The National Badminton Museum has a collection of over 30 prints and other items displayed on the stairs, foyer, bar area and quiet area of the National Badminton Centre in Milton Keynes. The collection was put together by Heather Nielsen and Kirsten Gwerder several years ago. Details of the collection are included in a leaflet available form the museum rack at the top of the stairs.
Included are prints of several famous oil paintings – Battledore by Albert Moore, circa 1872, painting of Thomas Aston Coffin by John Singleton, circa 1957-9, and Jean Simeon Chardin’s oil on canvas – La Filette au Volant, 1737, as shown. Many painters of the old works included battledores and shuttlecocks as props in their works and this gives us details of these items in those days.
Two cartoons are included taken from Lawn Tennis and Badminton and greatly enlarged – they are of George William Vidal and Dr. Henry Norman Marrett. Both were prominent in the early history of badminton, Vidal as an administrator and Marrett as a player. They illustrate the dress used for badminton in the early 1900’s and the text that accompanied the cartoons is available alongside the cartoons.
There are postcards depicting battledore and shuttlecock and several advertisements that were published in magazines or newspapers illustrating fashions of the time and a cartoon of Paul Kruger with strung racquet hitting the British, in the shape of Shuttlecocks, over a net and out of the Transvaal. A line drawing of Chinese children kicking shuttlecock has brought interest from Chinese visitors to the museum.
Two other titles displayed are Mrs and Van and Harry Sperling fighting for the Shuttlecock and My Turn next, and how about from Punch in 1921 – You were absolutely topping, Miss Lovebird. Why you played like a – thwarted woman!!
The collection can be viewed whenever the National Badminton Centre is open.