There’s more to the U.S. Open than just tennis, you know… There’s incredibly expensive food… There’s shopping at the Lacoste and Ralph Lauren shops… and for the collector, this year there is the USTA Vintage Tennis Auction.
You want a tennis trophy of your own? How about a warm-up suit worn by the Davis Cup team? Put down your racquet and pick up you paddle… your auction paddle, that is.
For the first time ever, there will be a major tennis auction held at the U.S. Open. Thousands of items relating to the game of tennis will be sold over a 2-day auction. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the organization USTA Serves.
USTA Serves is a not-for-profit entity that encourages children to pursue their goals and supports organizations that use tennis as a vehicle to help youngsters finish high school and qualify for college scholarships.
The auction will take place Friday, September 11, 2009 at 2:00pm, and Sunday, September 13, 2009 at 11:00am.
The items are being previewed daily (10am-7:30pm) at the Indoor Tennis Facility at the U.S. Open. If you can’t attend the live auction, you can either place an absentee bid or bid online in real time at www.liveauctionerrs.com.
The auction features racquets, posters, books, signs, tennis outfits, medals, balls, trophies, magazines, postcards, shoes, autographs, badges, glassware, sculpture, photographs, and other ephemera. A few of my favorite lots include:
Lot #33 – Complete Collection of Wheaties Tennis-Themed Boxes, 1934 to 2004. A complete collection of Wheaties boxes dating from 1934 to 2004. Includes: Andre Agassi 2004, Arthur Ashe 1997, Don Budge & Alice Marble 1944, Chris Evert 1987, Althea Gibson 2000, Pete Sampras 2000, Ellsworth Vines 1934, Mark Wheaton 1977. Includes two Jack Kramer 1950s tennis cards and a Wheaties box puzzle. The only known complete collection of Wheaties boxes featuring tennis players. (Estimate: $900-$1100).
Lot # 114 – Seven Jimmy Connors-Style Wilson Racquets. Seven Wilson racquets styled after a Jimmy Connors favorite. Model numbers: T-2000, two T-3000, TX3000, T4000, T5000, and TX6000. (Estmate: $450-$600).
Lot # 125A – The Two Rarest Books on Tennis: Scaino and Sambucas. Book one: tratto del Givoco della Panna, Antonio Scaino, 1555. This is the first book written about tennis, published in Italian in 1555. It is believed that eleven copies exist. Book two: Emblemata et Aliquot Nummi AntiquaOperis, by Johannes Sambucus, 1566, Second Edition with over 200 emblematic woodcuts, including the first book illustration of a tennis match. (Tennis had just come into fashion among the Aristocrats of Vienna). (Estimate: $40,000-$60,000).
Lot #210 – Collection of Tennis Bobbleheads. Collection of 12 bobbleheads including Billie Jean King, Chris Evert, Andy Roddick 2004, James Blake & Lindsey Davenport 2005, Maria Sharapova, Nick Bollettieri, Michael Chang 2003, Pete Sampras WTT, Lindsey Davenport WTA, Serena Williams, Andy Roddick 2002, and Scooby Doo. (Estimate: $300-$375).
Lot #403 – Bobby Riggs Sugar Daddy “Battle of the Sexes” Jacket . Used during the run-up to the Bobby Riggs/Billie Jean King “Battle of the Sexes” match. One of only three jackets known to exist. (Estimate: $500-$700).
The auction is being run by Guernsey’s Auction. Please contact them for more information (and Terms and Conditions):
108 East 73rd Street, New York, NY 10021
ph: 212-794-2280 / fax: 212-744-3638