BOOKS ON FIVES, RACKETS,
REAL TENNIS; DUSTWRAPPERS; QUOITS.
here to read previous newsletters
The GB Davis Cup defeat by Morocco was a pretty depressing affair, especially
as it seemed to me that Rusedski was not match fit, at least not for a
best of 5-sets singles. On the other hand, it cannot be sensible for any
team to depend on just two players of world class, and both now presumably
in the autumn of their playing years. Other than the Davis Cup, I can’t
think of any tennis competition which requires a player to be exposed
to three 5-sets matches over three consecutive days. It is asking a lot
of any man, especially in the North African sun. Thus GB’s Davis
Cup future now appears at least unsettled in 2004 and at worse it appears
bleak, unless we can be certain to field our top two players, and ensure
they are match-fit for the duration of the tie. Roger Taylor’s dilemma
shows no sign of lessening, especially if Henman or Rusedski is unavailable.
What a bed of nails!
*** As an experiment, I have provided prices of most books in Sterling
and US Dollars, and I remind all clients that I can accept US$ checks
provided they are made payable to “Alan Chalmers”. I have
used a (very) client-friendly rate of £1 is US$1.50
*** Almost all the prodigious quantities of printed ephemera sold from
Newsletter 52, and much of it could have been sold several times. The
philatelic items were very popular once again, and I recommend this section
of tennis collecting as being excellent value for money. Most of the autographed
items sold, though oddly, I still have Colonel Pat Reid’s signed
copy of “The Colditz Story” at £45/$65, and Nicholas
Monsarrat’s signed copy of “The Cruel Sea” (no dw) at
£30/$45, both classics in their own way.
*** I briefly mentioned in Newsletter 52 that I was about to offer a catalogue
of a very large collection of Real Tennis trophies. In fact the entire
collection sold in one lot on virtually day one. I apologise to the many
Real Tennis people and clubs who contacted me about this, but the asking
price was met in just one phone call. I would not be surprised if they
resurfaced in due course!
CHALLENGE AT THE ROYAL ALBERT HALL will be played from Wednesday
3rd to Sunday 7th December. As in previous years, there will be two sessions
each day except for Sunday, which has one session. The two sessions commence
at 1.00pm and 7.30pm, with doors opening about 45 minutes earlier, giving
spectators plenty of time to browse for Christmas presents at The Tennis
Bookshop, which will be in its usual position in the main front lobby
at door 6. Latest information from the organisers tells me that the players
entered for the singles as at mid-October are Bates, Becker, Forget, Korda,
Leconte, McEnroe, Stich, and Wilander. Additionally for the doubles are
Bahrami, Cowan, Lloyd, Nastase, and Pernfors. Thursday evening sees an
exhibition between Henman and Ivanisevic, with Wade and Croft playing
also. UK clients will receive a ticket application form with this newsletter.
Having been there every years since its inception (7 years ago), I can
tell any tennis fan that a session provides exceptional value and entertainment,
plus the chance for a day in London in the build-up to Christmas. So,
bring your wife, husband, children etc, because there is something there
for everybody to enjoy. The ticket line is….…..020-7589-8212
SQUASH: This was held in October at Nottingham’s Albert
Hall, a fine old Methodist meeting house, now mainly used for concerts.
The cream of the world’s professional squash players was in attendance,
both men and women. As an old squash player for some 30 years myself,
and one who has watched the great names such as Barrington, Corby, Zaman,
Hunt, Jahan, etc for the men, and Morgan, McKay, Cogswell, Smith, Marshall,
etc for the women, I then missed the last 20 years of top players preferring
to play Real Tennis. I was therefore thrilled and delighted to watch the
current stars in action from close to the court. The speed, stamina, shot
selection and skill displayed by all the players were outstanding. I exhibited
a large selection of squash books, both hard and soft ball, and there
was much interest. I did not go with high expectations and this turned
out to be a realistic approach. The highlight for me was a long chat with
the ever-green Jonah Barrington, who remains just as inspirational as
he ever was. I congratulate John Beddington on his initiative with the
sponsorship and feel sure that 2004 will produce much larger crowds, as
there will be a much longer lead-in time. The entry however could not
have been bettered.
TENNIS TITLE: And why not? I have never seen a tennis book from
any of the smaller Baltic countries, and so it is a pleasure to see this
very nice paperback with a lovely coloured action shot on the front cover.
by J. Peterson and K. Lasn; 1st edition of 1940; 80 pages in paperback
8vo. This is very good looking book covering virtually every aspect of
the game, including history of the game throughout the centuries, technique,
the history of the game in Estonia, major figures in Estonian tennis,
and all supported with lots of black and white photographs. £75/$110
SIGNED TENNIS BOOKS FROM THREE GREAT TENNIS NAMES:
002: “Borg by Borg”;
1st UK 4to paperback edition of 1980; 72 pages. Heavily illustrated “question
and answer” book about the 5-times Wimbledon champion. Internally
inscribed: “To John , Nancy, Bjorn Borg”. This is an excellent
Borg signature. £70/$100
003: “My Game”
by Lew Hoad; 1st UK edition of 1958; 224 pp; HB in DW small 8vo. The biography
of the great Lewis Alan Hoad, Australian Adonis tennis player, and 2 times
Wimbledon winner. Inscribed internally: “To Susan, My Best Wishes
Lew Hoad”. I visited his tennis camp in October and saw many pieces
of Hoad memorabilia, and a board showing his record. £75/$110
The Story of Eleanor Teach Tennant”; by Nancy Spain; 1st UK edition
of 1953; 112 pp; HB in DW 8vo. Never an easy book to find with such a
good dustwrapper as this one has, here is the story of the prolific tennis
coach who was the guiding force behind Wimbledon singles winners Alice
Marble and Maureen Connolly, as well as many high profile Hollywood film
stars. This copy is inscribed internally: “To my swell gal friend
Mollie, Love Teach 1956”. On close inspection of the dustwrapper,
I note with amusement that Tennant is described as coach to “Alice
Marbles”! What can I add to that? £65/$100
ITEMS: Here are two unusual items related to Suzanne Lenglen.
