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Aviation Collectables & Aviation Clothing - Stock Archive - Page 1

These are some of the SOLD items that have been listed on our website

There are a maximum of 20 items on each page - they are not listed in any particular order. As time goes by we will continue to add to this archive, so, hopefully it will become quite a large reference record. If you have a specific interest, try using the Search box below - this will search the entire stock database for any keyword(s) you enter.

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Reference Stock Item   Description
6676 RNAS WW1 Flying Filter Goggles - Click for the bigger picture SoldRNAS WW1 Flying Filter Goggles - Probably the scarcest pattern of WW1 flying goggles and so few have survived that most museums do not have a set on display and the only other example we have been able to find is part of the Yale Peabody Museum collection in the US. When Mick Prodger published his classic reference work ‘Vintage Fling Helmets’ he was unable to source a set for inclusion although he has since owned a single pair. It is understood they were experimental when first issued to Royal Naval Air Service pilots in1917. Each set was contained within a custom made wooden case that held 16 coloured lenses (or officially designated “light filters”) that were intended to assist with locating and spotting enemy ships and submarines from the air under different conditions. Some were for looking through haze, whilst others were for spotting oil on the surface of the water, or again for locating shadows under the water or even enemy gun flashed over the trenches. The set was completed when issued with an instruction manual giving directions for use and even an address for pilots to write to with their observations as to how these worked in practice!

This superb example is complete and despite being over 100 years old appears to be in unissued condition. It was discovered in a building close to Kalafrana on the southernmost tip of Malta which was a seaplane base between 1917 and 1946, when it was transferred to the Royal Navy. In WW11 RAF Kalafrana was home to 228 Squadron flying Sunderland’s and remained in use until the 1960’s. Clearly these are the flying goggles that time forgot, until recently re discovered. The booklet shows some insect damage to the cover and the staples are rusted but is still readable and indicates a print date of June 1918. The box is sound and as well as the filters currently fitted to the goggles it comes with a further 6 filters thus making up the full set; each pair of filters is numbered and whilst showing some age fading but are undamaged. The goggles themselves are virtually mint and the tan leather is still soft and pliable; the cloth bound edge is fur lined and remains pristine, as are the face pads. The fabric backstrap is complete but has lost its elasticity over the last 100 years and now needs to be handled carefully. The strap is marked in pencil with a ‘K’ and the metal clip and adjustment clip are rust free.

This set is undoubtedly a museum quality item and if you happened to be a Museum curator or a private collector you will need to move fast to secure them for your collection.

3152 RAF War Service Dress named to Sgt Anholm - Click for the bigger picture SoldRAF War Service Dress named to Sgt Anholm - Here we list here a matched RAF Battledress blouse and trousers named to the same Sergeant. Sadly we have no history on him other than he clearly served in WW11 but without clues like his initials or service number tracking him down could prove a bridge too far. Both the blouse and trousers have good clear labels with the blouse made by Montague Burton Leeds in 1945 whilst the trousers are by John Hammond & Co (1922) Ltd and are dated 1944 and over stamped June 1944. The blouse carries standard rectangular RAF Other Ranks shoulder titles. Below is clear evidence where Sgt Anholm’s stripes have been removed as is often the case when uniforms are sold on by the family. It would be nice to have the blouse rebadged but we will leave this to the new owner. The condition of the cloth is way above the average for an original wartime set with just a couple of very small moth nibbles to the back panel but on display these are virtually invisible. All buttons and buckles are present and correct.

The matching trousers are like the tunic, very clean and fresh and despite being made 75 years ago just a couple of moth nibbles that on display do not really detract. The field dressing pocket is of the later button closed type as opposed to the early War flap version. Clearly Sgt Anholm was not a large man with the tunic being as size 2 (Height 5’ 2”-5’ 4”, Breast 34”-35” and Waist 31”). The trousers are a size 1 to fit a Waist 29” and Leg 28½”. So despite its modest size this matched set could form the ideal basis of an RAF Flight Sergeant mannequin or just as a display item in your collection. As with all our stock more detailed photographs are available on request. Genuine matched and named wartime RAF Battledress are becoming increasingly hard to find so grab this opportunity, on offer at a competitive price, whilst you can!

