The Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum collection contains over 15,000 objects that tell the story of lawn tennis as a popular pastime and competitive sport as well as the history of the global sporting phenomenon that is The Lawn Tennis Championships.
The collection began in the 1970s and is constantly growing. Artefacts date from 1555 to the present day and range from lawn tennis equipment to decorative and fine art as well as more unusual items such as tennis-themed toys and teapots.
The collection will be available to search online in the future.
A range of cups, plates, medals and prizes drawn from three centuries. These artefacts are symbols of distinction in tennis from junior victories in county tournaments to the attainment of the sport’s ultimate title: Wimbledon Champion.
Costumes and textiles charting the evolution of tennis dress and the influence of changing fashion trends. The collection includes shorts, shirts, dresses, hats, shoes and accessories by famous fashion houses as well as players-cum-designers, such as Venus Williams who launched her own label, ‘EleVen’ in 2007.
A comprehensive array of artefacts from rackets to rolling machines that illustrate the technological advancements in the game. Major sporting brands are represented such as Slazenger, who have supplied balls to The All England Lawn Tennis Club since 1902.
Accessories for men such as cufflinks, watches and tie pins are included with feminine adornments from necklaces, pins and bracelets to 19th-Century skirt lifters. The treasures in this collection reveal the glamorous side of the sport from the Victorian period to the present.
The Museum holds personal collections of equipment, dress and archive material relating to Wimbledon champions, pioneer players and stars of the court from each generation. This collection is continually updated with new material from competitors on the current professional circuit.
Tennis-themed ceramics, glass and metalwork showcase key aesthetic movements from the late 19th Century and 20th Century. Some of the most beautiful works are the stylised Art Deco figures by designers such as Hagenauer and Priess who took the fluid movements of the 1920s and 1930s tennis players as inspiration.
Exceptional collection of paintings, sculpture and works on paper including cartoons, photographs and prints on the subject of tennis. There are visual representations of players in action as well as individual portraits. Other artworks illustrate the forerunner games to lawn tennis such as rackets and real tennis.
The Museum holds an eclectic mix of tennis-inspired dolls, action figures, soft toys and board games. This includes tennis-themed products from familiar brands like Barbie and Cabbage Patch, as well as player promotional material such as ‘The Fred Perry Wimbledon Game’ released in 1936 by Pepys.
Medals, programmes, clothing and archive material associated with the history of tennis within the Olympic movement. The Olympic tennis event was played at Wimbledon in 1908 and in 2012. The Museum Collection includes much Olympic memorabilia and Librarian Alan Little produced a book on the event.
A wide-ranging collection of ephemera, including advertisements, packaging, tickets and programmes. Victorian invitations for tea and tennis, dinner menus, 1930s Wimbledon parking passes and today’s queue stickers add colour and context to the official history of the game.