Newsletter 54 - February 2004
A TILDEN LETTER; ATP/WTA PLAYER GUIDE; NASTASE, BECKER, GERULAITIS BIOGS; A SCAINO
INTRODUCTION: An interesting international tennis season
in 2004 looks to be on the cards, especially in the women’s game,
with both Williams sisters having had extended injury breaks since Wimbledon.
Those two exciting Belgian women seem to be the ones to beat at present.
How can someone so small at Justine Henin hit the ball so hard? Martina
has signalled that 2004 is to be her last year!
BOOKS ON TENNIS (Real/Court) (see also item 90)
“TRATTATO DEL GIUOCO DELLA PALLA”
by Antonio Scaino da Salo; 1555. Known in the several English language
translations as “Scaino on Tennis”, this is the foundation
book not only on Tennis but also on Athletic (as opposed to Field) Sports.
The book has 6 wood engravings showing the lay-out of the medieval tennis
court and the playing equipment of the period. I have been made aware
that Christie’s of London will be offering a very nice copy in contemporary
vellum covers in their book sale on March 3rd. This book is the icing
on the cake of any great tennis library, and would probably appeal more
to an institution rather than a private client. I am available to inspect
and advise on the book when it is viewable, and can act in bidding, clearing
and delivery worldwide. Pre-sale estimates are £4000/$7500 to £6000/$11100,
but realistically, a buyer should expect to pay well over £10,000/$18500
02: “TRAITE SUR LA CONNAISSANCE DE LA ROYAL JEU DE PAUME” (sic) by de Manivieux; first published in Neuchatel in 1783. This book is so rare that even I have never seen a copy! But at last it has been translated into English and will be published shortly. It is one of the most important books on Tennis, and describes in some detail the state of the game as at the latter part of the 18th century, with obvious heavy emphasis on the game in France. The author was a player himself. The book will be published in a small print run of about 200 standard edition copies and 50 de luxe limited edition copies. I am now taking reserved orders. Prices are still to be finalised, and publication is expected within the next 3 or 4 months. Please do not delay your ordering, as this very desirable book will sell quickly.
03: “The Annals of Tennis” by Julian Marshall; facsimile edition of 1973; 226 pp in large 8vo format, the green boards beautifully decorated externally with chased-in gilt and black linear engraving, with two crossed gilt tennis rackets over three balls. I have traded several originals from 1878 but this facsimile is an excellent substitute, and virtually indistinguishable from an original. The book itself is the great 19th century classic on Tennis, written as the game was beginning to decline in popularity after centuries of expansion. This is a first class history of Tennis, both in Britain and Europe. Unusually I have 3 copies, so these are offered at the lower price of £110/$190
04: “De Kaatsvereniging Jan Bogststra Honderd Jaar 1893-1993” by W. Hiddema; 1993; 239 pp in large 8vo, pictorial boards. My Dutch is not much better than my Estonian was in Newsletter 53! But this book is a history of a Dutch Kaatspell club, being a branch of Le Jeu de Paume, a demonstration sport in the Amsterdam Olympics, and a game still played today. It is profusely illustrated with historical photographs of matches and great performers of the 100 years of the club’s life. £75/$125
05: “Pierre’s Book: the Game of Court Tennis” by Pierre Etchebaster; 1st USA edition of 1971; 79 pp; 4to HB in DW. To today’s Tennis players, especially if literature minded, this book should need no introduction. It is partly an excellent coaching manual and partly a tribute from his adversaries to one of the greatest Paumiers of the 20th century. He was World Champion for some 25 years before retiring undefeated. I read somewhere that, allegedly, Pierre did not hit the penthouse once in 21 years, unlike myself whose ball seems to live there! This copy is beautifully dedicated and inscribed by Pierre in his distinctive hand-writing and dated Sept. 20 1974. £210/$350