2492 Private Purchase Flying Helmet - Click for the bigger picture SoldPrivate Purchase Flying Helmet - An original period flying or motoring helmet that probably dates from the 1920’s and was purchased by us from a retired Tiger Moth pilot who last used it in the 1980’s. Constructed in soft tan leather it remains in remarkably good condition with no issues to report and just the odd mark or stain that adds to the vintage patination. The helmet has triangular cut outs for the ears with wind deflection scoops mounted in a rear facing position. The brow of the helmet carries a small peak.

Inside is lined in tan cloth and is again in excellent original condition. It carries no makers label so we are unable to ascertain who made this one but it is typical of private purchase flying or motoring helmets of the early post war period and used into the 1930's. The chin strap and buckle remain sound. Whilst no size is marked it is a decent size and we would guess equates to an RAF size 3 or 4 helmet and would fit a head of about 60 cm or 7 ½”. Like the other helmet we have listed today this too would be the perfect accessory for your classic car or aircraft or the finishing touch for all those vintage events you will be attending this summer!

5303 'Conyne' Pattern Aerial Kite and Tube - Click for the bigger picture Sold'Conyne' Pattern Aerial Kite and Tube - Another aerial kit we are listing today but this one is proving a bit of a mystery! When purchased it was described as ‘for use in conjunction with the Airborne Lifeboat ‘. Research online does indicates in 1943 the Air Ministry refined the antenna raising system further; they were apparently happy with the ‘Gibson Girl’ transmitter but the box kite was superseded by a Conyne design which could be rocket launched with the aid of a Very pistol. Whilst our kite looks very similar in shape and design with a lightweight white cotton sail and aluminium struts, they differed from this example as the spars were engineered with a spring system to open the kite in the air after launch. Ours whilst initially similar has to be assembled by hand so we have discounted this possibility. The issue tube is clearly marked ‘Assembly and Operation of Hand Flying Kite and Aerial’ but the detailed instructions don’t really assist with a positive identification as no RAF or other stores reference numbers are shown. Interestingly the illustration (further detailed photographs are available on request) shows a gent in a sailors cap in apparently a wooden craft. We have discussed this conundrum with Mick Prodger and whilst only a guess he wondered if it could have been issued for use by Naval or Merchant Navy lifeboats WW11? To further confuse the situation I remember as a boy in the 1950’s being given a similarly designed kite by my Father who at the time was the C/O of the Air Section of a school cadet Force and my memory tells me it was ex RAF. It could always be an Airborne lifeboat kite as described to us but a standard launch example but let’s just say the jury is still out!

Suffice to say a rather scarcer pattern than the standard RAF box kite design, as per the mint example we have listed. The condition of this one is not perfect but despite the odd repair and minor damage and some staining to the cloth it remains in remarkably good display condition. The collapsible frame is made from aluminium whilst the front pole to which the aerial would have been attached is hardwood. Interestingly this is considerably longer than the storage tube ; it may be this is not original to the kite or it was packed separately or even perhaps the transit tube has been misplaced with another. So currently we have more questions than answers but if any visitors to the site can clarify the origins of this example we would be delighted to hear from them and we can add new information to this listing. The cardboard and metal storage tube measures 30.5” (77 cm) whilst the kite measured along the main spar is 51” (130 cm)

6739 RAF K Dinghy Hand Paddles - Click for the bigger picture SoldRAF K Dinghy Hand Paddles - Standard issue with the fighter pilot’s K type single seat dinghy in WW11. These were designated with stores reference number 27C/1906 and were constructed from rubber stretched over a simple metal frame.

The user would insert his hands and wrist between the paddle and the elastic retaining bands and use to propel the dinghy through the water. This pair is in issued condition with some staining to one paddle as shown. Both are stamped CQD 1096/3 1 and further stamps reading R.F.D.36;‘RFD’ indicating this set was made by ‘RFD', which represents the company founder Reginald Foster Dagnall, who established the business in 1920. Despite not being in pristine this set gives the impression they have been issued and used so would add a touch of authenticity in an appropriate display and are priced to reflect their current condition.

