Paris: Chez Jean, rue Jean de Beauvais, No. 32, Ca. late 18th Century.
1 vols. 8-3/4 x 12-3/4 inches, matted and framed to 14-1/2 x 18-1/2 inches overall. Whitman, Tennis Origins, p. 37. Item #40133
A male foursome in shirtsleeves plays this outdoor racquet game, a precursor of tennis, while spectators look on. Tennis in France evolved from a game played with the bare hand, to one where the hand was protected. This gave way at an early date to the hand-held strung racquet, and the game divided into a version played indoor, “jeu de courte paume” (short tennis, which developed into court tennis) and one played outdoors, “jeu de longue paume” (long tennis, pictured in this plate). A decorative and historic depiction of an early form of a tennis-like pastime.
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