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A beautiful Original 'Irvin' flying jacket made by Links in 1939.
This jacket was made as part of the late 1939 contract B24384/39/CIB which was the second contract awarded to Links. 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 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 in good condition as are all of the eyelets under each arm.
The main zip along with both sleeve zips are the original D.O.T examples with orange-tan coloured cotton tape backing. All three retain their factory fitted leather pull tabs which is testament to the excellent condition and originality of this jacket. The bucket at the bottom of the main zipper is marked 'DOT British' and all the zips function well.
Inside the jacket the original label is still present and is bright and legible. It features the Air Ministry AM an crown logo along with the contract number of B24384/39/CIB. A red on white size label has been fitted to the label which is most likely a later addition. It states the size of 40 although I would recommend a small fit.
The jacket will suit a 36" chest well and a tighter fit on a 38" chest. When laid flat the jacket measures -
Chest - 21"
Inside arm - 21"
Outside arm - 24 1/2"
Shoulders - 19 1/2"
Length - 24"
The jacket is in superb condition as can be seen in the pictures. It is still a lovely, bright chestnut brown colour which has a shine to it. The sheepskin lining is extremely good and all elements of the jacket are intact and functioning. The only flaws are a section of the rear panel is missing as shown in picture 26 and the elastic collar strap has lost a lot of its elasticity. The overall condition is very good indeed and would be very hard to better. Please study the pictures however and bear in mind that this is a vintage jacket which may have other small issues commensurate with age.
A very rare pre-war jacket which would suit a Battle for France or Battle of Britain collector very well. Not only is it in fantastic condition but it still retains its original label with 1939 contract number. A stunning jacket!