Newsletter 59 - October 2005
REAL/COURT TENNIS SALE
INTRODUCTION: It seems a long time since Newsletter 58 in May, but the hectic four weeks of the peak of the UK tennis season have taken place, mostly in excellent weather, with Federer and Venus taking the two Wimbledon titles. It was an excellent Wimbledon with many great matches. It seems that British interest and success in the men’s division are slipping away from Tim towards Andy, and their respective forms have continued this trend through to the US Open. And the amazing Andre Agassi reached the final of the US Open aged 35!
*** We did a very big trade at The Queen’s Club during the Stella Artois, in unbroken sunshine, with Alan Mills’ autobiography being the top seller, and this trend continued at Eastbourne for the Hastings Direct Ladies’ event; beware the speed camera coming into Eastbourne! It cost me 3 points and £60. Then I went to Wimbledon for my 30th Championships.
*** The 2005 Wimbledon Annual (21) and 2005 Final Edition programmes (23) are here.
*** This was the last Championships for Chief Executive Chris Gorringe, Referee Alan Mills, and Club Secretary Roger Ambrose. These are three of Wimbledon’s stalwarts, all of whom have completed several decades in office, and they will be sorely missed. I wish them well and look forward to working with Ian Ritchie, Andrew Jarrett, and Martin Guntrip. All three leavers will be hard acts to follow!
*** See new titles about Tim Henman (20), Roscoe Tanner (09), Bobby Riggs & Billie Jean King (13), and Tommasi’s “Tennis Record Book” (18).
*** At last (!) The Queen’s Club log-jam looks to be released with the news that the LTA has put the club up for sale. Visit www.queensclubsale.com to have a reality tour of the club and see the various conditions. Forty million pounds is the alleged price, but I think that is likely to be unrealistic. But I could be wrong of course if a trophy buyer steps in to buy it as a huge ego trip. Other than cut the grass, no changes are likely to be allowable.
CHRISTIE’S SOUTH KENSINGTON REAL/COURT TENNIS SALE 17th NOVEMBER
INTRODUCTION TO THE SALE: The entire contents of the fabulous Railing Real/Court Tennis collection will be offered for sale. Established three generations ago in the 1920’s and the 1930’s, the collection consists of an amazing selection of the great classic books, prize presentation rackets in Real/Court Tennis and Rackets/Racquets, Victorian photographs and printed ephemera, and a large range of original prints and engravings. Many of the lots were seen in the Tennis and Rackets Exhibition at The Queen’s Club in 2004, following which enormous interest has been shown in such items. The illustrated catalogue for the Queen’s Club exhibition is still available at £10/$18.
THE BOOKS: Amongst the great titles are Pierre Barcellon’s “Regles et Principes de Paume” (1800) of which only 3 copies are known to survive, and Scaino’s “Trattato del Guioco della Palla” (1555), both estimated at £12000/$22000 to £18000/$33000. In addition there is the exceptionally rare “Traite sur la Connoissance (sic) du Royal Jeu de Paume” (1783) by de Manivieux at £7000/$13000 to £10000/$18500, and Forbet’s “L’utilite qui provient du jeu de la paume au corps et a l’esprit” (1599) at £10000/$18500 to £15000/$27500. Lukin’s “Treatise on Tennis” (1822) at £3000/$5500 to £5000/$9000 is the earliest English language book on Tennis. There are also French (1767) and German (1768) editions of de Garsault’s “L’Art du Paumier Raquetier”. Lawn Tennis is also represented by a Wingfield of 1875 at £3000/$5500 to £5000/$9000. An added attraction to the books is that in many cases, the original purchase invoices are included within the books.
THE RACKETS: The collection includes a number of Victorian prize presentation rackets. There is a Brouaye from Paris, a Rackets/Racquets presentation racket engraved “Senior University Racquet 1858 J.H. Warner Balliol” estimated at £10000/$18500 to £15000/$27500, as well as others.