Does anyone read Hungarian?
es Szerelem”; this appears to be the Hungarian translation
of Suzanne’s great tennis novel “The Love Game” published
in 1928. This copy is in a small pocket-book
edition in paper covers, with a pretty girl on the front cover. £120/$180
Lenglen North-American Tour”; this is the official
souvenir program of what became a rather ill-fated entry to the professional
world. The program is 16 pages in magazine format with articles about
her and many glamour photos. £75/$110
BOOKS ON REAL
TENNIS AND RACKETS: Amongst the following titles are several
which I have not seen for some years. The three volumes set “Fifty
Years of Sport at Oxford, Cambridge, and the Great Public Schools”
is a set which comes very close to the top of my list of all-time handsome
sets, being bound in de luxe red leather, gilt- engraved externally.
Book of Racquets, with Original and Practical Illustrations”
by J.R. Atkins; 1st edition of 1872; 108 pages in highly decorated engraved
hard-boards; small 8vo. This is the prize book on Racquets/Rackets (the
spelling depends on from which side of the Atlantic you come). It is the
only book of the 19th century on the game, and is exceptionally rare.
The front board is a master-piece in the art of book decoration in itself.
The text is a detailed description of the history, the various courts,
the equipment used, and of course playing technique. After Lukin’s
“A Treatise on Tennis” (1822), this is the second book in
the English language on a racket sport, thus a very important title. The
covers are a bit darkened; the book is tight. £2250/$3350
Book for the Racquet & Tennis Club 1950”; members,
byelaws and event winners; 167 pp. £35/$50
Steps to Rackets” by EB Noel & CN Bruce; 1st
edition of 1926; 136 pp; HB small 8vo. This is the only book about Rackets
in the 20th century, though the game is covered in other books on several
racket sports. It is supported by many action photos, and covers history,
equipment, training, technique, tactics, duties of referee etc. Interestingly
I have only now noticed that there is a short section on the literature
of Rackets, a very sparse hunting field if ever I saw one! A nice copy.
Years of Sport at Oxford, Cambridge, and the Great Public Schools”
(Eton, Harrow, and Winchester). This is a set of 3 massive volumes, short
folio size. The first 2 volumes (volume l of 332 pages, volume ll of 325
pages) were published together in 1913, and the third volume about the
public schools (505 pages) came out in 1922. All 3 are bound in heavy
red leather boards, gilt engraved on the spines, the crests of the various
institutions heavily embossed in full colour on the front boards. The
contents are a massive collection of sporting results between Oxford and
Cambridge since results were first recorded, about 1850. Every possible
form of sport is described, with results, photographs of many of the participants,
match reports etc. Obviously Tennis and Rackets feature, as do Rugby,
Football, Hockey, Golf, Field Sports, Boxing, Swimming, and Billiards.
There are very substantial biographical sections at the end of all 3 volume,
detailing every player mentioned in every sport. I really consider this
is the finest and largest source of printed sporting results that I have
ever seen. Postage will be substantial! £475/$700
Choice” by Jeremy Potter; 1989 reprint; HB in DW;
192 pp. Real Tennis novel of murder mystery. £35/$50
Old is the Game of Racquets?” by Robert W. Henderson;
10 pages in large 8vo paperback. I think this is only the
second copy I have seen of this book in 16 years. It is a short but fascinating
examination of how the game of Racquets/Rackets evolved until it became
a recognised game in the 19th century. There are 3 very ancient engravings
of a rudimentary form of the game, and notes on early text references.
In very good condition; a useful addition to a library of Rackets books.
Faber Book of Tennis & Rackets” by Lord Aberdare;
2001 updated and revised edition; 415 pp; large format 4to in DW. I cant
imagine a serious student of Real Tennis or Rackets not already having
a copy of this marvellous book, but here is another opportunity, perhaps
for Christmas. Wherever you play or used to play, it is bound to be here
in the pages somewhere, and it is also the most interesting study of the
two games ever published. It will be THE top source for years to come.
