet long. It is divided across the centre by a net, the ends of which are attached to the tops of two posts, which stand a yard outside the court on each side. The height of the net, which dips in the middle, is 4ft 9in at the posts, and 3ft at the centre. At each end of the court, parallel with the net, and at the distance of 39ft from it, are drawn what are termed base lines, the extremities of which are connected by side lines. Half-way between the aide lines, and parallel with them, is drawn what is termed the half-court line, dividing the space on each side of the net into two equal parts, called the left and right courts. On each side of the net, at a distance of 24ft from it, and parallel with it, are drawn the service lines.
In the three and four handed games the court is 36ft wide, and the height of the net at the posts is 4ft, otherwise the court is as above.

LAWS or THE GAME.-Choice of sides and first service ; the choice of sides, and the right of serving during the first game, shall be decided by a toss provided that if the winner of the toss choose the right to serve, the other player shall have the choice of sides, and vice versa; the players to stand on opposite sides of the net. The player who first delivers the ball shall be called the server, and the other the striker out. At the end of the first game the striker-out becomes the server and the latter the striker-out, and so on alternately in the subsequent games of the set.

SERVICE.-The server stands with one foot outside the base line, and delivers the service from the right and left courts alternately, beginning from the right. The ball so served up must drop within the service line, half-court line, and side line of the court, which is diagonally opposite to that from which it was served, or upon any service line.

There are a host of other details too numerous to mention at present, but which are to be found in a guide entitled "Laws of Lawn Tennis, as adapted by the Marylebone Cricket Club." This useful little work can be bad from any bookseller.

In conclusion, we may say that all necessary paraphernalia in connection with the game maybe obtained of Messrs. F. Lasaetter and Co., George-street, Sydney, who we feel sure will be glad to answer any inquiries addressed to them.
Lawn Tennis. (1880, December 18).Australian Town and Country Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1870 - 1907), p. 21. Retrieved fromhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article70950767 

Australia's first international champion was Sir Norman Everard Brookes (14 November 1877 – 28 September 1968) a world No. 1 ranked player and later president of the Lawn Tennis Association of Australia. During his career he won three Grand Slam singles titles, Wimbledon in 1907 and 1914 and the Australasian Championships in 1911. 

Brookes was part of the Australasian Davis Cup team that won the title on six occasions. The Australian Open men's singles trophy, the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup, is named in his honour.

Australian tennis player Norman Brookes in 1919, courtesy Bibliothèque nationale de France

London, July 17
The concluding rubbers in the ‘Davis’ Cup competition between Australasia and America were played at Wimbledon today. The American Beale C. Wright beat the New Zealander A. F. Wilding 6-8, 6-3, 7-5, but Norman Brookes, the Victorian champion,  amidst intense excitement, easily defeated Karl Behr, the other American representative, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 thus winning the match for Australasia by three rubbers to two.
Australasia has now to challenge the British Isles for the cup and this match will be commenced on Saturday next. ….
LAWN TENNIS. (1907, July 19). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), p. 5. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article10143448

The Davis Cup is the premier international team event in men's tennis. It is run by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) and is contested annually between teams from competing countries in a knock-out format. It is described by the organisers as the "World Cup of Tennis", and the winners are referred to as the World Champion team. The tournament was initially titled the International Lawn Tennis Challenge although it soon became known as the Davis Cup, after Dwight Davis' trophy.

The tournament was conceived in 1899 by four members of the Harvard University tennis team who wished to challenge the British to a tennis competition. Once their respective lawn tennis associations agreed, one of the four Harvard players, Dwight F. Davis, designed a tournament format and ordered an appropriate sterling silver trophy from Shreve, Crump & Low, purchasing it from his own funds for about $1,000. They in turn commissioned a classically styled design from William B. Durgin's of Concord, New Hampshire, crafted by the Englishman Rowland Rhodes. Davis went on to become a prominent politician in the United States in the 1920s, serving as US Secretary of War from 1925 to 1929 and as Governor-General of the Philippines from 1929 to 1932.