THE IMAGES: There are very many prints, engravings, etc.; most are framed and glazed. Included are an early engraving of Edmond Barre at Lord’s in 1849 and an aquatint of Raymond Masson, both estimated at £800/$1500 to £1200/$2200. There is an interesting selection of Victorian club and championship photographs, including at Manchester in 1882 and the World Championship match between Latham and Pettitt in 1898, both estimated at £150/$275 to £250/$450. And there is a fine oil titled “A view of the dedans of the Court at Hampton Court” by Jean Clark from 1950.
THE CATALOGUE: The illustrated catalogue (£10) will be available during October at www.christies.com or it can be ordered in advance from Christie’s on +44 (0)207-389-2820, or it can be ordered direct from me. This catalogue will itself become a collectors’ item for the future.
VIEWING: There will be two separate viewing opportunities. The first will take place at Christie’s Paris salerooms from 16th to 21st October, when the major French language titles/items will be exhibited. Viewing at Christie’s South Kensington is from 13th to 17th November.
BIDDING: I will be present at the view and during the auction, and I am available to inspect lots for customers, report on condition and pricing, bid on commission, and make arrangements for payment, clearance and delivery to anywhere in the world. Generally I make a (negotiable) charge of 10% to 15% of hammer price for these services. This is far and away the most significant auction of Real/Court Tennis items that I have experienced in twenty years of dealing, and there are titles in this sale which neither Christie’s nor I have previously seen. For some items this is a once in a lifetime opportunity. If you wish to express an interest in any of these lots, I recommend an early inspection of the catalogue.
Definite qualifiers for the Finals week of the Masters’ Tennis to be played at London’s Royal Albert Hall include Goran Ivanisevic (Wimbledon Champion in 2001 and Davis Cup duty allowing!), John McEnroe (Wimbledon Champion in 1981, 1983 & 1984), and Thomas Muster. For several months, players have been competing on the Delta Tour of Champions, trying to earn sufficient points to qualify them for the grand final in London. With two more rounds still to be played, amongst players who look well placed to qualify are Jim Courier, (last year’s winner), Pat Cash (Wimbledon Champion in 1987), and Cedric Pioline. Other players in the mix and also hoping to qualify include Bruguera, Leconte, Forget, Jarryd, Pernfors, Krajicek, and Sanchez. And once more the hilarious doubles event will include crowd pleasers Mansour Bahrami, Ilie Nastase, and Peter McNamara. The Tennis Bookshop has been present at every one of the nine years this marvellous event has been held. Huge crowds are expected. UK customers will receive a ticket application form with this newsletter. There are two sessions every day; the final session is on Sunday 4th December. Ticket hotline is 0870-458 5582; or visit www.themasterstennis.com
This programme is in the form of a card, overall dimensions being 25cm x 20cm, then folded in half. See the photographs which give good detail. The winner of the Men’s “Single-Handed” Championship (16 players in the draw) was H.F. Lawford who beat Ernest Renshaw in the final, allowing Lawford to be the challenger of the previous year’s winner, William Renshaw. The programme has a contemporary ink note to the effect that Lawford became the champion, as Willie Renshaw could not play the Challenge round owing to tennis elbow. Readers will recall that up to and including 1921, last year’s winner of the men’s singles stood out to allow the others to compete through to a winner who then issued a challenge to the previous year’s winner.
The front of the programme lists the committee, whose members were known then as Stewards, which includes S(pencer) W. Gore, the winner of the first Championships in 1877, H(enry) Jones, and J(ulian) Marshall, both of whom were members of the inaugural Championships Committee back in 1877. The back of the programme has a plan of the ground at Worple Road showing Centre Court in its true position, and there is also a train time-table between Waterloo and Wimbledon.
This programme has been postally used, and there is a pencilled address of the recipient, together with a franking stamp showing the date as July 4 1887. It has not suffered too much in posting and bears only slight scars of age, including some separation at the fold amounting to about 45%.
This item does not appear in the mailed-out edition of Newsletter 59, as it came in after the text had gone to the printer. Please contact me direct if you wish to discuss this rarest of lawn tennis items which dates right back into the very earliest of lawn tennis history.
