From Big Bill Tilden to Arthur Ashe and even Bobby Riggs, tennis has plenty of history.
Now one auction house hopes the US Open backdrop will help the sport gain a mainstream collecting foothold.
Guernsey’s auction house is conducting the first major tennis memorabilia auction.
The sale, which began just as the US Open was getting underway and continues until mid-September, will include Internet live bidding and features thousands of historic items. The auction house says it’s the first major auction of vintage tennis pieces ever held in North America.
Among the items to be auctioned are historical tennis racquets and tournament-worn gear including Bobby Riggs’ "Sugar Daddy" duds he wore in the famed "Battle of the Sexes" match with Billie Jean King, Bill Tilden’s Wimbledon sweater and Maria Sharapova’s lovely tennis dress worn just weeks ago at Wimbledon.
Original tennis art includes a George Bellows Newport scene and Leroy Neiman’s portrait of Arthur Ashe. Rare books will be offered, with highlights being two of only 20 known copies of the first book written about tennis, which was printed in 1555. Additionally, the sale will feature vintage photography, autographed tennis balls from some of the game’s Hall of Famers and other one-of-a-kind vintage pieces.
Some proceeds from the auction will be going to USTA charities.
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