The world’s first NFT collection of antique tennis rackets will be auctioned at OpenSea this spring

The world’s first NFT collection of antique tennis rackets will be auctioned at OpenSea this spring

Disclaimer: The text below is a press release that is not part of editorial content.

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 – but what about digitized antiques? While there have already been reports of art galleries digitizing valuable antiques—from historic weapons to decorative objects—to tap into the millennial demographic as potential collectors, the collection of digitized rare antique tennis rackets is a first.

Owned by IT entrepreneur and avid tennis player Slava Babienko, the collection comprises over 90 lottery tickets antique tennis rackets and accessories, from tennis balls to postage stamps, from the late 1800s and early 1900s. And although Babienko himself spent a decade scouting for unique items the “old-fashioned” way, he believes now is the time to embrace technological advances and bring the process of antique collecting 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 artifacts down to the smallest detail, preserving every crack, wear and tear one would expect to see on a historic artifact .

The collection of 91 items includes extremely rare racket models, some of which are produced in limited numbers. For some models, only a few exist as collectibles today. This spring, the entire collection is sold at OpenSea platform – and for those curious about what lots to bid on, some of the collection’s highlights include:

1906-1910 Tennis racket by Brother Tsygankov Production

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It was one of the very first tennis rackets produced in Tsarist Russia and was Nicolas II’s racket of choice. Brothers Maxim Tsygankov and Mikhail Tsygankov laid the foundation for their production and opened the first Russian workshop for the production of domestic rackets. In time, they achieved their goal: locally produced rackets, especially their flagship model ‘Maxim’, were no worse in quality than any foreign-made racket at the time. Today, only four of these original models are known, three of which are on display in museums.

“The Winner” tennis racket from the 1920s-1930s by FJ Bancroft

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

Learn more about the collection and browse the items at

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