Treatise on Tennis (1822) - Rare antiquarian book for sale

04 Apr 2012

The Dedanists are a Society whose aims are to share the virtues and pleasures of the ancient game of Real Tennis and to raise funds for benevolent causes, specifically the enhancement of junior tennis. In that regard it has been most successful since inception and this is recognised in the Real Tennis world.

The Dedanists (seller) have been most generously gifted a rare book on Real Tennis with the express wish that the proceeds of sale are dedicated to the advancement of junior tennis.

Description of the book: It is titled A Treatise on Tennis, by a Member of the Tennis Club. It was published in London in 1822 by Rodwell and Martin and written by Robert Lukin (1772-1835). First Edition. 8vo (22.1 x 13.6 cms), viii, 120pp. General observations are that it is a first edition of the first book published in English on (Real) Tennis. It was published during a period in the revival of the game’s fortunes. Robert Lukin was the Secretary of the Tennis Club located in James Street, Haymarket, London, the only London court open at the time of publication. It is a treatise on how to play the game and covers technique, tactics and betting odds for the game. The appendix covers the rules as seen in the London court. It is thought that there are few copies of the book in private collections. The book has its original marbled binding. It has some light foxing. The font is Century and its typographical style reflects the setting of that era. It appears that a folding diagram plate has been removed. The book will be sold as seen and the seller will take no responsibility for any aspects of its condition.           

Offers will be invited from interested parties to make a bid in £ sterling on an informal tender basis. Unconditional offers are to be submitted by 12 noon on 10th May 2012 to The Dedanists ? Pemberton Greenish LLP, Solicitors, 45 Cadogan Gardens, London SW3 2AQ and correspondence should be marked for the attention of Giles Pemberton. Offers are to be made by letter or as an email attachment to it will be necessary for the proposed buyer to provide proof of funding and that they will be able to complete the purchase, with full payment, by 8th June 2012.

Viewing arrangements for the book: With effect from Monday 16th April through until Friday 4th May close of business at the offices of Pemberton Greenish by 24 hour prior appointment with Giles Pemberton’s PA Jennie Bolton (DD 020 7591 3323 or email: On 2 of these dates, 24th & 26th April the book will be viewable at Queen’s Club (RT World Championship) where Graham Tomkinson can be contacted re viewing arrangements (mob: 07710 763068 home: 01494 671941 email: The book will not be viewable on 23rd & 27th April.

The seller will be seeking offers in excess of £5,000 for our Lukin Book.          

Do contact one of the following Dedanist Committee members if needs be:-

Josh Farrall - mob: 07990 857912

Graham Tomkinson - mob: 07710 763068

Guy Egerton-Smith - mob: 07860 233493

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