TWO UNUSUAL WIMBLEDON PROGRAMMES
02: “The Jolly Roger Programme of the International Lawn Tennis Championships” for Monday July 3rd 1933. “The Tennis Collector” magazine’s latest edition has a lengthy article on Wimbledon programmes, and mentions illicit editions masquerading as official publications. Until a few weeks ago I had never seen one of these, but this fascinating item of local private enterprise has just arrived. As a pirate copy, it is well titled the “Jolly Roger”. It is a folded card and inside is the order of play for all courts. I assume these illicit programmes were sold to the crowds out in the street in an age when protectionism as known today would not have been in force. This is a very rare piece of Wimbledon memorabilia. £100/$185
03: “Winning Ugly: Mental Warfare in Tennis, Lessons from a Master” by Brad Gilbert; paperback edition of 1994; 228 pages. At the exhibitions, I sell prodigious quantities of this marvellous motivational coaching book from Brad Gilbert, onetime coach to Andre Agassi who has added a chapter to the book. If you want a “mean attitude” on court, this is the book to provide it. Read and be revitalised! £10/$18
05: A RARE CAVENDISH LAWS OF LAWN TENNIS: All nine editions of this lovely little book called “The Game of Lawn Tennis…with the authorised laws (of the Marylebone and All England Clubs)” can be considered to be rare. This 8th edition of 1888 is in the usual green boards with external gilt lettering, internally marbled boards, and with 62 pages, the page edges gilt. By now Lawn Tennis as we know it was about 14 years old. The books of laws usually came in the large box in which the equipment was sold, but by the early 1880’s, you could buy them separately. This extended book of laws also includes descriptions of the playing equipment, the ground, how two-, three-, and four-handed games are to be played, some playing advice for the various shots, duties of the committee and the referee, how to make a draw-sheet, handicapping, etc. This copy is a little darkened externally but it is clean and tight internally. £475/$875
TENNIS TITLES PUBLISHED IN 2004/2005
Looking back over the last 18 months, I can conclude that tennis fans have been blessed with a well above average quantity and quality of new tennis titles. I hope this trend will continue!
06: “Bad News for McEnroe: Blood, Sweat, and Backhands with John, Jimmy, Ilie, Ivan, Bjorn, and Vitas” by Bill Scanlon; 228 pages in hardboards and dust-jacket. It is apparent from this book that there was a degree of antipathy between the author and McEnroe, as they all toured the world on the circuit, but for lovers of tennis tittle-tattle and locker-room gossip, this book will certainly entertain. £20/$35
08: “Capital Tennis A Memoir” by Allie Ritzenberg”; 210 pages in hardboards and dust-jacket. I visited Allie in Bethesda many years ago and assessed his huge collection of tennis memorabilia, which has now passed into the ownership of the Hall of Fame. As well as running a lovely little tennis club and coaching USA Presidents, he amassed his huge collection over many decades. It was a remarkable museum of tennis. £15/$25
09: “Double Fault: My Rise and Fall and My Road Back” by Roscoe Tanner with Mike Yorkey; 227 pages in hardboards and dust-jacket. From the USA comes this very new title recounting the tennis career of Roscoe and then the rather less entertaining aspect of the last few years and his private life, culminating in a short spell in prison. I prefer to remember his amazing Wimbledon final in 1979 against Bjorn Borg. £20/$35
10: “I’ve Got Your Back” by Brad Gilbert; 217 pages in hardboards and dust-jacket. Part autobiography, part an extension of “Winning Ugly”, this is a book rather like its author, fast, direct and to the point, no prisoners taken. One signed copy at £25/$45; unsigned copies at £15/$25
11: “Jimmy Connors Saved My Life” by Joel Drucker; 276 pages in hardboards and dust-jacket. This is an unusual concept from Joel in which he describes his earliest meeting with JC, and how he followed JC’s career over many years, their two tennis careers occasionally parallel and at other times crossing with dramatic effect. It is therefore partly autobiographical for Joel. £20/$35