6794 RAF Trench Art 20 mm Shell Case Trench Art Lighter - Click for the bigger picture SoldRAF Trench Art 20 mm Shell Case Trench Art Lighter - An attractive example mounted on a turned wood base with the case then fixed to a plinth that may have been made from scrap Paxolin or similar synthetic plastic material. The Hispano-Suiza 20 MM HS-404 equipped virtually every British fighter aircraft during WW2 including later marks of the Spitfire, Hurricane, Typhoon, Tempest, Mosquito, Whirlwind, Beaufighter, P38 Lightning and many more. After some early teething troubles it proved to be an extremely effective weapon in both air to air and ground strafing roles.

This example is in first class condition and the cannon shell itself retains its copper band. The shell case has been sectioned and the top part is removable which then reveals a lighter mechanism fitted inside; we have bought and sold several similar examples over the years. We have not attempted to get this working and we can no longer guarantee its original purpose although it does look complete and the flint wheel still creates a good spark. Despite being completely inert to avoid any issues with customs we are restricting the sale of this item to UK destinations only. Stands 8 ½” tall including the base (22 cm)

5220 RFC Goggles Mask Flying MK11 - Click for the bigger picture SoldRFC Goggles Mask Flying MK11 - In the early days of aviation flight clothing was often adapted from civilian or motoring apparel and the practice continued into the early years of WW1. In the case of goggles many were private purchase and the mask model gave excellent face protection when used in conjunction with the RFC cowl helmet. By 1916/17 the WD started issuing an official flying goggles which were designated the Mk1, stores reference 22C/10 which were fitted with clear lenses and the Mk11, stores reference 22C/11, which were identical but featured tinted lenses. The same pattern was also sold by Triplex as a private purchase item post war and was used up until the 1930’s. Clearly the issue ones are the most desirable, scarce and as a result the most expensive to purchase today. Here we have a more or less text book example of this pattern.

The leather face mask remains supple and retains most of its original brown finish. To the left side and printed in gold leaf is the googles designation ‘Goggles mask Flying Mark 11’ so these are the tinted lens option; the lenses are without damage and are not suffering from fogging as is normally the case. The manufacturers details are also shown as being ‘The Triplex Mask & Lens Co Ltd’ followed by the all important RFC property mark of a War Department Broad Arrow and an ‘ A ’, designating the Air Branch, so no doubts this is a genuine RFC issue set. Clearly with use the gold leaf stamping invariably wears off or fades so this set is exceptional and the designation remains crisp and clear despite the 100 + years since it came out of the factory. The metal lens frame is blackened; early examples had chrome or nickel frames and the black variant was introduced to prevent glare. The classic ‘teardrop ‘ shape will be recognised in the next development of RAF goggles of the 1930’s, also confusingly referred to as Mk11 goggles, which remained in service until the Battle of Britain despite being technically superseded by the less favoured Mk111 and 111A patterns. A patent number 116597 is stamped into the frame. Inside the mask is lined with leather and fur trimming to around the lenses. The back strap is a simple adjustable elastic strap that shows some age wear and stretching but remains sound.

In summary a very fine and desirable RFC issue example that rarely turn up for sale in any condition so grab them whilst you can.

6738 RAF K Type Dinghy Hand Paddles - Click for the bigger picture SoldRAF K Type Dinghy Hand Paddles - Standard issue with the fighter pilot’s K type single seat dinghy in WW11. These were issued against stores reference number 27C/1906 and were constructed from rubber stretched over a simple metal frame.

The user would insert his hands and wrist between the paddle and the elastic retaining bands and use to propel the dinghy through the water. This is a good matched pair stamped with both stamped CQD 1096/3 and further stamps reading R.F.D.38 ‘RFD’ indicating this set was made by ‘RFD, which represents the company founder Reginald Foster Dagnall, who established the business in 1920. The reverse side is marked ‘35’. These are a matched pair and in excellent issued condition with just minor wear to the elastic section and age related storage marks.

6659 USAAF A-3 Parachute Harness - Click for the bigger picture SoldUSAAF A-3 Parachute Harness - Or to use its full title ‘Group 2 (Yellow) Parachute Assembly, Quick Attachable Chest, Type A-3 harness’. This pattern was developed in late 1943 and first saw operational service early in 1944. This example is a really first class replica and whilst used previously in the ownership of a re-enactor is remains in very clean original condition.