Tennis, and Squash” by Eustace Miles, M.A.,; 1st
UK edition of 1902 in The Isthmian Library; 336 pages; a very thick 8vo
presented in lovely green boards, externally gilt decorated. This is the
first Racket Sports book of the 20th century, which was also published
in the USA in 1903. Miles was a top player in each of these sports, both
in the UK and the USA, where he was pro at the Tuxedo Club. There are
54 photographs and 16 diagrams, demonstrating the various shots. This
is essentially an advanced coaching manual from a man who was one of the
earliest writers on physical preparation for sports. £250/$375
in Nederland tussen 1500 en 1800” by Cees de Bondt;
170 pages in 8vo PB. Two copies of this book sold quickly recently and
here is a third. It tells the story of Le Jeu de Paume as it was played
in Holland. It is meticulously researched and brilliantly illustrated
with many engravings and photographs. Tennis as we know it now was very
popular throughout much of Europe. I look forward to learning about an
English translation, which would broaden its appeal. £40/$60
BOOKS ON FIVES:
I have recently had a couple of requests for books on Fives, which for
those of you who do not know, is a game played almost exclusively in England
at some of the major public schools, hence Eton, Rugby and Winchester
Fives. I have played and thoroughly enjoyed the game. Books on Fives can
be counted on the fingers of two hands. Hands being relevant, as the game
is played by two or four people wearing thick padded glovers with which
they hit the ball in the court, which is rather smaller than a squash
court. I have only seen one book solely on Fives, and that was extracted
from a larger volume of several racket sports.
Illustrated History of Ball Games” by Viney &
Grant; 1st edition of 1978; 210 pp in 8vo; HB in DW. The title says it
all, and there are short sections on Tennis, Rackets and Fives including
a nice engraving of an Eton Fives game. £20/$35
& Rugby Fives”; this is the entire section on
Fives taken from the Lonsdale Library (see item 020 below), c1935; 96
pages 8vo; HB in DW. Although the title does not say it, Winchester Fives
are also covered in some detail. £35/$50
Years of Sport at the Great Public Schools” (Eton,
Harrow & Winchester). Volume lll in the set at item 010 above. There
are sections on all 3 forms of Fives, as well as the Public Schools Rackets
Championships. I would not be willing to separate out Volume lll just
for its Fives content, so it must be sold with Volumes l and ll, as described
above, at £475/$700
of Tennis, Rackets & Fives” written (I am almost
certain) by E.B. Noel; edition of 1912; 48 pp in 12mo hardboards. This
appears to be an official publication of the Tennis, Rackets & Fives
Association. It contains the rules of the Association, and then sections
on each of the title games plus Squash Rackets. Here can be found the
laws of play, how to play three
and four handed games, lists of clubs and courts, and illustrations of
the various courts required for each game, including a fine fold-out plan
of the Tennis court. Eton and Rugby Fives are covered in some 10 pages.
This is very rare title indeed. £350/$500
Squash-Rackets, Tennis, Fives & Badminton”;
The Lonsdale Library 1st edition of 1933; 328 pp; HB in DW 8vo. This large
volume is the logical 1930’s successor to The Badminton Library
of 1890. The five sports are covered as to history, technique, equipment,
courts and great matches. The laws of play are listed and there are many
action photos. In the case of Fives, there are around 85 pages of text
and diagrams of the three types of court, viz. Eton, Rugby and Winchester.
Squash-Rackets, Tennis Fives & Badminton”; as
020 above but no dustwrapper. £25/$35
Lawn Tennis: Rackets: Fives”; The Badminton Library;
1st edition of 1890; 484 pp in pictorial boards small 8vo. Amongst other
things, this is just about the first history on the new game of Lawn Tennis,
and the second book on Rackets of the 19th century. But it also has a
25 pages section on Eton Fives, with engravings, history and technique.
The laws of the game are shown at page 463. Edited by the Duke of Beaufort
(from Badminton House), this is a fine Racket Sports book. £135/$200
Lawn Tennis: Rackets: Fives”; 4th edition of 1897
otherwise as 022 above. £115/$170
“Prudential Tennis Annual 1979”; UK tennis
annual of 192 pages in paperback. £10/$15
Tennis Annuals for 1924 and 1930”; predominately
about the US lawn tennis season. Each at £30/$45
Tennis Association Media Guide 2003”; this is my
last copy. (ATP Guides all sold) £10/$15
MORE INTERESTING AND UNUSUAL PRINTED TENNIS EPHEMERA
TENNIS POSTCARDS: I find that once again I am accumulating
a range of tennis postcards from the early 1900’s. I once had 1200
examples but sold them as a collection, not planning to collect again,
but could not resist those that recently came my way. They are mostly
(but not all) views of tennis clubs and courts, usually stamped with a
message and delivery address on the reverse. I have around 150 at present
and plan to add to that collection occasionally. Whilst I cannot offer
individual details on each card, each is offered at £8/US$12 post
free worldwide, so anyone prepared to take a good risk is invited to contact
me to buy them.
ITEMS: The following items may well appeal to fans of the great
Martina, now considered good enough to be selected at
48 to play Federation Cup for the USA team!