12: “Lifting the Covers Alan Mills the Autobiography”; 278 pages in hardboards and dust-jacket. Now retired as Wimbledon Referee after more than 20 momentous years, Alan’s life story has sold very well and it is a most readable story. He recounts many of the fascinating occurrences of his refereeing all the world’s top players in so many countries. Please specify if you want a signed or an unsigned copy, each offered at £20/$35
13: “A Necessary Spectacle: Billie Jean King, Bobby Riggs and the Tennis Match That Leveled the Game” by Selena Roberts; 272 pages in hardboards and dust-jacket. Just published is this excellent overview of Women’s tennis in the 1970’s when Riggs had outraged the women by beating Margaret Court in a challenge. Riggs then bated Billie Jean King until she agreed to play him, but she had a master-plan which allowed her to move Riggs all over the court to ultimate defeat. The book follows BJK in her later personal and tennis endeavours. £20/$35
14: “Mr Nastase the Autobiography, Talented, Tempestuous and Totally Outrageous” by Debbie Beckerman; 384 pages in hardboards and dust-jacket. This is a huge seller, especially at the Royal Albert Hall where he loves signing. But it is also a very good account of the life and times of one of the most charismatic tennis players of the last 40 years. I can now offer copies signed or unsigned at £15/$25
15: “The Player Boris Becker the Autobiography” by Lubenhoff and Sorge; 306 pages in hardboards and dust-jacket. He has been a tennis giant since that first amazing Wimbledon win as a teenager, and he continues to entertain and enthral the crowd in the Masters’ series. This title sells almost as well as Ilie’s book. He spares us little detail! I can still offer a small number of signed copies at £30/$50, or unsigned copies at £15/$25
16: “The Rivals: Chris Evert versus Martina Navratilova” by Johnette Howard; 296 pages in hardboards and dust-jacket. It is good to see a new title about two such great tennis legends, but written after the final curtain on their rivalry has come down, though of course MN continues her doubles career. They first met on court in 1973 and their rivalry continued for another 16 years. The author has written a very readable account of how their lives intertwined on and off the court. This is a book for all tennis fans, not just those of the women’s game. £20/$35
17: “Roma 75 anni dopo…1930-2005” compiled by Ubaldo Scanagatta; 112 pages in paperback. Here is yet another edition of Ubaldo’s fascinating statistical review of the history of the Italian Open. Here are all the results of every match played there since 1930. £15/$25
“Tie-Break: Justine Henin-Hardenne, Tragedy
& Triumph” by Mark Ryan; 225 pages in hardboards
and dust-jacket. Justine has
20: “Tim Henman: England’s Finest” by Simon Felstein; 288 pages in hardboards and dust-jacket. Just published is this unauthorised biography of TH. As unauthorised, it does have limitations with regard to personal interviews, but it is a workmanlike study of England’s best male tennis player of the last 20 years or so. Some great players add their praise to Tim’s status and tennis efforts of the last few years. £18/$30
21: “Wimbledon Annual 2005” by Neil Harman; 160 pages in large format hardboards and dust-jacket. Available (at last!!) is the 2005 edition of the Annual which reports on this year’s Championships on a day-by-day basis. This is the 23rd year of the much collected annual. £22/$40
22: “Wimbledon Facts, Figures & Fun” compiled by Cameron Brown; 96 pages in hardboards and dust-jacket. An amusing and informative distillation of the Wimbledon Compendium. It is a book into which you can dip at random and find many interesting Wimbledon facts £6/$10
23: “Wimbledon 2005 Programme Final Edition”; 128 pages in large format paper covers. Here is the collectors’ edition with every match result . See elsewhere in the newsletter my comments on collecting final editions of the Wimbledon Programme. £9/$15
