This jacket is without a doubt one of the most iconic jackets of the 20th Century and its not hard to see why. Produced in France during the late 1930s and early 1940s, these zip front leather jackets saw use with the French Army at the beginning of the Second World War as well as the Armée de L'air. Luftwaffe pilots stationed in Northern France after the fall of France in 1940 also precured these jackets privately and there are many period pictures showing this exact style of jacket being worn by German pilots (see attached). They also saw use later in the war with the French Resistance and Maquis.
This type of jacket is often referred to as ‘Hartmann’ by collectors as this style was worn by the famous German fighter ace during WW2. It is made from a deep brown coloured leather and features a brass 'Eclair' branded main zip as are often found on this type of jacket. Two straight zipped pockets are located to each side of the chest whilst button pockets are found towards the bottom and are secured with ‘football’ style buttons. There is a clasp at the waist which is typically found on 'Blouson Cycliste' jackets from this period and there are waist adjusters located to each hip. The cuffs also fasten with 'football' style buttons.
The interior is lined with a light grey coloured thick blanket material and the sleeves are also lined.
The jacket is a small size and will fit around a 36” chest depending on desired fit. When laid flat it measures -
Chest - 21”
Waist - 17 1/2”
Inside arm - 17 1/2”
Outside arm - 23 1/2”
Shoulders - 17”
Length - 20 1/2”
The jacket is in good condition for a leather jacket of this age. The leather is still soft and pliable and generally speaking it displays very well. It does have a couple of issues however. The inside seam of the left arm has been repaired by hand and there is a small split to the leather at the left armpit (picture 7). One of the front pocket buttons is missing a small section which is again illustrated in the pictures and does not affect how it displays. On the whole it is an excellent example which is very wearable with strong stitching and no serious flaws. Please study the pictures carefully before purchasing and bear in mind that this is a vintage, pre-worn item which has some flaws commensurate with age.
Overall a very nice example of this scarce and sought-after leather jacket which would make an excellent addition to any collection.