06: “Tennis & Rackets Association Annual Reports”. Members of the T & RA will be well used to receiving this substantial and highly informative annual report. The global contents include contact details for all Real Tennis and Rackets courts/clubs, reports and results on just about every Real Tennis and Rackets competition played in the previous year, (many illustrated with action or presentation photographs), and a full list of all members of the T & RA. Recent editions, which are in large paperback 4to format, run to around 125 pages. Offered here is a broken run for the following seasons: 1983-84, 1986-87, 1989-90, 1990-91, 1991-92, 1992-93, 1993-94, 1994-95, 1996-97, 1997-98, 1998-99, 1999-2000, 2001-02. The 13 editions, plus a few Spring newsletters are offered at £30/$50
07: “Theatre des Bons Engins (Le)” by Guillaume de la Perriere. This is the 1978 facsimile edition of the 1539 original Emblem book by Perriere, in which the emblems at pages 20 and 92 show scenes of ball play and tennis; a book for the purist Tennis collector! £150/$250
08: “Two Centuries of Real Tennis” by John Shneerson; 1st edition of 1997; 86 pp; 8vo HB in DW. This is the pleasing story of the restoration of the old Real Tennis court in Newmarket (Suffolk, England), used for many years as a garage repair shop, and brought back into full use as a Tennis court in the mid 1990’s. This is copy 31 of a limited edition of 50 Library copies, each of which is signed by the author. Internally, it has marbled boards and all page edges are gilt. There is also a list of subscribers to the Library edition. £100/$175
09: “OFFICIAL (ATP/WTA) GUIDE TO PROFESSIONAL TENNIS 2004”; formerly known as the two separate ATP and WTA Player Guides, for 2004 they are now combined into one substantial book of 800 pages, weighing a hefty 1.5Kg. Published on a “flip-over” basis, at one end are the men, turn it over and at the other end are the women. It has all the usual information including player biographies, ranking lists etc. Mailing costs are quite high, but there is still a good over-all saving on previous years when two books had to be bought. This huge book is available now; the cost including postage is as follows: UK/Europe £30/$50, World-wide air £35/$60
TITLES DUE FOR PUBLICATION IN 2004;
NEW TITLES; RECENT TITLES
10: “Advantage Becker” by Robert Lubenoff; 1st German edition of 1997; 161 pp in large 4to in pictorial boards. This book has superb colour photographs make this a thoroughly enjoyable study of the Beckers in both their private and public lives. £25/$40
11: “Boris” by Gunther Bosch; 1st German edition of 1986; 240 pp; 4to HB in DW. This large book was written by his coach and mentor at the time to celebrate Becker’s Wimbledon Championship. It is beautifully illustrated with a large number of colour photographs, mostly of his tennis, but some off-court views also. The English language version is at number 12 below. £25/$40
12: “Boris” by Gunther Bosch; 1st English language edition of 11 above; 192 pp in large 4to PB. £20/$35
13: “Boris B.” edited by Herbert Riehl-Heyse; German PB edition of 1994; 256 pp. This is a series of personal commentaries about Becker and his tennis by experienced German tennis observers. The book is illustrated with colour photographs. £15/$25
14: “Wimbledon Order-of-play card for Tuesday 25th June 2002”; signed beautifully by Boris Becker. £50/$85
NEW TITLES: The following list details some recent publications on Tennis and Squash, as well as a few titles that have been around for a few years but which I continue to feel should be a part of any Racket Sports library.