Palace 1992”; this is a staff pass for the Connors
vs Navratilova match played at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas on September
25 1992. This item measures 11cm x 20cm,
and comes with its original chain for wearing round the neck. £35/$50
Palace 1992”; this is a press room pass for the
Connors vs Navratilova match played at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas on
September 25 1992. Measuring 11cm x 20cm,
it comes with its original chain for wearing round the neck. £35/$50
Open 2003”; a special envelope showing Martina Navratilova,
franked at Melbourne 26 Jan 2003. £20/$30
Open 2003”; a special envelope celebrating Martina’s
57th Grand Slam Trophy; franked 26 Jan 2003 £25/$35
Illustrated”; editions for Sep 1983 & Jun 1984;
full page colour photos of Martina on the front covers. £15/$22
TENNIS EVENT PROGRAMMES FROM THE 1930’s: This is
another 1930’s lot of programmes from small UK tennis events on
the Isle of Wight and Hampshire. Not many great names here, but they were
clearly popular tournaments. Issues include Avenue Lawn Tennis Club 1930,
1932, 1934, Sandown Lawn Tennis Club 1930, Shanklin Lawn Tennis Club 1930,
Southdean Sports Club 1934, 1935, 1936, 1937, Southsea Lawn Tennis Club
1934. Eleven editions offered as one lot at £50/$75
“Championnats Internationaux Officiels de Belgique 1930”;
this is a programme from the Belgian Open played (sur terre battue) at
the Royal Leopold Club from the 2nd to the 9th of June 1930. Entries in
the men’s singles include Jean Borotra (winner) and Henri Cochet
(runner-up), and the women’s singles include Mme Mathieu and Miss
Joan Ridley. The programme is of 4 pages in very large 4to, with results
upto the semi-finals printed in. Beyond that round, they are written in
QUOIT or DECK
TENNIS: Now here is an unusual game, quite probably no longer
in existence. On the few occasions that I have heard about this game,
it has always been associated with travel on trans-Atlantic liners, usually
during the 1930’s. If it still exists, no doubt someone will let
me know. It was played on a cut-down tennis court, marked with lines,
usually as a doubles game, wherein a circular piece of rope, known as
a “quoit” and about 8 inches in diameter, was thrown across
a net in such a way as it was intended that those the other side of the
net could not catch it and return it over
the net. Scoring was similar to tennis.
Quoit Tennis, Rules of the Game”; this is a 4 pages
card leaflet, folded to 8vo. The front cover bears a small picture of
the game being played as a mixed doubles;
inside are plans of the court, dimensions, and rules of play. £50/$75
Tennis”; a cigarette card by The Bockal Tobacco
Co, c1930. The image shows 2 men playing the game. £10/$15
ENVELOPES (each item at £10/$15):
“ATP Senior Tour” franked on 25.6.1998, signed
by Henri Leconte.
Legends” with stamps showing Rod Laver and Margaret
Court, franked at Kooyong 24 January 2003.
Legends” with stamps showing Rod Laver franked at
Rockhampton 24 Jan 2003.
Open 2003” showing Daniela Hantuchova, franked at
Melbourne 21 Jan 2003.
Open 2003” showing James Blake, franked at Melbourne
20 Jan 2003.
Open 2003” showing Lleyton Hewitt, franked at Melbourne
20 Jan 2003.
Open 2003” showing Nicolas Escude, franked at Melbourne
18 Jan 2003.
Cup by NEC Final Australia v France” franked at
Melbourne 30 Nov 2001.
Games 1979” in Israel, franked in Jerusalem 23.4.79.
Hopman Cup” Czech Republic team of Novak and Bedanova,
franked at Burswood 4 Jan 2003.
Hopman Cup” United States team of Serena Williams
and James Blake, franked at Burswood 4 Jan 2003.
Tennis Association Centenary” signed by BA Cowan,
franked 22 March 1988.
Hewitt 2001 Year End World #1” franked at Sydney
19 Nov 2001.
Hewitt Wimbledon 2002 Champion” franked at Melbourne
8 Jul 2002.
Hewitt 2002 Champion” franked at Wimbledon 7.7.2003
(shows all his results).
Tennis Centre” franked at Melbourne 11 Jan 1988.
Sports” 5 sports stamps including tennis, franked
at Sydney 17 August 2000.
Sports First Day Cover” franked 12 Jan 1977.
Garros 1928 1978” franked at Roland Garros 28 Mai
1978, signed by Guy Forget.
Williams 2002 Champion” franked at Wimbledon 6.7.2002
(shows all her results).
to the Olympic Games” showing 4 sports including
tennis, and two stamps including tennis, franked at Minneapolis Jul 6
Open 1998” Rafter defeated Philippoussis 3/1, franked
at Melbourne 14 Sep 1998.
Centenary of Lawn Tennis Championships” franked
at the World Table Tennis Championships 12 Jan 1977.
Centenary of Lawn Tennis Championships” franked
at the World Table Tennis Championships 12 Jan 1977, signed by Guy
Centenary of Lawn Tennis Championships” franked
at the World Table Tennis Championships 12 Jan 1977, signed by Ann
2002 Champion Lleyton Hewitt”, franked at Melbourne
8 Jul 2002. 062: “Wimbledon Mens Single Final 2003” Roger
Federer v Mark Philippoussis, franked at
Wimbledon 6 Jul 2003.
Womens Single Final 2003” Serena Williams v Venus
Williams, franked at Wimbledon 5 Jul 2003.
064: “Wimbledon 2003 Gentlemens Champion”
showing Roger Federer and trophy, franked at Wimbledon 6th July 2003.
Olympic Games Torch Relay 2002” showing Venus &
Serena Williams running with torches, franked 8 Dec 2001.