The first match, between the United States and Britain (competing as the "British Isles"), was held at the Longwood Cricket Club in Boston, Massachusetts in 1900. The American team, of which Dwight Davis was a part, surprised the British by winning the first three matches. The following year the two countries did not compete, but the US won the match in 1902 and Britain won the following four matches. By 1905 the tournament expanded to include Belgium, Austria, France, and Australasia, a combined team from Australia and New Zealand that competed together until 1914.

Davis Cup trophy displayed in the Český rozhlas headquarters, Prague-Vinohrady - 2012. Photo courtesy Draceane via Wikipedia

The period when Norman Brookes dominated the world stage of tennis is of particular appeal to tennis memorabilia collectors as he was among a great, then, Australasia Team that beat many comers for close to a decade. Memorabilia such as Davis Cup medals attracts many collectors high bids as do the racquets - especially those used at Wimbledon, add more if they can be proved to be used by one of these early tennis champions.

The Australian Open, held annually over the last fortnight of January in Melbourne was first held in 1905. This tournament is chronologically the first of the four Grand Slam tennis events of the year – the other three being the French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open. Prior to 1988 the tournament had been played on grass. Since 1988 two types of hard courtsurfaces have been used at Melbourne Park - green Rebound Ace to 2007 and blue Plexicushion from 2008.

Items associated with the early years of the Australian Open are also ones to find and keep.

Tennis Heritage Australia seeks to aid and further all things related to Australian Tennis Heritage and promote discussions between collectors - if you want to find quality items for investment, always go through an accredited Auctioneer, there are many here who specialise in memorbilia - if you're just finding items to emphasise the sporty corners but want something truly Australian - there's great stuff out there.

Finding one that suits you, or brings back and keeps some fond memory will always be the best place to start. 

Farm with a tennis court in foreground, possibly in Tasmania, circa 192-, Image No.: 70433669, courtesy State Library of Victoria

References And Extras

Real tennis. (2016, October 27). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Real_tennis&oldid=746434120

Tennis. (2016, October 26). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Tennis&oldid=746265536

Norman Brookes. (2016, October 26). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Norman_Brookes&oldid=746355360

Davis Cup. (2016, October 25). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Davis_Cup&oldid=746159891

Creation of a tennis racket in the 18th century - Illustration dated 1767 - from L’Art du Paumier raquetier et de la Paume. Francois Alexandre Pierre de Garsault (1673 1778). From http://library.sc.edu/spcoll/hist/tennis/art.html

Early advertisement for tennis rackets, from an English newspaper circa 180-1885: Barrett, J. (2001): The Official History of the Championships.Harper Collins Publishers 2001, ISBN 978-0007117079


WE wish to remind secretaries of the different lawn tennis clubs in Australia, that this column is especially intended to serve as a record of club doings in these colonies, and it is hoped they will send in from time to time accounts of their matches and notices of fixtures, together with any suggestions or questions relating to lawn tennis.

THE Victorian team this year is a strong one, including Messrs. Gr. Balfour, A. Chomley, H. DeLittle, B. Green, Peebles, and E. E. Shuter. Messrs. Highett, Bartram, and Bayles would possibly have been included, but they expressed their inability to play this year, owing to other engagements. Of the present team, four have played on one occasion in the Intercolonial match, Messrs. Green and Peebles being new to the team.

The New South Wales team consists of Messrs. C. W. Cropper, R. D. Fitzgerald, H. A. Huntley, E. M. S. Wells, H. B. Paterson, and Dr. F. B. Wilkinson. The first three are well enough known here; Messrs. Wells, Paterson, and Wilkinson play in the team for the first time. Mr. Wells has shown some good form on the grounds of the Association Club, of which he is a member. Dr. Wilkinson lately won the captaincy of the Phillip-street Club, that central resort of the hem monde of Sydney. Amongst the ladies who will probably visit Melbourne for the tournament week are Miss Scott and Miss Fitzgerald, lt is rumoured that the first-named lady will choose Mr. Cropper as her partner in the Mixed Doubles, Mr. Fitzgerald and his sister being the other pair. Mr. Cropper will probably, as usual, carry off a prize or two; he is just now in splendid condition and capital spirits, whilst his inexhaustible energy surprises even his friends. He may be described as the Atlas on whose shoulders lawn tennis rests -at all events in New South Wales. His labours at tournament time in Sydney are simply Herculean; he is then secretary, captain, champion, prize winner, gentleman usher, journalist, speech maker, dispute-settler, and general referee, and a whole host of other important functionaries into the bargain, keeping throughout as calm bearing as if he had been accustomed to that sort of thing all his life.

