27 Sep. 1981|
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Some of the objects in Dan White’s collection include this custom pair of rotating wood carousels to display his collection of vintage wood tennis rackets. There are many ways to collect wooden tennis rackets, from antique rackets (about 1860-1920), to the player-endorsed wood rackets, which ended in the early 1980s after powerful composite rackets replaced its wooden counterpart. Within these collections are “junior” models, racket head covers and presses, and tennis balls. An even more challenging subset of player endorsed rackets is the player endorsed photo decal models of which both the player’s name and photo appeared on the racket. Since I started my collection of photo decal rackets, I have obtained 40 of the 80 players – the last 40 are getting very hard to find. The good news is that there is still plenty of wood rackets from the 1900s and more coming available as attics and garages are cleaned out. New rackets can still be found unused and in the original packaging, such as this Don Budge model with matching tennis ball. For example, I recently found a German racket endorsed by Hans Nusslein, whom I had never heard of. My rare and most valuable rackets are in glass-covered shadow boxes hanging on the walls (these tend to be of the antique vintage), and my favorite player endorsed rackets are on a beautiful wood rotating carousel of my design (the “RacketRack”) holding up to 96 rackets each.
19th Century Tennis Dresser Box, 5" x 14" box would have housed gloves, brushes, etc., and has an early tennis scene on the fabric lid, EX-MT.
Beginning in the 1880s, the sport of tennis began to emerge and, by 1920 the sport saw a surge in patent applications for racket designs, construction techniques, stringing, presses and balls.
To the collector’s delight, there are a great number of new rackets still in the original packaging that can be had — after all the condition of the racket is important to its value. I know some serious collectors who have spent half a lifetime collecting photo decal rackets.
The main producers of endorsed rackets included Wilson, Bancroft, Slazenger, Chemold, Regent, Spalding, Dunlop, Wright & Ditson and MacGregor.
I have seen rackets sell for more than $5,000, although these are so rare that only a few exist in the world. There are dealers who sell rackets as well as other tennis memorabilia and they are looking to sell at top dollar. I have been successful in getting many of these players to sign my rackets at charity tennis events where these long-retired players show up for fundraisers. He is a publisher and editor of a professional trade magazine and an avid tennis fan and player. This incredible vintage tennis item comes in the form of a wooden box that back in 1888, held a complete lawn tennis kit. This fine antique racket is endorsed by Richard Sears the legendary US Singles Champion from 1881 to 1887.
This exquisite desk accent features a "pivoting" racket upon a hand painted, metal base to hold or clip your most important papers, a scarce and beautiful, early tennis item, EX-MT. 1894 Seamless Tennis Ball, amazingly this ball is still perfectly spherical and retains its original cloth cover, EX.
Inscibed on the trophy is Hunting Valley - Mixed Doubles - TENNIS - tournament - 1935 - Linda B. These racquets are examples of some of the most popular rackets from the 1895 to 1925 era including models from Wright & Ditson, Spalding, Kent, Horsman and a few other manufactures. Provides hints on dating and buying antique rackets Covers a wide range of tennis memorabilia,including rackets, presses, silver, ceramics, art, books, and ephemera Provides essential information for dealers and collectors, beginning to advanced.
One could focus on just the odd rackets, while others strive to collect all the player-endorsed rackets of which include more than 200 players (some players endorsed as many as 20 or more different models). It’s believed at least 80 rackets feature players or non-tennis players such as Joe Namath (football player), Hugh Forgie (badminton champion) and one is even a sports mogul’s daughter Ellen Renwal (her real name was Lawner – Renwal spelled backward).
On any given day, there are more than 200 wood rackets for sale on eBay, a quick way to acquire the more common rackets still available at good prices.
I have autographed rackets, including Billie Jean King, Bjorn Borg, John McEnroe, Chris Evert, Jimmy Connors and Martina Navratilova, just to name a few. He was a teaching pro in California and played tennis for Florida Atlantic University in the early 1970s. Most likely it would have included two or four rackets, the net, the posts and stakes to assemble the net, and possibly a few lawn tennis balls. They were manufactured by Keds and the inside of each shoe features a great tennis racket logo.
These Harvard model rackets were made to very high quality standards and made to be sold exclusively by Sears, Roebuck & Co.
The 1940s through the 1980s marked the modern era of the wood racket with some very well-designed and well-constructed rackets produced, not to mention the volume of rackets produced during the tennis boom of the 1970s. He is a member of the Tennis Collectors of America and the International Tennis Hall of Fame and Museum in Newport, Rhode Island. They are a fantastic antique tennis collectible and incredibly rare in this stunning NR-MT to MINT condition!
Horsman was a fine early racket maker of high quality and prized racquets and stopped productions in the early 1900's. This vintage tennis trophy measures 12 inches tall and features ornate detailing on the handles and the rim of the top and bottom.
Horseman was based in New York City and was the first American maker of lawn tennis equipment.