Philatelic Exhibition” in Poland signed at Poznan
by Scott Draper, franked May 7-16 1993.
Philatelic Exhibition” in Poland signed by Jason
Stoltenberg, franked at Poznan May7-16 1993.
Philatelic Exhibition” in Poland signed by Ken Fketcher,
franked at Poznan May 7-16 1993.
“If We Can’t Be The Same Old Sweethearts We’ll Just
Be The Same Old Friends” is the rather soft title
of this lovely example of tennis sheet music, from around 1915.The front
cover shows a shy young girl sitting on a wood bench holding a net-bag
of tennis balls, while her ardent admirer sits beside her, his arm round
her, a tennis racket in his hand. The four pages of music by Jimmie V.
Monaco are accompanied by words by Joe McCarthy. A very nice example of
its type. £25/$35
CARDS: Does anybody collect these? I have packets of Kournikova,
Hewitt and Roddick.
COLLECTABLE DUSTWRAPPERS from the 1920’s and 1930’s
I am led to believe that I bang on (!) about dustwrappers as if it was
a personal crusade. Well, it is! True lovers of books, as am I, will always
want their books in as near as original publication state as they can
find and afford. It gives me enormous pleasure to locate a tennis title
from before 1940, which still has its dustwrapper. Dustwrappers were first
wrapped around books in the 1890’s. You went into a bookshop, bought
your book, around which the bookseller would place a plain wrapper. This
was because booksellers did not use paper or plastic bags at that time,
and, as the air outside was so thick with chimney smoke and other noxious
fumes, which would probably damage or stain the lovely boards on your
new purchase, the temporary dustwrapper would keep your book clean until
you arrived home. Usually, dustwrappers would be discarded. 1908 was the
earliest tennis dustwrapper I have seen; this was brown paper with only
the book title. 1920 was when tennis titles began to be covered in eye-catching
dustwrappers. Looking at other sectors of the book market, it seems that
for the 1920’s, the presence of a dustwrapper can increase the price
of a book by a factor of anything from 3 to 8 times. The following list
of tennis titles consists mostly of 1st editions (unless stated otherwise
and all in very good condition) in hardboards, with decorative dustwrappers
(as described separately; all protected in clear plastic covering).
The following titles will make lovely additions to any tennis literature
Art of Tennis” by Henri Cochet; 1st English edition
of 1936; 182 pages; HB in DW 8vo. Cochet’s book was of course originally
in French, but when it went into English, it became a top coaching title,
such was his charisma. It is illustrated with very many photos of Cochet
and others in action, and several series of freeze-frame demonstrations
of the main shots. The dustwrapper on this book is just a little chipped
at some edges, slightly darkened but otherwise
is complete, in very good condition. £65/$95
Centre Court, and others” by F.R. Burrow; 1937;
312 pp; tall 8vo. Burrow was Referee of the Wimbledon Championships for
many years and also refereed many other smaller events throughout the
UK. The book is also a thorough history of the game from the 1880’s,
which he witnessed at first hand. He was in the thick of tennis and right
there with all the great names of the period, so this is an excellent
study. The dustwrapper is complete, with just a tiny bit of chipping along
the top edge; the spine is darkened. The front cover shows Burrow in a
characteristic pose, cigar alight! £110/$165
Common Sense of Tennis” by Wm. T. Tilden 2d.; 1st
USA edition of 1924; 174 pages in small 8vo. As this very early dustwrapper
says on the front: “Do’s and Don’t’s for the Dub,
Fine Points of Playing Tennis, Fine Points of Watching Tennis, Why Certain
Players Are Better Than Others.” He was a man who was never frightened
to hold off saying what he thought in as succinct a manner as possible,
which is why most of his books are so readable.
First time I have seen this dustwrapper. £125/$185
Years of Lawn Tennis in the United States” by several
authors; 1931; 256 pp; small 4to. Only 3000 copies were printed to celebrate
the Golden Jubilee of the USA game. The book is illustrated with many
full page photos of the stars of the period covered, from Dwight and Sears
to Doeg and Allison, some of whom have contributed chapters of reminiscences.
The dustwrapper is complete if a little sun-faded on the
spine. Internally there is a previous owner’s bookplate.
Lowe on Lawn Tennis” by F. Gordon Lowe; 1924; 208
pp; small 8vo. Here is another mid-1920’s coaching manual, of which
many were written in the years after the end of the Great War, as so many
people wanted to take up the game again. FGL gained much of his playing
and teaching experience abroad, and he was a GB Davis Cup player of note.
His book is nicely illustrated with photos, mostly of himself in rather
antiquated poses! He recounts some interesting personal memories about
matches in which he played and which he watched. This copy has
a very good condition dustwrapper, hardly marked and with a photo
of the author tipped onto the outside of the front cover. £65/$100
to Play Better Tennis” by Ellsworth Vines; 1938;
119 pp; small 8vo. This coaching book is profusely illustrated with action
photos of the great Vines demonstrating the shots. This copy comes in
a pictorial dustwrapper (chipped) with Vines on the front, a small piece
missing from the lower edge. £45/$65
to Play Tennis” by Mercer Beasley; 4th edition revised
of 1937; 174 pp; small 8vo. Illustrated with photos and diagrams, the
famous coach (of Vines, Allison, Parker etc.) writes an authoritative
manual. The dustwrapper is generally chipped at the edges and has an action
photo of Fred Perry. There is a previous
owner’s inscription internally. £35/$50
Tennis A Method of Acquiring Efficiency” by Major
J.C.S. Rendall; 1926; 180 pp; small 8vo. Photographs of the major demonstrating
the shots illustrate this coaching book, which has a comprehensive range
of coaching advice for all ages and standards. The dustwrapper
is highly coloured, with a full-length shot of the author in action. It
is mostly present with small absences at the spine. £85/$130
Tennis Made Easy” by Bunny Austin; 1935; 109 pp;
small 8vo. Bunny told me that he wrote this book in only six weeks, and
to his horror it was printed and published without the services of an
editor, thus it appeared in the shops complete with his original errors!