24: “Wimbledon Ladies Singles Champions 1884-2004” by John Barrett and Alan Little; 134 pages in paperback. This is an updated edition of the book first published in 1984, here reworked where necessary, new text by John Barrett. Available from www.wimbledon.org
25: “You Can Quote Me On That, Greatest Tennis Quips, Insights, and Zingers” compiled by Paul Fein; 270 pages in paper covers. This is a large compendium of amazing and amusing sayings, often at press conferences from famous players, journalists etc. £15/$25
26: “Centre Court Murder” by Bernard Newman; 1st edition of 1951; 303 pages in small format red boards. This is one of a number of tennis novels which for some reason seems to like a good murder at Wimbledon! This is one of the best written by a very well known author, who has inscribed this copy to Capt. B.H. Liddell Hart, himself not only a great tennis player and tennis author but also military historian. £100/$185
28: “Pancho Segura’s Championship Strategy” written with Gladys Heldman; 1st USA large format edition of 1976; 179 pages in hardboards and dust-jacket. I think this was Pancho’s only tennis book in his enormous tennis career spanning five or more decades. He inscribed this copy during this year’s Wimbledon (and not to me!) as follows: “To a fine tennis player. Pancho Segura 06/30/05”. £50/$90
29: “The Queen’s Club Story 1886-1986” by Roy McKelvie; 1st edition of 1986; 306 pages in large format hardboards and dust-jacket. This is an excellent history of the club which is now available for purchase at 40 million pounds! All the many sports played there over the club’s first 100 years are well reviewed and documented with many elderly photographs. All the racket sports are played there now, but football, athletics, cycling and many others were practiced in earlier years. This copy is autographed on their colour photos by Boris Becker and Jimmy Connors. £100/$185
30: “The Game’s the Same” by Brigadier Sir John Smyth Bt, V.C., M.C., M.P.; edition of 1956; 104 pages in hardboards. Jackie Smyth was a great lawn tennis administrator of the period. He wrote several books on tennis including Jean Borotra’s biography. Here is his history and knowledgeable commentary of many of the great tennis happenings he witnessed over so many years. This copy is signed on the front end paper by Jean Borotra, Jacques Brugnon, and Jackie Smyth. The inscription is to celebrate the International Club match played at The Queen’s Club on 23rd and 24th November 1956, and the men’s doubles match won by the French players in 3 sets against D. Coombe and H. Billington. £125/$230
31: “Wimbledon Programme 2000”; this day 1 edition has been very cleanly signed by Pete Sampras and Pat Rafter. These are both difficult autographs to find and they were signed in perfect conditions in the changing rooms at the All England Club. £75/$135
32: “Wimbledon Story” by Norah Gordon Cleather; 1st UK edition of 1947; 231 pages in hardboards. Ms Cleather was a long-time servant of the All England Club. Her major claim to fame is that she ran the Club almost single-handed throughout the years of the 2nd World War, when the Championships were held over, finishing in 1939 and restarting in 1946. During that period, the Club was bombed, pigs ran free in the grounds, and vegetable crops were grown in abundance. This copy is signed on the title page: “To dearest Margaret with love Norah.” £30/$50
33: “Betty Nuthall letter 1927”; a short note written by Betty Nuthall on board Cunard R.M.S. Ascania dated July 10th 1927. She writes to a Mr G.H. Meldrum of the Canadian L.T.A. in Toronto in reply to a request for her autograph. Letterhead bears a vignette of the liner. £100/$185
REAL/COURT TENNIS AND RACKETS/RACQUETS TITLES:
34: “Exhibition of Tennis and Rackets”; illustrated catalogue of The Queen’s Club exhibition in October 2004; 32 pages in paperback. £10/$18
