A rare original 1951 Pattern RAF Ventile Parka in a size 5 which is in used condition.
Officially designated 'Parka Outer 1951 Pattern', these parkas were issued to RAF personnel for use in extremely cold temperatures. Made from a green coloured ventile material which is famous for its windproof and waterproof qualities, this parka has a plethora of details. An angled flapped pocket is located to the chest and two more similar pockets can be found at the hips. An integral waist belt is located to the centre of the coat and features a metal buckle of the same style used for all ventile smocks, parkas and flying suits during the 1950s and 1960s. A white drawstring is fitted to the bottom hem to allow the coat to be pulled in tight at the bottom. The hood also features a similar drawstring which features a wooden stopper. The hood is an amazing large, snorkel style of incredible construction. It features a wire to the brim to keep it inshape and is trimmed with fur. It can be fastened tight using the wooden toggle on the right as detailed in the pictures. A pen pocket is located to the left sleeve and is a direct copy of those used on American flying jackets, first seen in the second world war. The coat is fitted with British military 'Opti' brand zip which is an old replement and functions well. This is concealed by a double flap which fastens with buttons.
The interior of the coat features a cream coloured blanket lining between the outer ventile fabric and the cotton lining which is in fact stitched to the inside of the cream coloured wool. Part of the interior of the hood features a soft, brown coloured fur collar below which is a hanging loop. The original label is present below this and bears the contract number of 22C/1301244, the size of 5 and the War Department broad arrow marking.
The coat is a large size and is intended to be worn as an outer layer over the top of a uniform. They are cut extremely wide for a loose fit which needs to be taken into account with the measurements. When laid flat the coat measures -
Chest - 2"
Inside arm - 21"
Outside arm - 24 1/2"
Shoulders - 20 3/4"
Length - 40"
The coat is in good, wearable condition but has plenty of signs of use - as can be seen in the pictures. The cuffs have had material added to them and there are a couple of patches to the interior, both of which are military field repairs. There is wear to the sleeves and a small section where the stitching has come away at the bottom of the zip (picture 16). There is wear to the sleeves and the body and the hanging loop has broken. It still displays well and is totally wearable with tons of character. The flaws have been reflected in the price but please study the pictures before purchasing to satisfy yourself of the condition.
A rare and very sought after British military coat in good condition. These coats were built for warmth and so many amazing details making this a must have for the serious vintage military collector!
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