Stamped on one of the beige webbing straps, that also feature a central black fleck, is ‘Standard Parachute Corp ‘ and is dated May 1942 together with an AN acceptance stamp in a circle. The buckles and fittings are all made from cast alloy and the harness features the distinctive yellow felt coding to ensure aircrew selected the correct parachute pack from the stores. The A-3 carried the attachment hooks on the harness and the loops were on the pack but to confuse matters on the A-4 the reverse applied so the component parts were definitely not compatible! The set is completed by the correct olive drab pack pad that is nicely stamped ‘Back Pad part nos 42D2013 and ‘Date of manufacture May 1942’ and a further AN acceptance stamp. Originals of these are getting very hard to source now and this is reflected in their price. This replica provides a more economical alternative that will look good dressed on a mannequin or of course for the re-enactor looking for authenticity and it will only improve with usage.
6637 E.Vion Compass Type 112 - Click for the bigger picture SoldE.Vion Compass Type 112 - This little French compass came in in a box of assorted instruments and whilst we have never had the type here before believe it would have been fitted to the instrument panel of light aircraft such as the Fournier RF4 and RF5 & Vivat SDM and no doubt others. The data plate on the case confirms it was manufactured in November 1963 and the guarantee ran out one year later!The serial number is 3856 and it was made by E.Vion of Paris. Interestingly the front of the compass appears to be mounted upside down when compared with the compass card but that is how it came to us. The bolts to locate the rear cover are missing as is the damping oil. So we are offering this modest sized compass as a project or for spare parts and as detailed above it went out of guarantee 55 years ago! Instrument front plate measures 2.4” (6 cm)
6636 RAF Air Speed Indicator Mk 1XA - Click for the bigger picture SoldRAF Air Speed Indicator Mk 1XA - The Mk1XA instrument (the 'A' signifying the dial is non-luminous) entered service in the 1930'sand replaced the V series of instruments and was the first to have a bakerite case and was standard fit in most British aircraft in WW11. Numerous versions were made each with a different speed scale; in this instance the speed is marked in M.P.H. as opposed to Knots and the scale runs from 2-240 MPH. This indicates this is an early instrument as on later ones the scale commenced at 5MPH. The branch connecting tubes emerge from the back of the dial which is nicely stamped with a Kings Crown and A.M. as well as a patent number. This instrument would have been fitted to a variety of aircraft but definitely the RAF Auster 1V & V. Whilst this instrument is offered for sale as a collectors item only it does still have an RAF Returned Equipment ticket attached which indicates when last checked it was pronounced 'Serviceable' by the assessing officer. Dial bezel dimension 3.6"(9.3cm)
6638 RAF Spitfire 2 Way Ignition Magneto Switchbox - Click for the bigger picture SoldRAF Spitfire 2 Way Ignition Magneto Switchbox - Another item that is now becoming increasingly hard to source. This is the classic short toggle type as fitted to the Spitfire and Hurricane, as well as wide variety of RAF aircraft of the WW11 era including the Tempest and Typhoon. It should not be confused however with the long toggle type that is more associated with the heavies.

This 2-way ignition switch box, is clearly marked on the case 'SWITCHBOX 2 WAY IGNITION' and 'Ref. No. 5C/548', and is located in the pilots instrument panel and forms an integral part of for starting the Merlin Engine. It is also marked with a crisp Kings Crown and A.M. below whilst one end of the case carries and ink stamp 'MK' with a '2' below. The brass front face is clearly annotated MAGNETO no 1 and No2 with 'ON' being in the up position and 'Off' in the down ; below the 'off' is painted in STI/ELEC/8. The switch springs are perhaps not as crisp as they once were but operate perfectly well but this item is for sale as a collectable and it can not be guaranteed for its original purpose. It would of course make a perfect addition to a Spitfire or Hurricane replica instrument panel or cockpit project.

Prices on these switch boxes are going up all the time and we have seen similar currently listed at £187 and an eyewatering £285! Ours is rather more modestly priced so grab it whilst you can as we have no more once this has gone.

OC450 RAF Aircraft Blind Flying Hood - Click for the bigger picture SoldRAF Aircraft Blind Flying Hood - This one is a first for the team at Oldnautibits HQ! This item came in with a number of other aviation related pieces we are currently listing, recovered from the garage of a retired Tiger Moth pilot. Whilst initially thinking this was the hood from an ancient MG, a little bit of online research confirmed it is in fact an RAF blind flying training hood, probably dating to the 1930's. We have found photographs of similar being fitted to the rear cockpits of trainers such as the DH82 Tiger Moth and the RAF Miles Magister. When the hood is opened up it enabled the instructor to simulate conditions of zero visibility for the fledgling pilot the back seat, whilst the instructor, in the front cockpit keeps his eyes peeled to check the accuracy of the flying and to keep a look-out for other aircraft!

