A private collection of Wimbledon Memorabilia from the old Number 1 Court is to be sold in Tennants Auctioneers’ Sporting & Fishing Sale on 21st July, with unique items ranging from a collection of brass numbers removed from court seating in 1996, to signage and posters, signed photographs, and even a net post.
The vendor was a carpenter at the All-England Club in Wimbledon for 18 years, from 1990-2008, and has very fond memories of working at the club. During the renovations in 1997, which saw the old Number 1 court replaced with a new facility, he couldn’t bear to see all of the Wimbledon history that was being removed from the building site discarded, and so he started collecting with permission of the Club. When opportunity arose, he would ask players to sign relevant items.
The vendor says: “I am very sorry to see my collection go, but I no longer have room to house it. I just hope that these unique items find good homes with tennis enthusiasts, who will get as much enjoyment out of them as I have”.
Kegan Harrison, the specialist in charge of the sale, notes “This collection is unique to the auction market, and therefore estimates are quite difficult to assess ahead of sale. We are hoping the sale will appeal to all tennis and sports fans, as there won’t be another opportunity like this to buy a piece of Wimbledon history from this iconic court”.
Highlights of the collection include a Wimbledon Court 1 Pulley and Counterweight for the Rain Covers, estimated at £50-80, and three players’ locker doors from Court 1 – signed by John McEnroe, Pete Sampras and Bjorn Borg, estimated at £150-200 each. Whilst it can’t be confirmed that the players used these specific lockers, the signatures and doors are authentic.
A fully illustrated catalogue for the Sporting & Fishing Sale will be available on our website, www.tennants.co.uk leading up to the sale, alternatively, please contact the salerooms for further details.
Wimbledon Court 1 Player Locker Door No.23, signed by Bjorn Borg (Estimate: £150-250)
(top left) Wimbledon Court 1 Pulley & Counterweight for the Rain Covers (Estimate: £50-80)