The grass courts at the Association Ground, Sydney, were opened for play on November 2nd, after having been carefully top-dressed. Lockers can be obtained from the secretary of the ground, Mr. S. H. Fairland, 99 Elizabeth-street. A separate room is now provided exclusively for the use of members.

It is a matter for regret that the Double-Handed event in the Asphalt Tournament at the Association Ground should have fallen through, especially as some of our players who are strong in a single- handed game fall utterly to pieces in a double, and seem to think it their duty to rush wildly all over the court after the ball, quite regardless of their partner.

The Championship Meeting and Open Tournament of the New Zealand Lawn Tennis Association is to be held on the 26th of December and three succeeding days. Want of space prevents us from more than mentioning the fact ; but we intend to give full particulars in our next issue.
Everyone in Melbourne is interested just now in the tournament week, which comes as a fitting termination to the excitements of the racecourse. This will be fully dealt with in our next issue ; and for the present WQ will record a few of the minor matches played amongst local clubs. I Zingari beat Sherbrooke (56 to 43 games). Gascoigne beat Royston on the Royston Club grounds (53 to 27 games) ; Price, A. Turnbull, Mursell, and Hewitt played for Gascoigne. Cheltenham beat Oakleigh at Cheltenham (66 to 54 games). The ladies of both clubs played as well as the gentlemen. The ladies of South Melbourne had a very close fight with the Moreland ladies, just beating them by two games (59 to 57 games). The Misses Peach (2), Hunting, and Wills played for Moreland ; Mrs. Trapp, and the Misses Ken- wick, Barnard, and Fox representing South Melbourne. A tournament was held by the Brighton Club on October 19. The South Yarra Tournament is being played; results will be given later.

A lawn tennis club has just been started in Shanghai, much to the astonishment of the natives. One was found prancing about wildly, trying to play a tune on a racquet, which he evidently thought to be the latest sort of musical instrument. He soon gave it up in despair, as he found it did not suit the popular comic songs of his fatherland.

We have to record several matches between local teams. Early in October a team from the London Chartered Bank met the Wahgunyah Club, for which Westenholm and Clark did good service. The club won by 26 games. In the St. Leonards v. Devonshire match, St. Leonards scored 9 sets to 2 sets (or 72 games to 52) ; Messrs Brennand, Chapman, Bennett, and M Thie represented the victorious team. Arthursleigh beat Devonshire (B team) by 5 games (46 to 41). On October 26 the first and second teams of the Devonshire and Stanmore Clubs met, the second team of the former club winning, whilst the Stan- more first team were in their turn the winners. In the match between the A teams Stanmore won 9 sets and 94 games, and Devonshire 9 sets and 93 games, the players being very closely matched. In the match between the B teams Devonshire won 6 sets and 45 games, to Stanmore 4 sets and 35 games. Messrs. Dowler, Wright. S. and A. Druce, Russell, and Deuchar played for Stanmore (A team), the Devonshires being Messrs. Bradley, Noble, M'Phie, Bennett, Brennand, and Chap- man. A few days previously the University Club defeated the Sydney Grammar School on the courts of St. Paul's College. The University scored 6 sets (57 games), and the Grammar School 5 sets (52 games). Allen and Sloman were the most successful for the 'Varsity, losing only one set. Wood, Mansfield, Huntley and Lamb ; and Allen, Sloman, Hutton and Westenholme, represented the Grammar School and University respectively. The Hydra and Mayflower Clubs met on October 27 : Mayflower, 3 sets, 37 games ; Hydra, 3 sets, 26 games. The A and B teams of the Stanmore and St. Leonards Clubs played on November 2 at Stanmore. The match between the first teams resulted in Stanmore winning 9 sets and 70 games, to 3 sets and 50 gaines ; the second team of Stanmore won by 3 sets, 48 games to 0 sets, 13 games.
The members of the Queensland Lawn Tennis Association are to be congratulated upon the success of their second annual tournament. At the time of going to press all the events had been concluded, with one exception-the Single Handicap. 