15: “Book of Tennis Rackets”: Siggy Kuebler has published a 92 page updated supplement to his fine work on tennis rackets. With over 200 photos, mostly colour, and in soft covers, this is now available at £25/$42. If ordering with the main book, the joint price is £65/$110
16: “Khans Unlimited: A History of Squash in Pakistan” by Dicky Rutnagur; 1997; 214 pp in small 4to; HB in DW. Although this book was published some years ago (in Pakistan), I have only just caught up with it. I enjoyed my few days at Nottingham in October during the British Open Squash Championships during which time I had several chats with Dicky. He has reported on Squash and Cricket for The Daily Telegraph for some 40 years, and this splendid history of Pakistan squash is a delight for all squash fans. £20/$35
17: “On Being John McEnroe” by Tim Adams; 144 pages in small format hardboards and DW. The front cover tells us: “Tim Adams sets out to explore what it might have meant to be John McEnroe during those (early) times, and in his subsequent lives, and to define exactly what it is we want from our sporting heroes.” I would guess this is not an authorised book and it is not illustrated. £10/$17
18: “Racket Sports Collectibles” by Bob Everitt; 2002; 304 pp in large format hardboards and DW. Out now for over a year, this massive source of information on all types of racket sports collectibles continues to sell well. Collectibles covered include Books, Magazines, Programmes, Ephemera, Games, Cigarette and Postcards, Equipment, Ceramics and Glass, Silver and Metalware, and Jewellery. Each of the more than 1000 colour photographs is supported by a descriptive text, including source and date of manufacture, size, and suggested current market value. I cannot imagine that any serious tennis collector can exist without this marvellous book. £50/$85
19: “Roots of Tennis in Japan (The): A Biographical Study of Masanosuke Fukuda” by Kuniko Okada; 2002; 208 pp in small 8vo and DW. This book (in Japanese) is a study of the life of Fukuda, a great Japanese player of the 1920’s during which time he played Davis Cup, and later became a tennis writer and mentor of modern tennis in Japan. £20/$35
20: “The Server” by Spencer Vignes; 1st PB edition of 2003; 268 pp. I have read it and is rather good fun. Vignes takes it upon himself to travel the length of England with his tennis racket and balls and tries to have a hit on every court he passes. This leads to all sorts of adventures, mostly quite amusing, including an exchange of correspondence with the All England Club, following Vignes request for a hit, not on Centre Court! Eventually he stands out in Somerset Road and skies a ball over the wall to hit Number 2 court. He continues up country, hitting on the Henman’s court, and recounting many amusing conversations with puzzled tennis players. £8/$15
21: “Squash: A History of the Game” by James Zug; 1st edition of 2003; 368 pp; 8vo HB in DW. This is most upto date history of squash, with an excellent early history, and then how the hard and soft ball games appeared along side each other in the early 1900’s. Thereafter it concentrates more on the USA version and recounts in great detail the stories of the leading players, the major events, the clubs etc. Now it seems that most of the USA has gone over to the soft-ball version with international dimension courts. £25/$40
22: “Tennis Confidential: Today’s Greatest Players, Matches, and Controversies” by Paul Fein; 1st edition 2002; 319 pp 8vo; HB in DW. This wide-ranging study of competitive tennis, mostly during the last 15 years, is a series of essays about great modern players and their lives. The book is interspersed with a myriad of “Fascinating Facts” and is surely one of the top Tour books of the moment. £25/$40
23: “Tennis Fashion” by Diane Elisabeth Poirier; 80 pp; 8vo in DW. Frankly, this is not as detailed and as comprehensive as I expected or hoped it would be. There are some nice colour photographs of early tennis costumes, but the subject deserved a much deeper study. There are, after all, several tennis museums with lovely examples of tennis costumes. 1 copy only at £15/$25
24: “US Open 2003 Program Inserts”. The US Open does not print a daily updated programme as does Wimbledon. Instead, they publish a large magazine and issue daily updated inserts. I am offering here two such inserts for 2003, the first being a special 4 page “Tribute to Pete Sampras”, issued on Opening Night (August 25) which was the day he was feted by the fans at the National Tennis Center. With this special issue is also the insert for finals day (Sunday September 7) showing Ferrero due to play Roddick at 4.30pm. Thus all the US Open 2003 results are there, except for the last day. The two memorable US Open 2003 items are offered together at £5/$8
25: “More Than Tennis: The first 25 years of wheelchair tennis” by Sarah Bunting; 2001; 112 pp in large 8vo HB in DW; in landscape format. I have watched with amazement and admiration the wheelchair tennis exhibitions played during the last two Championships. No quarter seemed to be sought nor offered, and as far as I could see the only significant change to the rules of play was that the ball can bounce twice before being struck. (Hope I got that right!) The book is a fascinating history of the game from its inception as an organised sport to becoming an Olympic sport. You can buy this title direct from the ITF at firstname.lastname@example.org
A SPECTACULAR HAND-WRITTEN TILDEN LETTER
26: I don’t think I have had a Tilden
letter previously, but I note there is a much inferior example out on
the net for around £590/$1000. The example below is a two sided
hand-written letter from Bill Tilden to his young friend Arthur Anderson.
