Newsletter 53 - November 2003
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INTRODUCTION: 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!

THE HONDA 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

BRITISH OPEN 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.

AN ESTONIAN 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.
001: “Tennis” 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

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
004: “Teach: 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

SUZANNE LENGLEN ITEMS: Here are two unusual items related to Suzanne Lenglen. Does anyone read Hungarian?
005: “Sport 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
006: “Suzanne 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.
007: “The 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
008: “Club Book for the Racquet & Tennis Club 1950”; members, byelaws and event winners; 167 pp. £35/$50
009: “First 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. £225/$340
010: “Fifty 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
011: “Hazard Choice” by Jeremy Potter; 1989 reprint; HB in DW; 192 pp. Real Tennis novel of murder mystery. £35/$50
012: “How 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. £100/$150
013: “J.T. 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. £50/$75
014: “Racquets, 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
015: “Tennis 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.
016: “An 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
017: “Eton & 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
018: “Fifty 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
019: “Handbook 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
020: “Rackets, 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. £65/$95
021: “Rackets, Squash-Rackets, Tennis Fives & Badminton”; as 020 above but no dustwrapper. £25/$35
022: “Tennis: 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
023: “Tennis: Lawn Tennis: Rackets: Fives”; 4th edition of 1897 otherwise as 022 above. £115/$170
024: “Prudential Tennis Annual 1979”; UK tennis annual of 192 pages in paperback. £10/$15
025: “Spalding’s Tennis Annuals for 1924 and 1930”; predominately about the US lawn tennis season. Each at £30/$45
026: “Women’s Tennis Association Media Guide 2003”; this is my last copy. (ATP Guides all sold) £10/$15

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.

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA 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!
027: “Caesars 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
028: “Caesars 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
029: “Australian Open 2003”; a special envelope showing Martina Navratilova, franked at Melbourne 26 Jan 2003. £20/$30
030: “Australian Open 2003”; a special envelope celebrating Martina’s 57th Grand Slam Trophy; franked 26 Jan 2003 £25/$35
031: “Sports Illustrated”; editions for Sep 1983 & Jun 1984; full page colour photos of Martina on the front covers. £15/$22

032: 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

033: “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 pencil. £65/$95

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.
034: “Edwards 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
035: “Deck Tennis”; a cigarette card by The Bockal Tobacco Co, c1930. The image shows 2 men playing the game. £10/$15

TENNIS STAMPED ENVELOPES (each item at £10/$15):
036: “ATP Senior Tour” franked on 25.6.1998, signed by Henri Leconte.
037: “Australian Legends” with stamps showing Rod Laver and Margaret Court, franked at Kooyong 24 January 2003.
038: “Australian Legends” with stamps showing Rod Laver franked at Rockhampton 24 Jan 2003.
039: “Australian Open 2003” showing Daniela Hantuchova, franked at Melbourne 21 Jan 2003.
040: “Australian Open 2003” showing James Blake, franked at Melbourne 20 Jan 2003.
041: “Australian Open 2003” showing Lleyton Hewitt, franked at Melbourne 20 Jan 2003.
042: “Australian Open 2003” showing Nicolas Escude, franked at Melbourne 18 Jan 2003.
043: “Davis Cup by NEC Final Australia v France” franked at Melbourne 30 Nov 2001.
044: “Hapoel Games 1979” in Israel, franked in Jerusalem 23.4.79.
045: “Hyundai Hopman Cup” Czech Republic team of Novak and Bedanova, franked at Burswood 4 Jan 2003.
046: “Hyundai Hopman Cup” United States team of Serena Williams and James Blake, franked at Burswood 4 Jan 2003.
047: “Lawn Tennis Association Centenary” signed by BA Cowan, franked 22 March 1988.
048: “Lleyton Hewitt 2001 Year End World #1” franked at Sydney 19 Nov 2001.
049: “Lleyton Hewitt Wimbledon 2002 Champion” franked at Melbourne 8 Jul 2002.
050: “Lleyton Hewitt 2002 Champion” franked at Wimbledon 7.7.2003 (shows all his results).
051: “National Tennis Centre” franked at Melbourne 11 Jan 1988.
052. “Olympic Sports” 5 sports stamps including tennis, franked at Sydney 17 August 2000.
053: “Racket Sports First Day Cover” franked 12 Jan 1977.
054: “Roland Garros 1928 1978” franked at Roland Garros 28 Mai 1978, signed by Guy Forget.
055: “Serena Williams 2002 Champion” franked at Wimbledon 6.7.2002 (shows all her results).
056: “Tribute to the Olympic Games” showing 4 sports including tennis, and two stamps including tennis, franked at Minneapolis Jul 6 1990.
057: “U.S. Open 1998” Rafter defeated Philippoussis 3/1, franked at Melbourne 14 Sep 1998.
058: “Wimbledon Centenary of Lawn Tennis Championships” franked at the World Table Tennis Championships 12 Jan 1977.
059: “Wimbledon Centenary of Lawn Tennis Championships” franked at the World Table Tennis Championships 12 Jan 1977, signed by Guy Forget.
060: “Wimbledon Centenary of Lawn Tennis Championships” franked at the World Table Tennis Championships 12 Jan 1977, signed by Ann Jones.
061: “Wimbledon 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.
063: “Wimbledon 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.
065: “Winter Olympic Games Torch Relay 2002” showing Venus & Serena Williams running with torches, franked 8 Dec 2001.
066: “World Philatelic Exhibition” in Poland signed at Poznan by Scott Draper, franked May 7-16 1993.
067: “World Philatelic Exhibition” in Poland signed by Jason Stoltenberg, franked at Poznan May7-16 1993.
068: “World Philatelic Exhibition” in Poland signed by Ken Fketcher, franked at Poznan May 7-16 1993.