The Association secured the new Sports' Ground at Breakfast Creek, and the scene on the lawn was brilliant, 'everyone' in Brisbane being there. The arrangements were eminently satisfactory. 
The following are the result of the principal events :
All-comers' Singles.-R. R. Love and Hudson, of Auckland, met in the final. Hudson won the first set ; Love the second and third sets (6 to 4, 8 to 6, and 7 to 5). Hudson then played up hard, pulling off the next two sets (6 to 4 and 6 to 2), and the match therefore by 3 sets to 2. Hudson's services were very effective, whilst his volleys were surer than his opponent's. Love did some good placing. The following Saturday (October 5) Hudson met A. Taylor for the championship. 

The court (of turf) was unfortunately rather spongy in places. Mr. Taylor is the captain of the Bachelors' Club (Brisbane). The match resulted in a victory for Mr. Hudson by three sets to two (26 to 24 games). Taylor's accurate volleying, endurance, and swift services secured him the victory. The play was the same all through, Taylor at the back hitting hard to Hudson on the service line, and the latter quietly placing the balls from one side of the court to the other. At the end of the match Taylor was completely exhausted. The All - comers' Double Championship was won by Messrs. A. Taylor and E. W. H. Fowles, who defeated Messrs. P. Macgregor and E. Gilligan by three sets to one (6 to 4, 6 to 8 ; 6 to 5, and 7 to 5). The play all round was good, but Macgregor's was particularly creditable, as he had only just recovered from a severe illness. The Ladies' All-comers' Singles (Championship) was the next event, and was carried off by Mrs. Quinnell (a member of the Brisbane Club) against Miss Earle. Mrs. Quinnell's ' backhanders ' were much applauded, whilst Miss Earle, with her overhand service, gained a good many points. The score was 6 to 1 and 6 to 0. There were some good ralleys during the sets. The final for the Scratch Pairs was played be- tween Miss Lee and Haughton, and Miss Earle and R. J. Cottell, jun. The former won both sets (6 to 3 and 6 to Ï). Miss Lee won the Ladies' Single Handicap. She owed half thirty, and received two bisques from Miss Burdorff with fifteen. The sets were 4 to 6, 6 to 4, and 6 to 5. In the first set Miss Lee omitted to take her bisques, which probably lost her the set. The court played badly, the balls rising with great uncertainty. Messrs. P. Macgregor and E. Gilligan won the Double Handicap, beating G. D'Arcy and E. Green (6 to 4, 6 to 3). Messrs. Taylor, Wilkinson, and H. C. Henzell were left in for the Single Handicap when we went to press.

A successful tournament has been held by the South Brisbane Club. The winners included Miss Earle, Mr. E. Chancellor, Miss M'Intosh, and Mr. Green ; Messrs. Green and Nagel, and Mr. W. T. Baynes.

The members of the Stanmore Club (founded in 1886) have just brought to a close their first annual tournament. The prizes were about ten pounds in value, and a good number of competitors entered for the various events. The following is a list of the winners :-Championship, L. Deuchar (won by P. Russell in 1888) ; Ladies' Champion- ship, Miss Bruce (won last year by Miss Robin- son) ; Handicap Singles-A. Druce first prize, W. Lake second prize ; Ladies' Singles, Handicap -First prize, Miss Bruce ; second prize, Miss Ryrie; Gentlemen's Doubles (Handicap), T. Deuchar and E. P. Rtissell; Mixed Dotibles (Handicap), Miss Hogg and E. G. Cooper.

In a recent issue of one of the English papers there was an interesting article on lawn tennis in Australia, giving an account of the progress of the game here since its introdriction. Australians are often accused of being too boastful of their own merits, but certainly the writer was much too modest in speaking of 'the best of the players here being mainly indebted to the columns of Pastime and the Field for what little excellence they have attained ;' whilst, on the other hand, it must be admitted that our best men are considerably more than ' half-thirty ' behind first-class English players, which is the somewhat rash guess of the 'Occasional Correspondent' just quoted. He pleads for uniformity of lawn tennis balls, and points out the absurdity of covered balls being used in New South Wales, whilst uncovered balls are the rule in the other colonies. It is to be regretted that there is no Australian Association to settle such points as this, and ensure the game being kept to as high a pitch of excellence as possible.

