An original Early Second World War Irvin flying jacket made by Robinson and Ensum in 1939 which is an extra large size 8.
This jacket was made as part of the first contract awarded to Robinson and Ensum in 1939 and is a wired example. This manufacturer placed the half belts much higher than other contractors so they are easy to identify today. It is of early construction with the single panel front and twin panel rear and has the short dense fur lining and collar facing which is typical of early jackets.
The jacket retains all three of its original ‘D.O.T’ brand zips which are all in good working order. Not only this but they also have their leather pull tabs still attached which is rare to find. The original metal hanging chain is still present in the neck and the waist buckle retains a good amount of its nickel plated finish. The leather channeling which takes the wiring of the jacket can be clearly seen in the pictures although it appears to have had the wires removed which is quite common when not used as part of the heated set. The collar retains its original leather strap and the two corresponding buckles are still present to the other side. The two metal eyelets which take the elastic collar strap are also still present although the collar strap has been removed.
The jacket is a very large size and must be the biggest of issue sizes which is 8. It is both broad and tall and when laid flat it measures -
Chest - 25 1/2”
Inside arm - 26”
Outside arm - 27 1/2”
Length (not including collar) 29”
Shoulders - 22 1/2”
Please take into account with the sizing that this is a thick, bulky jacket and will fit smaller than the measurements given above.
The condition of the jacket is superb. The chrome leather finish is very good as is the sheepskin lining. All the original zips are present as is the waist belt, waist belt buckle, collar strap and collar buckles. The only flaw is a hole to the area which sits behind the zipper when the jacket is fastened. How or why this is there it is hard to say and I can only assume somebody cut it in for a functional reason. Luckily It is not visible when done up and is the only real flaw I can find in what is an otherwise very fine example of an early Irvin.
Not only is the condition of the jacket extremely good for an early war example but the size is also a rare large size which are rarely seen on the market. This would make an excellent addition to any collection with a shadow of a doubt!