Unlike so many modern writers, I see no need here to rehash the niceties
of the relationship between these two men. As far as I am concerned, Tilden
was and remains to this day one of the best tennis players of all time.
Tilden was made very welcome by Anderson’s family and Tilden referred
to Anderson as the son he never had. The letter is on headed note-paper
from the Hotel Fontenelle in Omaha. It is accompanied by the original
hand-addressed envelope and is franked “Omaha Nebr. Feb 10 1946”.
The undated text reads:
The ambience of the letter is one of close friendship; it is almost too
chummy, but that was Tilden’s way. You only need to read some of
his novelettes in such books as “It’s All in the Game”
to see that this was how he wrote and quite probably how he spoke. Whereas
he was a giant of a tennis player, mentally I don’t think he quite
grew up; he was rather like Peter Pan, and craved the company and adulation
of young men in an era when such a lifestyle was not considered acceptable.
Frankly I don’t think it is acceptable now, but plainly I am in
a minority today. This stunning and in my view rather important Tilden
letter and envelope are offered at £600/$1000
27: “Chris Lewis: All the Way to Wimbledon” by Joseph Romanos; 1984; 222 pp; small 4to in HB and DW. Here is the story of the New Zealander who reached the Wimbledon Men’s Singles final unseeded, losing to John McEnroe 6-2, 6-2, 6-2. This is a very full account of his life so far, and it is copiously illustrated with colour photographs. The book is signed by Lewis on the main title page. £25/$40
28: “Total Tennis: The Ultimate Tennis Encyclopedia” by Bud Collins; 4th edition of 2003; 938 pp; HB in DW. Another massive book from the ebullient Collins giving reviews from 1919 to 2002, player registers of top amateurs and professionals, career summaries of 400 of the best players of all time, and player biogs for the top 175 players, and much much more, all supported by over 150 photos. £30/$50
SOME GREAT TENNIS CLASSICS AT A HEAVILY MARKED-DOWN PRICE, EACH AT £75/$130
This is an occasional promotion which I use when I find
my shelves are becoming over-stocked with too many copies of the same
title. Keeping a balanced stock is very hard work, and occasionally, I
walk down the shelves and see that I have three of four copies of a comparatively
rare title, when to have one is usually a pleasure. The following books
are not quite in the top condition on which I usually insist, but they
are all nice complete, tight titles, without damage or dustwrapper, maybe
with some external fading or other modest signs of age. All the following
titles, when in very good condition, are likely to be listed by me at
prices from £150/$250 upwards.
JAMES SCOTT “JIMMY” CONNORS:
With the welcome news that at last there is to be a major book on Vitas
Gerulaitis, it seems to me that Jimmy Connors is just about the only major
male tennis player of the last 25 years on whom there is not an authoritative
book. When I asked him years ago if such a book was planned, he replied
rather acidly (this is an understatement sanitised for the gentle reader!)
that as far as he was concerned, everything that was in the public eye
was public; everything else was his damn business and none of ours! Well
I suppose that is a point of view. In the meantime, here are three small
children’s books on Connors, not literary giants, but all that there
is. These USA publications are mostly ex-library copies from USA colleges.
They may bear ex-lib markings etc.
PRINTED EPHEMERA; PROGRAMMES; AUTOGRAPHS; MAGAZINES; POSTERS
Flicker Book”; c1935. This is no 10 “Service
and Smash” demonstrated by H.W. Austin; in good tight condition.
