Originally Posted by Sanglier
How exactly do you date your Demons, Jimbo?
I can see from your OP photo that the 1920s model had a concave wedge, and the 1900 model was a flat top. Other than that, I am not sure that I am necessarily looking at the correct features when trying to distinguish one model from another.
Would I be correct in identifying the racquet below as a 1910 model?
The wood on this well-worn example had dried out and become delaminated in several places alongside stress splits; which someone had attempted to repair eons ago by installing a couple of screws/pins in the affected areas. This particular Demon had earned its permanent retirement long ago, but I still love the way it looks.
By the way, regarding those pesky moths, the most effective way to deal with them without resorting to potentially harmful chemicals is to put the affected items in a freezer for a week, thaw them out for a few days, then freeze them again for another week. This should kill all the larvae and protect the items from further destruction, so long as the items are kept in an air-tight container afterwards. I do this to my woolens whenever I suspect the airspace of my man-cave has been breached by these evil creatures. I believe that if you freeze and thaw the tennis balls gradually (by transitioning them through the refrigerator?), there should be no harm done to the rubber parts, though you might want to test this out on one ball before committing the whole collection.
Dating the Demons accurately is difficult. For the older ones I'm looking for wider thickness of the wood beam of the racket head itself, longer narrower grips, and never having had any of that white binding above the throat amongst others things. The older ones are convex throat as you say, and older ones don't have the "REGD" under the Demon symbol (It would be interesting to know what year they added the "REGD"). It is easier when you've got a few to compare to be honest. That flat-top looking one is mainly like that due to stringing pulling it slightly out of shape, this happens quite a lot by the way.
I agree yours in the photo is about 1910. It is the about the same year as one of mine, only yours is a standard Demon, and mine is a Special Demon (in fact all 3 on the right of my original photo are actually "Special Demons"). The Special Demons have a slightly different fishtail, and are made to a higher quality apparently according to the adverts of the time!
Thanks for the advice on the moths, will try that out!