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Tennis Prints


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Blake: Interior of Fives Court
T. Blake. "The Interior of the Fives Court." Credits read "Engraved by C[harles]. Turner." [London, 1821, but later]. Aquatint (hand coloring). [The printer was McQueen]. 15 1/4 x 21 5/8 (image) plus full margins. Laid paper. Repaired 2" chip replaced at right margins and tear into title at bottom. A clear depiction. Ref.: Siltzer, The Story of British Sporting Prints, pp. 320-1, 325.

The Five Courts was in James Street, Haymarket. According to Siltzer, it was the "great rendezvous of all the elite and the Fancy." The scene is a prize fight between Randall and Turner on 5 December 1818 in a court which was usually used for tennis. Note the corner house and the grills on the spectators' windows to the right.

The purpose of the picture was to celebrate the many famous people who attended matches over the decades. Thus, focus is not on the fight but rather centers on the crowd where a cavalry guardsman named Larkin has prominence due to his plumed hat. He was so successful as a boxer that he at one time planned to leave the guard. Another guardsman, kneeling front and center, is an anachronism because Jemmy Shaw was killed at the Battle of Waterloo three years before the event. Whether living or dead, these gentlemen are all looking out at the viewer and not at the fight. Even the Master of Ceremonies, the referee, Lennox, is looking away from the fight. Still, this is a fine sporting print because it shows the fighters in their traditional stances. At bottom, left, two boys are inspired to have their own round of fisticuffs, while the rest of the crowd engages in other important pursuits, such as drinking and conversation. A fine British sporting print that has interest for prize fighting and court tennis. $850



A.B. Frost. "An Archery Meeting." From Harper’s Weekly. New York, October 18, 1879. 13 1/8 x 20. Wood engraving. An archery meet is shown in the foreground, and a tennis match is depicted in the background. $225


Harper's: Lawn Tennis Newport
C.D. Weldon. "Lawn-Tennis Tournament at Newport." From Harper's Weekly. New York, September 16, 1882. 9 1/4 x 13 5/8. Wood engraving. Small stain at left. Lawn tennis scene with inset upper right of "Piazza in the Casino Grounds." $250


E.K. Johnson. "Our Lawn Tennis Party." From The Graphic. London, 1882. 11 7/8 x 7 3/4. Chromolithograph. A composite scene of a country lawn tennis party, with a lady player, with racquet, being fanned by a gentleman admirer. $150


After photograph by Alman. "Lawn Tennis at Newport -- The Tournament, From the Upper Balcony of the Casino." From Harper's Weekly. New York: September 5, 1885. 9 1/8 x 13 3/4. Wood engraving. $125


W.P. Snyder. "Lawn-Tennis Tournament For The Championship Of New Jersey." From Harper’s Weekly. New York, July 10, 1886. 9 x 13 3/8. Wood engraving. $165


W.T. Smedley. "The North Meadows, Central Park." Supplement to Harper’s Weekly. New York, October 5, 1889. 13 3/4 x 20 1/2. Wood engraving. A charming scene of tennis in Central Park. $275


"Midsummer Judge." From Judge. New York: ca. 1890. Page 13 1/2 x 10". Chromolithograph. Very good condition.

Judge was a satirical American magazine from the period around the turn of the century, filled with articles and humorous illustrations. The images, printed in bright colors, depicted the political and social foibles of the day. Among the topics shown were some of the popular sports, in this case, tennis. These images, while with a humorous bent, do contain excellent detail and present us with a fascinating image of our country and the sport from a century ago. This image shows a lady in tennis costume with racquet relaxing along the shore, conversing with a gentleman in sporting clothes. $85


[Whimsical mixed doubles tennis print.] No. 12 Probably published in New York as a magazine illustration, circa 1914. 11 x 7. Chromolithograph. Narrow margins. Illustrated in Art of Tennis; see pages 77-78. [Illustrated at top] $275




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©The Philadelphia Print Shop, Ltd. Last updated July 30, 2013