Original 1950s French TAP 47/54 Lizard Camouflage Parachutist's Smock

Original 1950s French TAP 47/54 Lizard Camouflage Parachutist's Smock

Code: 55879


A rare original French Army TAP 47/53 Parachutist's Smock, dating from the middle of the 1950s. 

Following the Second World War the French Army immediately set about rebuilding. A new uniform was designed including items made in what is now often referred to as 'Lizard Pattern' camouflage. A specific jump smock and trousers was designed for parachute troops which was released in 1947. A version was made in Lizard Camouflage and proved popular with updates to the pattern regularly throughout the early 1950s. The design of the smock and the camouflage pattern clearly took their influence from the American jump smocks and British Denison smocks worn during WW2.

This pattern of smock was introduced in 1954 and is usually referred to as the 1954 modification of the 1947 Model. It was only made between 1954 and 1956 when the more common TAP 47/56 was introduced making it a rare jacket to find today. This pattern was worn by French paratroopers in Algeria during the 1950s and is now one of the most iconic camouflage patterns of the 20th Century. This example does not bear the later Israeli Defence Force stamps which makes it a true French example.

The smock is made from cotton twill which has had the camouflaged pattern screen printed onto it. The colours are still very strong and bright with no fading from sunlight or washing. The front of the smock fastens with its original zip which is marked 'Spidex' and there is another, smaller zip to the left chest pocket which bears the same maker's name. The smock features two chest pockets as well as lower pockets which are angled - one of the key features of this pattern. Waist adjusters which fasten with metal buckles have been removed from each hip and there are four metal eyelets to each armpit. There is a strap to each cuff which fasten with a button.

Being a smock, this jacket is cut in a large, oversize manner to allow for free movement. When laid flat it measures - 

Chest - 24"
Inside arm - 19 1/2"
Outside arm - 25 1/2"
Shoulders - 17 1/2"
Length - 32 1/2"

The smock is in fantastic condition with no real signs of wear or age. It displays extremely well with bright. bold colours and a very fresh appearance on the whole. It would be hard to better in many ways but please take time to study the pictures before purchasing and bear in mind that this is a vintage, pre-owned item which may have flaws commensurate with age.

A stunning example of this rare pattern of French paratrooper smock with loads of great details.