The New Table Game of Ping Pong - 1901
Table tennis began in Britain in the 1880s as an after-dinner parlor game. The first players used books or cigar box lids as paddles, a champagne cork for a ball, and a "net" made of row of books sitting on their spines at the center of the table. As the game grew in popularity, several manufacturers offered sets of paddles, nets, balls, and rule books under many different names including Gossima, Table Tennis and Ping Pong.
This is an original Ping Pong set sold only at Hamleys by J. Jaques & Son made in 1901. .
The set comes in the original box with two bats, a mesh net which attaches to two wooden posts compete with metal clamps for fixing to a table. A book of rules and directions is also included - newer print. The Bats use a solid wooden frame and handle and are steam bent. Finally they are covered with the finest grade vellum which is glued and hand stitched into place.
Brilliant piece of history, the box is damaged (Grade 4) but the artwork on the front is in great condition and the game overall is in good, playable condition (Grade 2). It is uncertain whether the two balls are original. (our grading system).