American journalism is notorious for the personalities it indulges in. Lawn tennis players have hitherto escaped pretty freely. Mr. H. W. Slocum, jun., the Champion of the United States, has, however, lately come in for his share. The following reads almost as if it were a cutting from a sporting contemporary, the circulation of which is said to have increased in a neighbouring colony since its suppression there : ' He was said to be married. He is ; but that has only steadied his play. He was thought to be out of practice ; but that was because he has practised hardest in private !' Roni soit qui mal y pense !

A Melbourne correspondent (E. West, St. Kilda) asks us for an opinion on a very curious point. It appears that he was playing in a tournament in a double event with rather an old racquet, which had not been improved by the rain which had fallen during the day. One of his opponents returned a ball to him with great force, as he was standing on the service line prepared to volley it back. To his horror the gut gave and the ball stuck fast. His opponents stood waiting for the return. He took the ball out, threw it over with his hand, and claimed the point. He had no right to do so in this case, but had he been able to walk up to the net and calmly shake his racquet about until the ball fell out of its own accord without actually being touched, he would, we think, have been perfectly justified in scoring had his adversaries been unable to keep the rally up.

Another knotty point is referred to us from Adelaide. In a double match, A served when it was the turn of his partner B. During the rally B found out the error, and stopped the ball, explaining his reason. The umpire counted A's service as a fault, and told B to continue the ser- vice. The umpire was wrong in considering A's service a fault, since the mistake was discovered before the stroke being played for was actually decided. The rule says, ' If a player serve out of his turn the umpire, as soon as the mistake is discovered by himself, or one of the players, shall direct the player to serve who ought to have served, but all strokes scored, and any stroke served before such discovery is made, shall be reckoned.' Consequently there seems little doubt that B, when ordered to serve, should have been granted both Iiis serves instead of A's fault being taken into consideration.

According to Pastime there is a gradual leaning towards covered courts, of which a large number flourish in England now. It is possible even that some of the more enragés devotees of the covered court game will decide to eschew grass courts altogether. The temptation to do so is less here than in England, where the uncertainly of the weather, and the windy days, often spoil sport. Still there are a great number of bad grass courts in Australia, unlevel, full of holes, and bumpy, and one or two good covered-in courts, with a perfectly level floor, whether of asphalt, cement, or ' composition/ would be most welcome in Melbourne and Sydney.  SPORTS AND PASTIMES. (1889, November 14). Illustrated Sydney News (NSW : 1853 - 1872), p. 9. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article63622228

Memories of Men and Meetings
(By Dr. L. O. S. POIDEVIN.) 
Some of the most pleasant spots among my lawn tennis memories have their setting in and around my experiences of the play of H. L. Doherty (England's, champion player), N. E. Brookes (our own champion of the past), and A. F. Wilding, the champion player of New Zealand. The English player reached the zenith of his career before either of the other two reached their best. I had the great good fortune to see much of Laurie Doherty, or 'Little Do' (pronounced Doe) during his greatest years. Indeed. I saw him win the All-England championship for the first time, in 1902, and also in the four succeeding years, as well as witnessing his many victories in the All-England covered court championships in Davis -Cup contests, and in other lesser events. English opinion regards him as 'the best ever' in the game of lawn tennis — and well it might. 
From the time he won the All-England covered court singles championship, in 1901, until his retirement from championship play, in 1906, he never suffered a reverse in singles. During this period he won the covered court singles championship for sir. years in succession ; the All-England singles championship from 1902 to 1906 inclusive ; the American singles championship on the only occasion on which he competed for it ; every Davis Cup and international singles con test in which he took part, besides every other singles championship for which he competed. ; During the same period he won all the . doubles championships in which he competed, with the exception of one defeat ' in 1902 — the All-England doubles championship with his brother R.F. ; the American championship twice with R.F. (the only two occasions on which he competed) ; the covered court doubles championship (in all he won it for nine 'years in succession, seven times with R.F., and twice with G. W. Hillyard) ; every Davis Cup and other international doubles contest in which he competed. Is it any wonder that in England he is regarded as 'the best ever ?' 
Doherty's supremacy during all that period remained unchallenged in the public mind, and in that of the lawn tennis community. Only once, in 1905, ?when Norman Brookes swept all opposition aside in the championship at Wimbledon, and came through one of the strongest fields that ever competed there, was Little Do's supremacy really challenged. Their meeting in the challenge round was fraught with tremendous interest, but the result was a great disappointment from the Australian standpoint, for Doherty won quite easily in three straight sets. Two of the hardest matches I think I ever saw him play were against Ward and Lamed m a Davis Cup challenge round at Wimbledon. Lamed, who was the champion of America at the time, and who had just previously in the final round beaten both Brookes and Wilding setless, and Ward, champion of America in 1904, were at the very top of their form. In the first of these matches Ward caused a sensation by winning the first two sets, 9-7 and 6-4, by most brilliant play: but from this point to the end of the match the steadiness, accuracy and determination of Doherty pulled the game round. He won the third set 6-1, and the fourth 6-2. A great fight was expected in the final set, but Little Do was too good, running out the victor with a love set. In the second match Larned won the second and third sets, but here again Doherty successfully called up his reserves and won the final set in masterly fashion. The scores were 6-4, 2-6, 6-8, 6-4, 6-2. 