The dustwrapper is complete, (a little darkened).
It shows him in Art Decco style, serving. £75/$110
Tennis Made Easy” by Bunny Austin; 1935; 109 pp;
small 8vo. This is the USA edition of 078 above, and the dustwrapper is
quite different. Internally the dustwrapper
is price clipped and chipped along the edges. £75/$110
Tennis: The Game of Nations” by Suzanne Lenglen;
1925; 127 pp; small 8vo. This is Suzanne’s famous coaching title,
which sold in huge numbers in the 1920’s, and was translated from
the original French into German, Swedish, and English. There are 8 photos
of Suzanne playing her shots; as she was by far the best player of that
period, her coaching comments were worth reading. The dustwrapper is a
bit worn and chipped, with a half inch piece
missing from the spine. £60/$90
Tennis” by Helen Hull Jacobs; 1933; 220 pp; small
8vo. The great USA player writes an excellent coaching manual, containing
much about other players, male and female. There are photographs of how
to hold the racket, and of players executing their shots. The dustwrapper
is in very good condition with a one-inch tear on the edge of the rear
on Tennis” by Fred Perry; 1936; 158 pp; small 8vo.
This is the first cheap edition of Perry’s popular coaching book
published in year of his third Wimbledon title. He, and some of his illustrious
opponents of the time, are shown in the photographs playing their shots.
This is a handsome dustwrapper, which Perry himself told me years ago
that he had never seen. The dustwrapper is complete (slight top edge wrinkling),
and the slender (and rare) advertising wrap-around
is present. £95/$140
and Doubles” by W.T. Tilden 2d (sic); 1923; 228
pp; small 8vo. As ever, anything by Tilden is likely to be self-praising,
somewhat juvenile in approach and style, outspoken, but above all definitely
a very good read. He covers a huge amount of ground including history,
technique, events, players whom he met, and his forecast for the future.
I have not previously seen the dustwrapper, which is in very good condition,
with one or two small discreet cuts, and a tiny piece absent from the
top of the spine. I rate this as very rare, and it is undeniably an early
tennis dustwrapper. £225/$335
Years of Lawn Tennis” by A. Wallis Myers; 1921;
180 pp; tall 8vo. This is definitely one of the best tennis histories
of the period 1900/1920. Myers was a very competent player himself and
became a great newspaper tennis correspondent. He witnessed most of the
matches he describes, and also recounts his adventures on the French Riviera
and through South Africa. The dustwrapper shows him in a relaxed pose,
pipe in hand; it is darkened and slightly chipped along the top with a
small section absent near the foot of the spine. The book has a slight
easing internally at the front spine section. £110/$165
SOME IDEAS FOR CHRISTMAS PRESENTS FOR THE TENNIS FAN IN YOUR FAMILY!
This section also gives me the opportunity
to wish all my readers a very happy Christmas and a prosperous 2004.
Life with Lew” by Jenny Hoad; large PB edition of
the more intimate side of Lew Hoad’s life, by his wife. £15/$22
2002; 270 pages in paperback. This is the overdue story of John Newcombe
and his tennis career. £15/$22
by John McEnroe in hardboards and dustwrapper; 2002; 346 pages. The controversial
by John McEnroe & James Kaplan; 346 pages; the new paperback edition
of his autobiography. £6/$9
Strangest Matches” by Peter Seddon; 2001 PB edition;
276 pp. Tennis’s oddest & funniest moments. £9/$13
Book of Tennis 2003” by Chris Bowers; large PB edition
full of masses of essential tennis facts & figures. £10/$15
Language of Tennis” by Ossian Shine; 2003 PB edition;
160 pp. The words of tennis and what they mean. £12/$18
Annual 2003” by John Parsons; excellent day-by-day
report of this year’s Championships. £20$30
Serving Through Time”; the recent pictorial book
on exhibits in the Wimbledon Museum. £10/$15
2003 Final Programme” containing all the results
at this year’s Championships, a good souvenir. £6/$9
A VERY EARLY USNLTA OFFICIAL RULES BOOKLET: This rules
booklet is dated 1892, probably the earliest edition I have had from the
United States National Lawn Tennis Association. This small paperback booklet
is of 40 pages, and it contains the list of officers of the Association,
the 52 Laws of Lawn Tennis, the Constitution and By-Laws of the Association,
the list of Member Clubs of the Association, and a list of Fixtures for
1892. It is complete in remarkably good condition. £150/$225
“Games and Sports; being an appendix
for Manly Exercises and Exercises for Ladies; containing the Various In-Door
Games and Sports, the Out-of-Door Games and Sports, Those of the Seasons
&c., and Omitting Only Games of Hazard, and Such Games or Sports as
Are Either Frivolous or Dangerous” by Donald Walker;
edition of 1837. One of the longest titles in the Racket Sports bibliography,
this exciting little book (12mo) details many sports and pastimes of the
English, now no longer existing. Amongst the major sports are Cricket,
Golf, Foot Ball and the Racket Sports of Tennis, Racket (sic), and Long
or Open Tennis. I always regard this book as a major milestone in Lawn
Tennis history, as at page 298 is a full page engraving showing four men
quite clearly playing what we would today recognise as a men’s doubles
at Lawn Tennis in 1837. How can this be when Lawn Tennis was not invented
until 1873? It is clear that several people were experimenting with rudimentary
forms of what became Lawn Tennis as far back as the early 1860’s.