The metal frame of this hood retains much of its original green paint and despite some rust appears to be in sound condition. The canvas and leather of the hood cover itself is in very poor condition but sufficient remains we believe to provide a decent pattern for a replacement hood to be constructed. Alternatively it may be possible to carry out sympathetic repairs or it could be left in 'as found ' condition, to display how basic flight training was carried out in the 1930's, when it was very much 'seat of the pants' stuff! Interestingly this hood has two blackened triangular windows that we have not seen on any period photographs. We speculate these may have been to allow minimal light into the blackout conditions within the cockpit, to aid reading of the basic set of panel instruments whilst preventing the trainee having a crafty visual to see how he was making out! The rear of the hood has 'lift the dot' fasteners to attach securely to the rear of the cockpit frame while the front would have been secured by straps An interesting training aid from a bygone age!

6632 Air Ministry Inclinometer Reference 6A/389 - Click for the bigger picture SoldAir Ministry Inclinometer Reference 6A/389 - Officially called a ' Fore-and-Aft Level, Type B' these were first described in the 1934 edition of AP1275. The type 'B' variant superseded the Type 'A' which was used on RNAS aircraft during the 1914-18 war. This updated version was significantly lighter and was used in a variety of RAF aircraft of the 1930's, including the DH82 Tiger Moth, Bristol Bulldog, Gloucester Gladiator and many more. It remained in service until the more sophisticated blind flying instruments panels were introduced which included an Artificial Horizon.

This example is in really crisp original condition with a white oblong dial graduated clearly from zero in the centre indicating flat and level flight. It then caries a scale going up to 20 degrees in a climb and 20 degrees in a dive so effectively the instrument gave a visual indication of the angle of the aircraft through the air and effectively worked in the same way as a spirit level, but in the vertical plane. The 'A' version of instrument originally contained a red dye but this was found prone to fading so was uprated with a black dye on later models. The dye is still present in this example and whilst we can't warrant its accuracy it seems to work as was intended back in the 1930's. It is made from what looks like Bakelite and is fully stamped with REF. No. 6A/389, a Kings Crown, A.M. and a serial number 145752. On the reverse of the dial is an ink manufacturers or inspectors stamp ; we are unsure who made this example but the main makers were either Short & Maison or Reid & Sigrist Ltd. The dial measures 5.5" (14 cm).These instruments are becoming increasingly difficult to find now so grab the opportunity whilst it is available. It is the first one of the kind we have had in for a considerable time and when it is gone it is gone!

4522 RAF Mk1V Flying Goggles 22C/111 - Click for the bigger picture SoldRAF Mk1V Flying Goggles 22C/111 - The Mk1V series of flying goggle, stores reference 22C/111, was designed specifically for use with the RAF B type flying helmet, with the large elasticated loop straps designed to encircle the bulbous zipped receiver housings. First introduced by the Air Ministry in June 1940, the concept behind the design was sound but the manufacture of them proved a nightmare! Our set are the incredibly scarce original variant and features a complicated double panel laminated glass hinged lens arrangement, with the outer lenses frame swivelling outwards. The design was further compromised as the sun filter 'flip shield' with an external coiled spring arrangement was found to be incredibly weak and invariably broke off in service.

The Mk1V were also found to be heavy in use, so with all these problems the Air Ministry specified the MK1V A of a similar deign but without the hinged windows but made of a plastic material. These however proved to be hardly any lighter and very few were made and were in turn replaced by the final variant the Mk1VB, which is the pattern that most often surfaces today. These redressed many of the issues described, were more robust, eliminated the opening window frames and had a stronger flip shield arrangements. Weight remained an issue, although the introduction of riveted guide plates to locate the goggles on the B helmet helmet, helped to an extent. The 1VB was issued in some quantity and remains the most common of the variants that turn up today.