He was a genius with the racket. Very small in stature, and slight in build, he was remarkably restive and quick-footed on the court. As a matter of fact, he won the 100 yards and the high jump at his school— Westminster — before going to Oxford. His service was quite moderate in pace, carrying just enough ordinary cut to bring it down slightlv when nearing the ground, and to keep it fairly low on the bounce. The other main features of his service were its length, which was invariably the maximum either on or witnin a few inches of the service line every time, and its subtle variations in direc tion and speed. There was no appreciable difference between his first and his second. What struck me most about the length of his service was the fact that, as the ball approached you, it seemed certain that it would be a fault; ?when, at the last moment it would dip sufficiently to just clip the chalk line. ( He was remarkably accurate with his ( F-rst service, and comparatively seldom i needed a second. Though his service was quite amiable looking compared ?with those of his American opponents Doherty could follow it into the net and volley his way to victory with the best of them. 

His volleying was magnificently certain and always of masterly length. Overhead he was the surest winner that I have ever seen, and yet his smashing was never severe as regards speed. It was severity and certainty combined as regards length and placing. Nearly everything overhead was a certain winner for him. His ground strokes were excellent as regards length, accuracy and direction on both backhand and fore hand; his passing shots were made with studious certainty and unhurried deadliness. There was not a blemish nor a weak spot in his stroke equipment. So well equipped was he for every emergency that he was equally at home near the net or at the back of the court, and he could therefore play either: a volleying game or a base-line game according to the' needs of the occasion. Generally he favored a judicious combination of the two. He did not rely: on any one aspect of his game for success nor on any novelty in his -methods, nor on any special development of one or another feature of the game, but on the actual perfection of his all-round skill, backed by an unusual development of the lawn tennis instinct. As be comes a champion, he was remarkably quick and intuitive with his interceptions. 

There are other striking characteristics of his play that must be mentioned. He was never in any great hurry, for instance, to win his points, relying on his accuracy to give him time to enable him to outmanoeuvre his opponents, and, again, he never by any chance failed to win the easy ones or anything that gave him a reasonable chance of winning. So sure and so accurate was he with his stroke' play that you had to beat him clean to win four points from him. He always gave the impression of having plenty of re serve, and he proved it whenever it was necessary to put forth a special effort. So sure was he of himself that he would frequently refuse to be drawn into extra effort to get back the seemingly impossible and put up a weak return which in the end was almost sure to be lost, preferring to let such strokes go altogether. This faculty of calling up reserves of skill and giving of the best precisely when it is most needed is, _ of course, characteristic of the champions in all games. 