35: “Georgian Court An Estate of the Gilded Age” by M. Christina Geis; 2nd printing of 1991 (1st printing of 1982); 195 pages in large format hardboards and dust-jacket. I had not seen this book previously but managed to obtain some copies of what is a truly fascinating photographic tour of the great Jay Gould’s family estate, where his father, a railroad baron of the late 19th century, built a Court Tennis court for the exclusive use of his son, also called Jay and later to be world Court Tennis champion in 1914 and 1916. The estate is vast and the book tours it in its entirety. But there are two photos in the tennis court and a page or so on Court Tennis and Gould’s achievements. £30/$55
“A History of the Royal Game of Tennis”
by Albert de Luze here translated into English by Sir Richard Hamilton;
1979; 395 pages in large format hardboards and dust-jacket in a blue card
slip-case. This is a splendid history of Tennis, originally written in
French (1933) which describes the development of the game in Europe but
with heavy emphasis on the French game. The book is profusely illustrated
and lists major event results and leading paumiers from the 18th century
onwards. This is in an edition of only 500 numbered copies. £375/$695
38: “Tennis, Rackets, Fives” by Julian Marshall, Major J. Spens, J.A. Arnan Tait; 1st USA edition of 1891; 104 pages in small format and gilt decorated boards. This is the rare USA edition which describes and illustrates these three games, and each is covered by a major writer and exponent of the day. They touch on matters historical, describe the court of play and implements used, the laws of play, and then a few helpful hints for players. Eton and Rugby Fives are also covered. This book is in good tight condition, a little stained on the front board; it lacks a portion of the front end paper measuring 11cm x 5.5cm. But it is a rare book and the deficiency does not in any way impinge upon the text. £475/$875
39: “Tennis with Real Attitude” compiled by Richard Seymour Mead; 64 pages in small format paperback. This is series of very amusing cartoons all satirising the game of Tennis; published as part of the centenary celebrations of the Moreton Morrell Tennis Club. £10/$18
40 “Tom & Jerry Cartoons c1830”. Here are two lovely examples of the famous “Tom and Jerry” cartoons from about 1830, showing our dissolute pair at “A Whistling Shop, Tom & Jerry visiting Logic on board the Fleet”, and then “Logic visiting his old acquaintances on board the Fleet, accompanied by Tom and Jerry to play a Match of Rackets with Sir John Blubber, The fat knight floored!”. These early 19th century depictions of rackets/racquets are also classic pictorial examples of pre-Victorian London. The Fleet was the Debtors’ Prison where early forms of Rackets were first played. This pair, (image 19.5cm x 12.5cm), originally coloured and now matted are offered at £500/$900
ROGER FEDERER PLAYS REAL TENNIS!
41: “Tennis with Real Attitude”. The book was signed by Roger Federer, and by Rob Fahey, who signed “Well played other champ! Rob Fahey”, and by Chris Ronaldson, who signed “See you in 2013”. This book (in perfect condition) is offered for sale at £250/$450
Ned Danby: (born 15 Jan 1913; died 22 Jul 2005). Ned lived to a fine old age. He was the seigneur of Seacourt Tennis Club in Hayling Island, a fine multi-racket sports club where Real Tennis, Rackets, Badminton, Lawn Tennis, and Squash Rackets are all played. Until recent years, he regularly frequented the dedans and club room where he always exuded a warm welcome to all visitors. I recall a number of fascinating chats with him, all about Real Tennis for which he had a passion. He was pleased to see that his sons inherited his passion for the game.
Jeremy Shales: (born 02 Apr 1943; died 08 Sep 2005). Anyone who follows the UK tennis circuit will have seen Jeremy either in the umpire’s chair, or patrolling the outside courts, a cheroot in his mouth and a smile on his face. I have known him for certainly 30 years, and last chatted during this year’s Wimbledon. Jeremy was the chair-umpire on Centre Court when Nastase and Borg were playing a quarter-final. “You call me Mister Nastase” were the famous words Ilie shrieked at Jeremy, and he did thereafter! The Romanian’s outburst changed for ever umpires’ terminology.
WHY NOT COLLECT WIMBLEDON FINAL EDITION PROGRAMMES?
