Looking for information about this racquet


I found this antique racquet in my house and I look for more information about the manufacturer, year and type, history.
Maybe someone here knows more.
Any help is appreciated.






Henry Hub

George G Bussey & Co were a celebrated manufacturer of cricket, lawn tennis and other sports implements in the late 19th and early 20th century, operating out of a landmark factory in Peckham, South London. They never belonged to the top rank of racket manufacturers such as Tate, Jefferies, Feltham and latterly Slazenger, Spalding etc. However they were and remain recognised for the quality of their product and certain of their rackets are highly prized by collectors (any 1880s rackets and the “wavy wedge”, cork-inlaid handled and ball-tail models being the most desirable).

I suspect from the wedge that Mangold were a Düsseldorf retailer (Gebruder Mangold or Mangold Brothers) that imported and sold a special branded Bussey model. Without Kuebler to hand, I don’t know of this model. It is difficult without the racket being strung to date this one. There are no shoulder wrappings which suggests it is around 1900. The elongated shape of the head is also suggestive to me of a late 1890s design (I have a similar Williams racket from then). However this may just be down to the frame flexing out in the absence of the string tension. Funnily enough, I was meaning to look into when the Bussey logo changed from the GGB with an arrow through it to the name of the manufacturer down the wedge and, in particular, when it changed from G.G.Bussey and Co to Geo.G. Bussey &Co (like yours). I suspect the latter is the latest as it is the same logo as on my 1920s Busseys (though this dates from well before then). I shall update if I can dig anything up. However my best guess is it dates from very late 1890s to about 1905

Worth noting that the racket does not have the usual Bussey buttcap covering with the distinctive <• •> design flanking the Keep in press warranty wording. This may just have peeled off though.

Bussey rackets in this state are a fantastic find, even if they are not the most desirable ones noted above, because they are just quality products so you’ve done very well here.


Hall of Fame
Gebrueder Mangold were indeed a retailer of dry goods in the city of Duesseldorf, located in an interesting art nouveau storefront in Schadowstrasse 23… until 1943, when it evidently was destroyed (presumably via an act of war?). Imagery of the storefront archived online shows artwork on the facade which includes an elegant woman with a tennis racquet!

The Mangold family name could very well be Jewish, which also lends a possible dimension to the demise of the shop.


Hall of Fame
Checked my copy of Kuebler this evening at Retrowagen HQ. Gebr. Mangold’s address confirmed. The good Herr Doktor Ingenieur Kuebler also confirmed that the firm was a retailer of frames made by others, even rebranded Slazenger and F.A. Davis models. The Mangold firm was established in 1879, and was also known as a manufacturer of leather gloves, in addition to being an emporium of sporting goods as well as men’s and women’s clothes.
This is already a lot of good information! Thank you.
You guys really know a lot.

Did Kuebler maybe state something about this specific model?
Was it a whole batch manufactured for Mangold?
Is it possible to specify the age a bit more?

Henry Hub

No Kuebler doesn’t mention the racket in his book or the 2 supplements, I’m afraid. The writing around the number wedge design appears from the book to originate with the early “The Tournament” rackets (Kuebler dates these to 1895) so on that basis your racket dates from after then. He also shows a picture of a racket he dates to 1905 which has cord-whipped shoulders so it’s possible your racket precedes that design.

If the racket was still strung we could have checked for double main strings which would probably have meant a post-1900 racket.

I’m struggling to think of any other clues here. You’ve attached a photo of the engraved weight on the shaft. Bussey seemed to love a large font for that in their 20th century rackets but I don’t know if that was always the case. The grip seems pretty big - there might be a number 5, 6 or 7 on the other side of the shaft. Large handles were en vogue according to contemporary writers around the turn of the century and Vaile bleats on about them well into the 1910s.

So my guess is still that it’s a 1898ish-1905ish frame but it could be later - as you may have surmised, dating old rackets is a science that is in turns frustratingly and engagingly inexact