They were once owned by George Langton Hodgkinson, prize-winning player of the game of rackets.
One is the Oxford University Prize Racquet, which the Pembroke College student won in 1857. It is highly decorated with silver braided wire-work to the top of the blue crushed velvet grip and an engraved butt cap.
Hodgkinson was awarded it as winner of the Oxford Senior Doubles Rackets with William Hard Dyke – he later attributed the victory mainly to his partner.
The second racket is the personal one that he probably used to win the junior and senior doubles in 1857. It shows signs of use and the handle is engraved with his name, handwritten in ink.
Offered for £12,000, the rackets are part of the biennial show staged by campaign furniture specialist Clarke and sporting antiques dealer Schotten.
The seventh edition runs from June 1-15 and presents “the rare, unusual and magical items” in their stock. Highlights include a chair from the RMS Olympic, a miniature walnut games table and a snooker table.
A continued feature of these exhibitions is a navigational rally (June 16), held for owners of vintage and classic cars as well as those with more modern vehicles. The event is held to benefit the local charity Kate’s Home Nursing – for which £40,000 has been raised during the past years.