Open or Field Tennis (11 pages) can be traced back to the latter part
of the 18th century. As most of the rules of Lawn Tennis came from Real
Tennis, delineating the court proved a problem, as a Real Tennis court
had side- and end-walls. So when marking out the Open Tennis court, cord
was strung from poles marking the sides and ends, and no ball could be
played outside those lines, unlike today when a player can run wide of
all lines. The (Real) Tennis chapter (40 pages) has a unique on-court
engraving, which I have never seen published elsewhere, and a detailed
court marking diagram. The Racket chapter (3 pages) is also illustrated
with a unique engraving, never published elsewhere. The condition of this
book is definitely not up to my usual high standard of quality in that
both boards are absent, as are the last 2 or 3 pages. The page edges of
this book are all gilt. The book will obviously benefit from a nice leather
rebind and new end papers. This book is what I describe as the missing
link between Real and Lawn Tennis, showing that outside tennis played
on grass existed in England at least 35 years before Wingfield claimed
to have invented it. This book would normally be priced at about £750/$1100.
This copy is offered at £350/$500
AFTER 1945, EACH AT £10/$15: The following are all coaching
titles from 1945 onwards; all are in hardboards in good condition and
in dustwrappers as issued. Dustwrappers are not all perfect but generally
are in good condition. The last time I offered books like this,
I was cleaned out and could have sold them several times.
of Tennis” by Alan Trengove and top pro’s,
Tennis with the World’s Best Players” by Cornel
Talbert’s Weekend Tennis” by Bill Talbert
& Gordon Greer, 1970.
Racquet Sports Player” by HS Fitzgibbon & JN
of Lawn Tennis” by Norman H. Patterson, 1950.
Tennis for the Ordinary Player” by Simon Ramo, 1977.
of Doubles in Tennis” by Talbert & Old, 1957.
the Same” by John Smyth, 1956.
to Play Your Best Tennis All the Time” by Jack Kramer,
Tennis” by Mike Davies, 1962.;
Tennis” by John Olliff, 1950.
Tennis Courtcraft” by N.H. Patterson, 1964.
Tennis for Teachers and Players” by Major T Moss,
Tennis Technique, Training and Tactics” by DW Gresham
& AE Millman, 1953.
Lawn Tennis” by Tony & Joy Mottram, 1957.
on Tennis” by John Olliff, 1948.
Tennis, How to Play Against and with Left-Handers”
by Peter Schwed, 1976.
Way to Tennis Success” by Mark Cox & Dennis
Lawn Tennis This Way” by Angela Buxton, 1958.
Techniques Illustrated” by Wynn Mace, 1952.
Tennis in One Season” by Dr. A.H. Murray, 1961.
Your Head in Tennis” by Harman/Monroe, 1963.
Book of Lawn Tennis” by Gerard Walter, 1958.
The most popular tennis annual of the modern era has been the
excellent and now much lamented “World of Tennis”, which started
life in 1969 as the “BP Yearbook of World Tennis”. John Barrett
edited this marvellous book throughout its 32 years, and tennis fans are
dismayed that nobody came forward to pick up the gauntlet in 2002, when
it became time for John to step down and let someone else take on the
job. It seems inconceivable that tennis cannot justify such a wide-ranging
and informative annual, crammed full of reports and statistics. In 1983,
The All England Club commissioned the publication of the “Official
Championships Annual”, which has been written for all its 20 years
by The Daily Telegraph’s indomitable tennis correspondent, John
Parsons, a man who never seems to let the grass grow under his feet. This
large book takes you through the Championships on a day-by-day basis,
and it is illustrated with dramatic colour photographs supplied by the
cream of tennis photographers. Both annuals
have been passionately collected by tennis fans, most of whom aspire to
own a complete run.
of Tennis Annuals”……………………………………………….each
1974, 1975, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983,
1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996,
1997, 1998, 1999.
Championships Annuals”: 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989,
1992, 1995, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000.……each at £10/$15
Championships Annuals”: I can offer other editions
in small numbers only:
1990, 1994, 2002, 2003 each at £20/$30
1984, 1991, 1993, 1997, 2001 each at £60/$90.
