A scarce original British Army Leather Jerkin clearly dated 1939 which is in excellent condition.
This pattern of leather jerkin came into issue with the British Army during the Great War and stayed in service throughout the Second World War and well into the post-war years. This particular example is from the very early part of the Second World War and can be seen by the date on the original label. It appears to have belonged to 1476797 Paul Holden who was an aircraftman first class in the RAF who died at the age of 39 on the 1st of February 1944 whilst stationed in England. He was in 534 Squadron prior to this which was disbanded the previous year.
The jerkin is made from a brown coloured leather which is still very soft and pliable. It features four buttons which fasten the front, all of which are original to the garment. Being such an early example there are no panels to the front and only a couple of small panels to the rear. The interior is lined with a khaki green wool shirting material as was standard with this pattern of jerkin. To it is affixed the original manufacturer's label which bears the title of 'Leather Jerkins No.2' below which is the size of No.3 which is intended to fit a 40" - 46" chest. The maker's name of ‘J. S. Rapaport & Co Ltd’ is also present as is the date of 1939. The original owner has also marked his serial number in ink to the bottom of the label.
The jerkin will suit around a 42-44” chest depending on desired fit. When laid flat the jerkin measures -
Chest - 24”
Shoulders - 22”
Length - 34”
The condition of the jerkin is absolutely excellent with no real signs of wear or use. It is totally sound overall and all the stitching appears strong. All four original buttons are present and it looks to be very wearable. Please study the pictures before purchasing and bear in mind that it is a vintage, pre-owned item which may have small flaws commensurate with age.
Altogether a fine original example of a British Army jerkin complete with a rare early date. Not only this but it is in superb condition and a hard to find large size. This would be very hard to upgrade!