069: “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

NETPRO TRADING 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 collection.
070: “The 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
071: “The 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
072: “The 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
073: “Fifty 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. £150/$225
074: “Gordon 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
075: “How 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
076: “How 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
077: “Lawn 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
078: “Lawn 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
079: “Lawn 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
080: “Lawn 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
081: “Modern 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 section. £80/$120
082: “Perry 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
083: “Singles 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
084: “Twenty 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

This section also gives me the opportunity to wish all my readers a very happy Christmas and a prosperous 2004.
085: “My Life with Lew” by Jenny Hoad; large PB edition of the more intimate side of Lew Hoad’s life, by his wife. £15/$22
086: “Newk”; 2002; 270 pages in paperback. This is the overdue story of John Newcombe and his tennis career. £15/$22
087: “Serious” by John McEnroe in hardboards and dustwrapper; 2002; 346 pages. The controversial autobiography. £10/$15
088: “Serious” by John McEnroe & James Kaplan; 346 pages; the new paperback edition of his autobiography. £6/$9
089: “Tennis’s Strangest Matches” by Peter Seddon; 2001 PB edition; 276 pp. Tennis’s oddest & funniest moments. £9/$13
090: “The Book of Tennis 2003” by Chris Bowers; large PB edition full of masses of essential tennis facts & figures. £10/$15
091: “The Language of Tennis” by Ossian Shine; 2003 PB edition; 160 pp. The words of tennis and what they mean. £12/$18
092: “Wimbledon Annual 2003” by John Parsons; excellent day-by-day report of this year’s Championships. £20$30
093: “Wimbledon Serving Through Time”; the recent pictorial book on exhibits in the Wimbledon Museum. £10/$15
094: “Wimbledon 2003 Final Programme” containing all the results at this year’s Championships, a good souvenir. £6/$9

095: 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

096: “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

COACHING TITLES 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.
097: “Art of Tennis” by Alan Trengove and top pro’s, 1964.
098: “Better Tennis with the World’s Best Players” by Cornel Lumiere, 1963.
099: “Bill Talbert’s Weekend Tennis” by Bill Talbert & Gordon Greer, 1970.
100: “Complete Racquet Sports Player” by HS Fitzgibbon & JN Bairstow, 1979.
101: “Elements of Lawn Tennis” by Norman H. Patterson, 1950.
102: “Extraordinary Tennis for the Ordinary Player” by Simon Ramo, 1977.
103: “Game of Doubles in Tennis” by Talbert & Old, 1957.
104: “Game’s the Same” by John Smyth, 1956.
105: “How to Play Your Best Tennis All the Time” by Jack Kramer, 1977.
106: “Lawn Tennis” by Mike Davies, 1962.;
107: “Lawn Tennis” by John Olliff, 1950.
108: “Lawn Tennis Courtcraft” by N.H. Patterson, 1964.
109: “Lawn Tennis for Teachers and Players” by Major T Moss, 1949.
110: “Lawn Tennis Technique, Training and Tactics” by DW Gresham & AE Millman, 1953.
111: “Modern Lawn Tennis” by Tony & Joy Mottram, 1957.
112: “Olliff on Tennis” by John Olliff, 1948.
113: “Sinister Tennis, How to Play Against and with Left-Handers” by Peter Schwed, 1976.
114: “Swedish Way to Tennis Success” by Mark Cox & Dennis Gould, 1990.
115: “Tackle Lawn Tennis This Way” by Angela Buxton, 1958.
116: “Tennis Techniques Illustrated” by Wynn Mace, 1952.
117: “Tiger Tennis in One Season” by Dr. A.H. Murray, 1961.
118: “Use Your Head in Tennis” by Harman/Monroe, 1963.
119: “Your Book of Lawn Tennis” by Gerard Walter, 1958.

TENNIS ANNUALS: 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.
120: “World of Tennis Annuals”……………………………………………….each at £10/$15
1974, 1975, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999.
121: “Wimbledon Championships Annuals”: 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1992, 1995, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000.……each at £10/$15
122: “Wimbledon 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.
123: “Dawson’s International Lawn Tennis Almanac 1960”; 416 pages in PB. Only published for 2 years. £15/$22
124: “Lawn 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

COLLECTABLE 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.
126: “Amazing 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
127: “A Centennial History of the Seattle Tennis Club”; 1990; 98 pp in large 4to. West Coast tennis club. £35/$50
128: “The Merrion Cricket Club Tennis History 1879-1990”; 32 pp in small PB; sports club in Pennsylvania. £25/$35
129: “The First Hundred Years of a Pioneer Tennis Club” by G Walker; 1984; 108 pp. California Tennis Club. £35/$50

FAREWELL ALTHEA 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..

FAREWELL GEORGE 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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