International Lawn Tennis Almanac 1960”; 416 pages
in PB. Only published for 2 years. £15/$22
Tennis Association Handbooks” containing a considerable
quantity of domestic UK tennis information. I have the following 11 years
for sale as one lot: 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988,
1989, 1990. UK post free at £50
125: CAZENOVE LAWN TENNIS CLUB MINUTE BOOKS: This is
an amazing time capsule consisting of four Victorian ledgers, three of
which are the hand-written minutes of the Cazenove Lawn Tennis Club, and
the fourth being the Membership Register. The minute books start at 6th
November 1891, and run seemingly without break right up to 22nd April
1925. The Cazenove LTC was a very small members’ club in London
whose ground moved a couple of times during its life. Each of the Annual
General Meetings and routine Committee Meetings is faithfully recorded
as to date, location, those present and the business transacted. Motions
are properly proposed and seconded, and then voted on in due process.
Matters discussed include social events, the employment of ground staff,
the state of the courts, subscription rates, etc. Most of the Annual General
Meeting minutes are supported by the inclusion in the Minute Book of the
actual notices calling the AGM’s, which are tipped into the minute
books. Also tipped in are copies of the balance sheets as sent round to
club members. and occasional original letters. At October 1893, there
is a programme of musical entertainment to be staged during intervals
at the AGM that year, consisting of solo songs and a violin solo. An example
of the balance sheet presented at the AGM of 1895 shows an annual turnover
of just £70! Inserted in the second minute book is a club rules
and bye-laws card showing the club as being situated at Spring Hill, Upper
Clapton, London E5. There is also a club match fixture list showing the
matches to be played between May 26 and July 31, all matches against two
local lawn tennis clubs. As and when members resign, die or join as news
members, this is all faithfully recorded in the minutes of committee meetings.
In 1915, a copy letter is tipped into the minute book declaring that owing
to a “depletion of our membership, due to the War”, ground
rent can either be paid only by instalments or from the pockets of committee
members. The secretary writes that as the membership fees are already
at a level that could not be further raised, the committee sees no alternative
to dissolution of the club. The ground owners reply that they recognise
the dire financial problems being experienced by such a small club, and
that for the duration of the War, they will accept a lower ground rent
of only £60 per annum. The Membership Register appears to be of
a later date, as it lists members renewing their memberships as late as
1954. I have not been able to trace any club of this name so it is probable
that some time in the 1950’s, it became defunct. This marvellous
quartet of ledgers is a graphic and detailed story of the life, times
and struggles of a tiny Lawn Tennis Club, and should probably be preserved,
presumably in an official archive or tennis museum. Might this appeal
to a private buyer? It should remain in England, but that might not be
the case. £600/$900
TENNIS CLUB HISTORIES: The market in Golf Club histories has
been well established for many years, and there are many hundreds of such
books available, usually published in very small numbers. Tennis Club
histories were, until 15 years ago, rather uncommon. But with many tennis
clubs reaching their centenaries, many such clubs commissioned a leading
member to research and write the club history. A quick study of the Wimbledon
Library Catalogue will show that suddenly, there was an explosion of such
centenary histories, and it is likely that this trend will continue as
more and more tennis clubs all over the world reach 100 years of existence.
This opens up quite an interesting and entertaining
new theme for collectors.
Grace The Story of Grace Park LTC 1889-1989” by
Joseph Johnson ; 210 pp in large 4to. This is the story of a large and
well-known tennis club in Victoria, Australia.
Many famous players have starred there over the years. £35/$50
Centennial History of the Seattle Tennis Club”;
1990; 98 pp in large 4to. West Coast tennis club. £35/$50
Merrion Cricket Club Tennis History 1879-1990”;
32 pp in small PB; sports club in Pennsylvania. £25/$35
First Hundred Years of a Pioneer Tennis Club” by
G Walker; 1984; 108 pp. California Tennis Club. £35/$50
GIBSON, born 25th August 1927, died 28th September 2003. Althea’s
Wimbledon record includes the Ladies’ Singles in 1957 and 1958,
and the Ladies’ Doubles in 1956, 1957 and 1958. Her US Open record
includes the Ladies’ Singles in 1957 and 1958; she won the French
Championships Ladies’ Singles and Doubles in 1956, and the Australian
Ladies’ Doubles in 1957. Much is made of the fact that she was the
first black woman to win at Wimbledon and the US Open, but I suspect not
enough is made of the enormous social hurdles she had to jump to achieve
those great results. Embarrassingly, I find myself out of stock of her
biography called rather tellingly “I Always Wanted to be Somebody”,
an ambition she certainly met. Later, she played some golf and a few exhibition
tennis matches, but recently, it became known she was in poor health and
difficult circumstances financially. I wonder if she was sufficiently
well recognised and rewarded in her own country. I suspect not..
AMES PLIMPTON, born 18th March 1927, died 25th September 2003.
Plimpton’s name may be better known in the USA rather than in Europe.
I only met him once when he came over to Wimbledon some years ago to write
a behind-the-scenes article at Wimbledon for Gene Scott’s magazine
Tennis Week. We had several rain-break chats and he impressed me with
his enormous sporting knowledge and apparent ability to get to the core
of sporting problems. His obituary in The Daily Telegraph told me that
amongst his many talents was that of co-founder of the Paris Review, a
quarterly literary magazine. The amusing article he wrote for that Wimbledon
caused a few ripples, but it could have been worse. He was well over six
feet high and extremely well connected in the USA.
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