44: “Lawn Tennis Photograph Albums”: I have recently acquired two quite substantial albums, which are absolutely crammed full of photographs of tennis players, the photographs taken from magazines and newspapers. They cover the period 1922 to 1933. The scene is almost entirely British but there are many photographs of overseas players, and almost all the photographs are accompanied by the original text identifying the players, results and locations. Album 1 contains over 250 photographs, and album 2 contains over 700 photographs. This second album is particularly strong on County LTA teams, with features on the Wimbledon Championships and Davis Cup matches. I have thoroughly enjoyed studying this treasure trove of tennis history from a great period of Lawn Tennis history. £150/$250
SIGNED WIMBLEDON ORDER OF PLAY CARDS: The following
cards show the daily order of play.
47: FRENCH OPEN POSTERS: The last time I had some of these marvellous Roland Garros posters, they were heavily over-subscribed. Each year, a well-known modern artist is asked to submit a tennis design, which adorns every piece of stationery for that year, thus posters, tickets, programmes, media guides etc. They are highly distinctive and make excellent wall coverings. They measure about 57cm by 75cm, and will be delivered rolled into a postal tube. These posters are offered for sale singly, and the years for which I have only one example of each are: 1984, 1985, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997. Each at £50/$85
TENNIS MAGAZINES: I don’t really trade tennis
magazines, but these came up in recent book collection purchases.
51: Seven English Tennis
Event Programmes: These programmes are offered as one lot at £25/$40
WIMBLEDON FINAL PROGRAMMES: Some new editions
and a few left over from last time.
Programmes 13th Days”: Here is a broad selection
of Wimbledon programmes from recent years. The 13th day programmes are
usually Men’s Final day and thus full of printed results from throughout
59: A TABLE TENNIS SET: c1925. This set is in its original cardboard box, the outside lid showing a delightful domestic scene of family table tennis being played by two young people as the rest of the family watches. The scene is in full glorious colour. The box contains 2 bats, 4 balls, and a net and two side posts. The lid of the box shows some splitting at the box corners; otherwise it is a lovely item. £60/$100
FAMOUS PLAYERS SIGNATURES: Signed on cards or slips,
a small selection of very high quality signatures of top players from
a much earlier period of tennis.
SOME EARLY BOOKS FROM OTHER RACKET/RACQUET SPORTS
of Squash Rackets (The)” by D(onald) G(eorge) Butcher;
1st edition of 1934; 128 pp in small 8vo; HB in DW. Butcher was one of
the great 1930’s teaching squash professionals. He was also Open
champion 1930-32. This is very early in terms of squash titles, and for
this period the only other titles were by his great colleagues Read and
Arnold. This copy includes the original, rather fragile bill from Lilywhites
in Piccadilly dated 7-11-34 showing the purchase price of 5/- (five shillings);
full of great court diagrams. £65/$110
WIMBLEDON ANNUALS: There has recently been a considerable
demand for most editions of the Official Wimbledon Annual, presumably
because of my policy of holding down prices to a third of those being
asked by some of my competitors. I have also sold a good quantity on the
internet recently. My prices for these and most other books are based
solely on supply and demand, which does mean that prices can go down as
well as up. Some years are now rather low in stock on my shelves, so I
have had to revise the whole list, as follows:
MAILING AND HANDLING CHARGES FOR PARCELS: UK Post Office
charges continue to rise with monotonous regularity, so I thought I would
let you know what current rates are for a simple parcel of Wimbledon Annuals,
one of my most popular lines. Even I was a bit shocked when collating
the results, but here they are, and I will use these as guidelines for
future book mailings.
85: “Encyclopedia of Asian Tennis” compiled by Gordon U.A. Martin; 1st very large 4to paperback edition of 1999; 857 pp. This book has a country by country analysis of the game throughout Asia. Japan for example has over 70 pages listing history, all Davis Cup and Fed Cup players and results, national champions, ATP and WTA ranked players, all ranking lists since the first, and a “Who’s Who” of Japanese tennis. 29 Asian countries are similarly analysed. What an amazing information source this huge book is. £50/$85
“Two Miniature Silver Trophies”:
88: POSTCARDS: The last offering of original decorative
tennis postcards quickly sold. I now have a further small offering of
around 20 mostly romantic and highly decorative cards from the pre-1920
period. Available for inspection prior to purchase each at £8/$14
90: “The Tuxedo Club Court Tennis Court”: a view from mid-court in the service side looking across the net at the hazard side. One of 200 signed copies by Mario Stasolla; image measures 53cm x 38cm; highly detailed black & white engraving on quality art-card. £150/$250
THE HONDA CHALLENGE was played at a packed
Royal Albert Hall in December. So popular is the event that for 2004,
the event will be extended by a day. Love him or otherwise (don’t
tempt me!), you have to admire John McEnroe, who beat the much younger
Michael Stich, and then Guy Forget wilted in a high quality final. For
the second year running, McEnroe did not acknowledge the presence of his
many fans, who were desperate for a signed copy of his biography. Other
senior players took a more friendly PR approach.
