Never having played a game in my life, I was gifted the beautiful timber racquet on the right [in the 1950s cross-stitched daisy cover] – by someone who played a great deal. In the 50s and 60s. I was so taken by the hand-made cover [I found a copy of the original pattern on-line] which has a large metal zip opening and a deep red vinyl backing. The racquet and cover have been carefully conserved between their playing life and being gifted to me. I find the whole thing beautiful.
The racquet on the left- in its wonderful original frame press, is a Spalding ‘Gonzales’ signature racquet. There’s a terrific picture of a smiling Gonzales on both sides of the racquet to prove the fact. Spalding racquets were imported into Australia from the 1920s; this one is made from white ash timber. The frame press is also imported: it is marked:
THE SPORTS DEPOT
RICHMOND & CATTERICK CAMP YORKSHIRE
Given all this, I still love the hand-stichted daisy racquet cover the most; despite having learnt a great deal from researching www.tennishistory.com.au.
The two racquets are for sale: $AUD80