A very nice Original 'Irvin' flying jacket made by Links at the beginning of the Second World War.
This jacket was most likely made in 1940, based on the zips. 'Links' were a prolific manufacturer of Irvin flying jackets throughout the war although early examples such as this are now rare to find.
The jacket is typical of those worn during the early stages of the Second World by both Fighter and Bomber Command. The rear of the jacket features a single seam which is the most obvious detail of an early war jacket. The collar retains its leather tab and both of the corresponding metal rings are also present to the underside. The black elasticated collar strap can be found to the rear of the collar which is a great original feature as these are often missing on jackets today. The original waist belt is also still present and is the large, chromium plated type employed by 'Links' on these early jackets. This is a notable feature of this manufacture as it is very different in design to those used by other makers.
The main zip is original to the jacket and is maker marked 'Lightning'. It is a locking type rather than the later version which looks similar but does not have the locking detail. Both sleeve zips are the original D.O.T examples which bear the Air Ministry AM and crown marking to one side. The main zip and one sleeve zip retain their factory fitted leather pull tabs which is testament to the excellent condition and originality of this jacket. One sleeve zip is missing its leather puller.
Inside the jacket there is evidence of where the original label was fitted as illustrated in picture 23. The original brass hanging chain is also still present to the neck which is a nice detail as these are often broken or missing.
The jacket will suit a 38" chest well and a tighter fit on a 38" chest. When laid flat the jacket measures -
Chest - 23"
Inside arm - 23 1/2"
Outside arm - 26 1/2"
Shoulders - 20 1/2"
Length - 24"
The jacket is in good condition as can be seen in the pictures. All the stitching appears to be strong and the jacket is free of any damage or major defects. The leather exterior has lost some of its 'chrome' finish to all panels and most notably on the arm. There is also some discoloration to the sheepskin which is visible in the pictures and there is a small manufacturing fault where the sewing machine has missed the banding at the shoulder! This is merely cosmetic. Overall it is a nice solid example with some signs of age. Please study the pictures and bear in mind that this is a vintage jacket which may have other small issues commensurate with age.
A very rare early war jacket which would suit a Battle for France or Battle of Britain collector very well.