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World’s First NFT Collection of Antique Tennis Rackets Will Be Auctioned on OpenSea This Spring

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The online auction will be held between May 28 – June 11 to commemorate the iconic Roland-Garros tournament

Collecting digital art as NFTs is nothing new – however, what about digitized antique objects? While there have already been reports of art galleries digitizing valuable antiques – from historical weapons to decorative objects – to tap into millennials’ demographics as potential collectors, the collection of digitized rare antique tennis rackets comes as a first.

Owned by IT entrepreneur and avid tennis player Slava Babienko, the collection of over 90 lots includes antique tennis rackets and accessories, from tennis balls to postage stamps, from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. And even though Babienko himself spent a decade scouting for unique objects in an ‘old-school’ way, he believes it is now time to embrace technological advancements and make the process of antique collecting more up-to-date. 


Using $100,000 worth of professional 3D equipment to produce the highest-resolution virtual collectibles, Babienko and his team created tokens that would showcase antique objects to the finest detail, preserving every crack, wear and tear one expects to see on a historical item. 

The collection of 91 items includes exceedingly rare racket models, some of which have been produced in limited numbers. For some models, only a few exist as collectibles today. This spring, the whole collection will be sold on the OpenSea platform – and for those curious about what lots they can bid for, some of the collection highlights include:

1906-1910 Tennis Racket by Brother Tsygankov Manufacture

It was one of the very first tennis rackets produced in tsarist Russia and was Nicolas II’s preferred racket. The brothers Maxim Tsygankov and Mikhail Tsygankov laid the foundation for their manufacture and opened the first Russian workshop for the manufacture of domestic rackets. With time, they achieved their goal: locally-produced rackets, especially their flagship model ‘Maxim’, was not inferior in quality to any foreign-produced racket at the time. Today, only four of these original models are known to exist, three of which are on display in museums. 

1920-1930s ‘The Winner’ Tennis Racquet by FJ Bancroft

FJ Bancroft is America’s oldest tennis manufacturer. They have been operating and producing tennis rackets for the full century. Even though their early years involved them making rackets for other companies, the FJ Bancroft rackets helped illustrate many of the technological and production changes from the 1900s to the 1980s.

Learn more about the collection and browse the items at https://antiquerackets.com/