BOOKS ABOUT SQUASH RACKETS: I have prepared a free stock list of books about Squash Rackets, (soft-ball & hard-ball). Included are some very rare, early books from the 1920’s, a signed copy of the great Amr Bey’s book, and many others; more than 100 titles.
DIARY DATES FOR 2004: Here are some important UK tennis
event dates for your new diary.
FAREWELL JOHN “JACK” MORTON BARNABY born
Sept 9 1909, died Feb 12 2002. I am late with this appreciation, but I
did not read of Barnaby’s death until a few weeks ago. He was totally
USA orientated and not as well known outside the USA, where he was the
Harvard Squash and Tennis coach from 1937 to 1976. He was a legend in
his area of expertise and revered by generations of Harvard students to
whom he was not only coach but also good friend. He wrote several coaching
titles, of which the following are good examples.
SPAM E-MAIL MESSAGES 1: In the last few Newsletters, I have acknowledged the problem of unsolicited e-mails, known as spam. I have been concerned that the occasional e-mails I send round my huge global list might be grouped under the terms of new legislation, which became current here in the UK (and Europe also I believe) on December 11. Clarification has now been issued which tells me that: “….spam and text messages may be sent to individuals only by prior agreement, except where the individual’s name was secured through some previous customer relationship.” That means to me that if you and I met at an event and you willingly gave me your name and address for mailings, or if you contact me through the internet, or if we exchange business cards etc, then that clears the way for me legitimately to add your name etc. to my mailing list, unless specifically asked not to. I think that puts an end to any concerns I might have had and I hope that you all agree. In the meantime, I must be the only man in the world not to have seen the Paris Hilton video!
SPAM E-MAIL MESSAGES 2: Keen as I am to eliminate all forms of spam, some of you who have spam washers installed are now barring my messages. If you want to receive my messages, please adjust your mail-washers to let my messages enter. Thanks.
AND FINALLY: This really happened on British TV a few weeks ago on “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?” during a celebrity special. In the chairs were Jim Davidson (a British comedian) and a beautiful Danish woman whose name now escapes me. Somehow they had climbed up to £16,000 and were going for £32,000. Answering this question correctly would have guaranteed their selected charity £32,000; answering it incorrectly would have lost them £15,000. The question was: “Which other British woman did Angela Mortimer beat in the Wimbledon Ladies’ Singles final in 1961?” The 4 possible answers were A: Virginia Wade, B: Christine Truman, C: Ann Jones, D: Sue Barker. So, not much pressure there, or so you would have thought. Danish beauty shakes her head in ignorance, something she did most of the evening. Jim D starts off by saying that Ann Jones is that funny looking one! What could he mean? Then he says that Christine Truman was Fred Trueman’s sister. (For non-UK readers, Fred Trueman was one of England’s greatest fast bowlers at cricket.) He knew Sue Barker personally so it had to be Virginia Wade. Chris Tarrant holds his head in horror and reminds JD that he does not have to answer the question and could walk away with £16,000. JD says he is sure it is Virginia Wade and that if he is wrong, he personally will pay whatever they lose. So he goes for it, with most of the households in England shouting out “Christine Truman, you fool!” Too late, and they drop £15,000. History does not yet tell us if JD has been good to his word and made up the lost balance, but I intend to find out.
ORDER ANY OF THE ABOVE BOOKS,