Here is an area presenting collecting opportunities for tennis fans of modest spending ability. Wimbledon has been issuing final edition programmes since the mid-1930’s. My own collection from 1946 gives me much pleasure, as I have at my finger-tips every result of every match during the last 60 years or so. I don’t think that info is available even on the internet. Prices start at £10/$18 for the most modern editions; editions from 1950 onwards cost about £15/$25, and before 1950 about double that. Supply is very limited as only a small number is printed each year, and most are sold on pre-subscription only, though a few are given out over-stamped to stewards and umpires/line-judges on a complimentary basis. Collecting can be done over an extended period to suit your own pocket.
WHY NOT COLLECT WIMBLEDON PLAYER PHOTOCARDS?
And here is another area presenting collecting opportunities for fans of modest spending power. There has been a shop at Wimbledon selling player photocards since the 1920’s. Originally started by Chaplin Jones who were taken over by Edwin Trim & Co, the provision of player photocards for fans was a substantial business, as it gave the fans the chance to take home photos of their favourite players, sometimes even to get them autographed. The photographer used to lurk in the main thoroughfare with a massive camera on a tripod snapping players as they passed. Over the years a huge number of player photocards was produced and these are now very collectable, usually at prices from £15/$25 upwards. Each card is captioned with the player’s name and usually overprinted with the Trim stamp or name. Top players such as Tilden, Lenglen, Cochet, Borotra, Lacoste, Wills, Jacobs, Perry, Austin, von Cramm and many more tend to be the most sought-after, costing £20/$35 or more. Trim also took many views of the Championships both inside and outside the show courts. So collecting can be thematic, women players, men players, or Wimbledon views. I have just discovered a photocard of the Edwin Trim shop! At this moment, I can offer a very large selection of player photocards with dates ranging from the 1920’s to the 1970’s.
42: REAL TENNIS CALENDAR 2006: For the second year there is to be a calendar featuring photographs of thirteen Real Tennis courts. The courts for 2006 are Petworth (at last!!), The Burroughs, Hardwick House, Newmarket & Suffolk, Bristol & Bath, Hyde, Canford, Manchester, Jesmond Dene, The Harbour Club, Falkland Palace, and Fontainebleau., thus one on the front cover and then one for each month. If demand for the 2006 edition is like that for 2005, then 2006 will quickly sell out of stock. I will have it in mid-November and at the Royal Albert Hall. £15/$27
SOME COLLECTABLE AND QUITE UNUSUAL TENNIS ITEMS
44: “Flicker book no. 9”; H.W. Austin; Forehand and Backhand Drives; published by Slazengers in c1936. £45/$80
45: “A German ceramic tile” depicting a male tennis player in raised relief c1910; 10cm x 13.5cm. This is a delightful item which is reminiscent of the circular wall plates seen sometimes. It is free-standing with a built-in stand at the rear. It has a small chip to the rear at the base, and it is somewhat darkened. I have never seen this particular design previously. £135/$250
46: “Lawn Tennis Match Stevengraph” by Thomas Stevens; c1885. I have long wanted to be able to offer the lawn tennis Stevengraph, and after 20 years here is my first example. The scene is a well-known image of a mixed doubles on court, the net fixed with long guy-ropes and pegs. The surrounds of the court include a tiny club-house and there is a number of spectators wandering about while watching. Stevengraphs were made by Thomas Steven in the 1870’s and the 1880’s and are made by tiny stitching on a cloth background. The item is framed and glazed measuring 32cm x 24cm to the edge of the frame, and the actual image measures 14.75cm x 4.75cm. It is very beautiful. £650/$1200
47: “A white metal cigarette case c1910”; a cigarette case with a scene of lawn tennis mixed doubles on the lid in raised relief. This is almost certainly European silver, thus not as fine as English hall-marked silver. It measures 7.5cm x 8cm; The reverse also has raised relief designs of a floral garden. The lawn tennis scene is of a mixed doubles played on a court which is surrounded by a high wire fence and the house is in the distance set on a hill. The interior of the case is nicely gilt. The internal strap is absent but the lid catch works ok. £475/$875
ENGLISH SILVER TENNIS SPOONS each at £25/$45.