Doherty's court manners and his temperament were alike ideal. His facial expression on the court, though always pleasant, never gave the slightest clue to his innermost thoughts: he never showed the slightest irritation at the most glaring umpires mistakes. He played the game always quietly, seriously and without the slighest show of ostentation, accepting the successes and reverses of the play with the same good grace and unvarying courtesy to all. He was a charming personality. It is an interesting fact that all the champions in lawn tennis and in other games have a definite personality, though they may be men of seemingly different temperament. There is no dearth of illustrations of the point. Take lawn tennis, cricket and golf. There is an extraordinary temperamental analogy, for instance, between Norman Brookes, MA. Noble and James Braid on the one hand and W T Tilden Clem Hill and Harry Vardon on the other. Silent, thoughtful self-contained individuals the men of the former group, belonging to the dour, determined type of player in their respective games. Brooke-; a master of strength and finesse, an inspiring partner and a most impressive opponent, his sphinx-like features on the court tell you nothing, but he makes you feel that not only is he playing lawn tennis of the highest order, but that he is playing you. On the court cool, calculating and exhibiting always the imperturbality of a K.C., with a readiness of resource in his play and tactics that enables him to give of his best on the great occasion. 

Off the court a genial and kindly personality, with a most generous sense of appreciation of merit in others. M. A. Noble was such another in the game of cricket. At the wicket or in the field a most inspiring comrade and a most thoughtful and determined adversary. When bowling at you it was a case of man against man all the time, as anyone who has experienced that inquiring look of his after every ball, as if reading its effect upon you. With the bat he could be very much what ever the occasion demanded, as deter- j mined a cricketer as the game has known, unruffled when things were go ing wrong and never showing the slightest surprise or exaltation in the moment of victory. Few cricketers have turned the fortunes of their side into the track of victory so frequently and so consistently as he has done. 

James Braid, wonderful golfer in his day, though but little known out here, had the ideal temperament. A big man physically, with a very stout heart, who was always at his best in the last round of the open golf championship. He displayed the same silent, thoughtful demeanor of Brookes and Noble, and his play was characterised by the same dogged perseverance and determination, and the same remarkable self-centred imperturbability. It was vastly different with his rival — Harry Vardon — most brilliant in execution, but rather likely to be upset by trifles. TILDEN AND CLEM HILL. j W. T. Tilden and Clem Hill, in their j respective spheres, are examples of the j mercurial, built-on-springs disposition. Men who play their games with a seeming gaiety of manner expressive of their genial personality, rather than ot their real outlook on the game, which was one of the closest concentration, j They, too, have, displayed the faculty of j calling up their reserves of skill, and of giving of their best precisely when it was needed. Their superlative skill has had the guidance in its application of the right mental attributes. That is the mark of the champion in all games, and in none more so, perhaps, than in lawn tennis. 

H. L. Doherty, in temperament, stood somewhere between these two groups with the same silent, self-contained, determined demeanor of the former. He came nearer to perfection at lawn tennis than any other player I have ever seen. He did not influence the modern game, perhaps, i.e., as regards its development quite as much as some players of inferior skill in other countries, because he did not inaugurate any thing new in methods or strategy. He certainly set a standard of excellence. It is only given to the few, however, to even approximate to the same degree of perfection in technical skill as Laurie Doherty, and then even if the few could so approximate they are not likely to emulate his temperament and personality, which were the final elements in the attainment of his exceptional proficiency any more than any one can successfully imitate our own 'greatest ever' of cricket — Victor Trumper. THE ART OF LAWN TENNIS. (1923, January 5). Arrow (Sydney, NSW : 1916 - 1933), p. 11. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article103540389

Vintage Wooden Tennis Racquets: A Collectors Item As Popular As Summer by A J Guesdon, 2016. 

 Previous Collectors Corner pages:

Blacksmiths and Tinsmiths  Nylon Stockings Poster Art Furphy's Water Cart   Mousehole Anvil  Sapphire One Armed Bandit  Gould's 1840 Single and Compound Microscope  Tibetan Thangka Wheel Of Life Painting  Cast Iron Seats  Mabel Lucie Atwell Prints  The Customs of Traditional Dining by Hans and Jenny Carlborg  Albert Collins Landscape   Boomerang Harmonicas  Drinking: 18th Century Style Part I by H&J Carlborg  Drinking 18th Century Style Part II by H&J Carlborg Fleece Shears  Wood Case Crank Telephone  1803 Timepeice Vintage Guitars  Milestones  No.38 Rolls Royce Motor Oiler  Christmas Postcards  Seashells  McCormick-Deering Horse Drawn Mower  Rope Making Machine  Marilyn Monroe 1955 Calendar  Stubbie Holders  Hill's Hoist  Akubra Hat  Fowler's Bottling Kit The Bold Autographed Script  Fishing Tackle  Arnotts Biscuit Tins  Comic Books  Silver Opium Pipe  Mrs Beetons Book  Souvenir Teaspoons  Bendigo Pottery  Gianelli Figurines  Key Fobs  Model Aircraft-static  Porcelain Slippers Wagon Wheels Rhys Williams Painting  Chinese Guardian Lions Australian Halfpenny  Bud Vases  Rolling Stones Still Life LP Autographed  WL1895 Thinking Monkey  Estee Lauder Ginger Jar  Reel Mowers  Surf Reels Millers Car Collection Hilton Lingerie - Slips Miniature Books of Verse - A Romantic Tradition  REGA Pouring Can  R O Dunlop - Sailing At Itchenor Painting Morning Shadows by C Dudley Wood  The Father of Santa Claus - Xmas 2012  HMS Penguin Anchor at RPAYC - Newport  SS Birubi Mast at RMYC - Broken Bay  Helen B Stirling Ship's Wheel at Club Palm Beach  Woomeras  HMSEndeavour Replica Cannon at RPAYC  The Doug Crane Classic Handmade Double Blade Paddle  HMS BountyWooden Ship Model Collecting Ladies - Ferdinand Von Mueller and Women Botanical Artists  Australian Bark Art  Chinese Ginger Jars  Hand Plough and Jump Stump Plough - Australian Inventions Frank Clune Books  Frederick Metters - Stoves, Windmills, Iron Monger  Trinket Boxes  1933 Wormald Simplex Fire Extinguisher is Pure Brass  Chapman 'Pup' Maine Engines - Chapman and Sherack The Beach Ball  Figureheads Salty Wooden Personifications of Vessels Binnacle at RMYC The Australian Florin - Worth More Than 20 Cents to Collectors  Weathervanes; For Those Passionate About Seeing Which Way the Wind Blows Her Majesty's Theatre 1962 Programme - Luisillo and his Spanish Dance Theatre  Cooper's Sheep Shower Enamel Sign and Simpson's and Sons of Adelaide Jolly Drover Sugar Bowl and English Pottery A Means to Gaze into the Past Chief Joseph and Edward S Curtis; His Images of Native Americans an Inestimable Record of Images and Portrait Photographs His Masters Voice, Old 78'™s and Australia's Love of Music Jack Spurlings 'Tamar' Picture 1923  Resch's Beer Art - A Reflection of Australiana Now Worth Thousands  The Compleat Angler - Izaak Walton's Discourse Inspires Generations of Fishers Portable Ice-Boxes and Coolers “ How Many Claim This Invention as Theirs?  Malley's and Sons Ltd. - A Munificent Australian Family Company  Vintage Paddles and Gigs  Nautical Memorabilia  The Crinoline - a 550 Year Old Fashion  B.B. King - King of the Blues Goes Home: a Timely look into Photographs and Autographs and Being Buyer Aware  Deep Down Among the Coral - By Christopher Corr - A Limited Edition Print in Celebration of the seventy fifth anniversary of QANTAS Airways  Old Chinese Rice Bowls for Marriage: Worth More Than You Think...   Commanderie St. John: An Ancient Wine - From 1927 with Lineage to Cyprus in 1210/92 and Methods of Production to Greece in 800 B.C.  Pittwater Regatta Air Race Trophies: from 1934 and 1935 and The Pilot Who Saved William Hughes  Vintage Brass Mortar and Pestle  1958 Bedford 'D' Truck and GM Holden Australian Made Car Bodies  Heart Padlock Charm Bracelets for Newborns: A Golden Tradition  Marvellous Marbles: An All Ages Preoccupation for Collectors  Antique Silver Fish Servers: Artisans Past  Tuckfield's Bird Cards: to Swap or Collect   Joseph Lyddy – O.B.B. Dubbin Boot Polish