48: “A Squash Rackets spoon”, hallmarked Birmingham 1961; measuring 11cm in length, this is the first squash rackets silver spoon that I have seen. The handle is nicely decorated with garlands.
49: “A Lawn Tennis spoon”, hallmarked Birmingham 1948; measuring 11.5cm in length, this spoon shows a man in long trousers at the net ready to play. The stem is nicely decorated, and the the reverse of the finial is engraved “S.P.L.T.C. 1949”.
51: “A set of 6 matching spoons”, all hallmarked Birmingham, l in 1929, 2 in 1930, 1 in 1932, 2 in 1933; measuring 12cm in length, this is a group of 6 identical spoons. The finial shows a male tennis player in long trousers executing a back-hand. The bowls are engraved with “SPLTC”.
52: “The elaborate spoon” at the top of the photo is marked “Sterling”; 1890/1900. Measuring 14.5cm in length, the bowl is intricately engraved with a view of Notre Dame Cathedral in Montreal, so I suspect this to be Canadian silver, thus not strictly English. But it is a very busy spoon with a lovely tennis racket and ball finial and twisted strand stem. The style of the racket suggests a date closer to 1890.
53: “Kinsella Tennis Girl Postcards”; a complete set of the 6 Kinsella postcards showing the girl in amusing situations on court.; c1910. £35/$60
54: “Shooting Stars of 1930” by Wm. T. Tilden 2nd; only edition of 1930; 64 pages in small format paper covers. This is one of Tilden’s rarest publications, being a pictorial review of the players he thought most likely to succeed at Wimbledon 1930. Tilden has selected about 50 of the top players of the world, (male and female), written a short player biog, and then given his own assessment of the player’s strengths and weaknesses with regard to Wimbledon 1930. With each player there is a space for an autograph for the tennis fans to seek out their favourite players. £150/$275
TWO LATE ENTRIES IN THE REAL/COURT TENNIS SECTION
Here are two classic and very rare French language titles, both of which are important and integral parts of the bibliography of Tennis. French titles appeared many years before the first English title of 1822.
56: “Plaisirs & Jeux Depuis les Origines” by Gaston Vuiller; 1st French edition of 1900; 344 pages in very large format paper covers. This is one of the “prettiest” books I have ever traded. It is a detailed history of sport and pastime in France from the earliest times. Its ten chapters are crammed with delightful engravings showing French people enjoying sport. It starts with infant and child pastimes, moves on to rural pursuits, it has a splendid chapter on Paume and ball play, it deals with chess and other board games, croquet etc, and finishes with the newest sport of the day which was motoring. This is a rare title which usually is broken for its multitude of images. This copy is in very good condition, still in most of its original glassine wrapper, some pages remain uncut, and the book is contained in a nicely made book-box. This is a rare acquisition. £975/$1750
ROLAND GARROS OFFICIAL POSTERS 1980 to 2005
After at least two years of fruitless search, I can offer one complete run of all the posters from 1980 to 2005 inclusive for the French Open played at Roland Garros. Each year a modern artist submits designs for the current year’s paperwork used at the French Open. Many famous artists’ work has been used and many can be considered to be if not just modern but futuristic, but each has tennis as its theme. I have had much latent demand for examples of this collectable series of posters, and for the moment priority will be given to a buyer of the whole series. £1500/$2700
A LONG FORGOTTEN PRESS CUTTING
In the darkest recess of one of my old storage boxes, I recently found the following press cutting from the local paper when I lived down in Cornwall. It is dated in 1988 and refers to a Cornwall SRA league squash match. I thought it might bring back some memories for players of most of the racket sports and it remains very apposite for my game of realers.
“The only matched pair was at the 4th string with Alan Chalmers for Bude and Dave Parkinson for Looe. Dave took the first game 9-7, but Alan, drawing on a wealth of experience and the fine art of not running, drew level, and when Alan removed his track-suit bottoms, the writing was on the wall for Looe!”
It looks like this was a match I won! And after over 40 years of competitive racket sports, I am still promoting the fine art of not running!!
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