Our example is a rare early survivor and is pretty much in text book condition. The black painted frame is excellent with just a little wear around the flip shield mount; the delicate flip shield, stores reference 22C/113 'Screens anti -glare', as previously described, is surprisingly undamaged. The lenses are above the average with just minor fogging. The leather nose cover and chamois backing are excellent, but the black rubber face pads are slightly distorted and hardened, as always seems to be the case, but this does not detract from a display point of view. The elastic loops and sprung cloth covered straps are in top condition, as is the leather back strap with good clear embossing with nice firm Kings Crown, A.M. Mk1V 22C/111 and makers details Levers Optical Co Ltd.

Not much more than we can add other than Mk1V's in any condition hardly ever appear on the market now and to find a pair in top condition as these is an exceptional opportunity that we are unlikely to be able to repeat anytime soon.

3723 6D/101 MK111B*Oxygen Connector - Click for the bigger picture Sold6D/101 MK111B*Oxygen Connector - These increasingly rare connectors were standard RAF issue in the late 1930's and in the early stages of WW11 and in use during the Battle of France and the Battle of Britain. They were used to connect the D mask oxygen hose to the aircraft oxygen system. Whilst the A and B variants look identical the A had no internal valve with just a rubber washer fitted to provide an effective seal to the aircrafts oxygen system. This evolved into the more refined B which is fitted with a sprung non-return valve which automatically closes when the connector is removed from the system.

Oxygen was supplied by a constant flow rather than a demand valve system and entered the mask by a breathing hose. Interestingly prior to 1941 this was insulated with a cloth covering ; our example still retains the cut end of that oxygen hose which is just rubber so it is assumed this one is a later issue example. In a Spitfire the male connector was mounted on the starboard side of the cockpit above the chassis control lever. Made from solid brass this example is clearly stamped with stores reference 6D/101 (the 6D prefix indicating Oxygen equipment) whilst the reverse side is stamped Mk111B* and above GB6 in a circle, as well as a Broad Arrow property mark. The sprung valve remains firm and whilst for sale as an aviation collectable we see no reason, if you happen to have a Spit to plug it into, it would work as intended back in 1940.

These are almost impossible to source now with thousands being scrapped for their brass post war so grab this rare survivor whilst you have the chance!

1489 RAF 1930 Pattern Flying Helmet with History - Click for the bigger picture SoldRAF 1930 Pattern Flying Helmet with History - Often overlooked by collectors but an early and important part of the evolution of RAF issue flying helmets. This design replaced the RFC Mk1 helmet and was the predecessor of the B helmet that entered service in 1935. Issued against stores reference 22C/57 many helmets were modified by the addition of flap type receiver housings, designated 22C/57, to accommodate radio-telephones or acoustic Gosport Tubes. Others are documented to have had 'B' type receiver cups fitted and adapted to take the D oxygen mask and so served into the early part of WW11.

This example remains as issued without flaps being fitted and the dark chestnut leather remains in remarkably good condition. These helmets carried a wide chin strap and a large buckle fastening ; the strap remains in sound condition although three of the metal eyelets are missing. The leather covered buckle, often a weak point, is close to mint. Inside the chamois lining is excellent but shows normal service wear commensurate with use. In the crown is an original manufacturers label and whist the writing has more or less worn away we can just decipher the maker is H.Bendall who went on to supply the 'B' helmet to the Air Ministry. We can not decipher the size or date although an ink stamp shows '9' and '33' so have assumed it was manufactured in 1933. It also carries a further ink stamp that M +2. The only real issue with this helmet, as is often the case with the 1930 pattern, is the interlining has hardened and crystallised but this does not impact from a display point of view. The velvet brow and chin strap lining remains sound.

What makes this already scarce and early helmet even more interesting is that it comes with provenance of the original owner, having been purchased from his family back in 2003, since when it has resided in my own personal collection. It was owned by Cecil Ferdinand Chinery, who was born 1 March 1896 and who served with the Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS) in the last year of WW1. Post war he transferred to the fledgling RAF and served in Palestine and also flew in various air displays at Hendon in the interwar years. He continued to serve into WW11 but in a non-flying capacity, including time based at RAF Cardington. The family told me they had had a photograph of Wing Commander Chinery shaking hands with King George V1 whilst on an official visit, but now sadly mislaid. He was appointed a Commander of the Military Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire Military Division (OBE) on 11 July 1940. All too often the stories associated with the kit we purchase has been lost down the years but this is certainly the exception and a letter confirming the provenance will be supplied to the new custodian.

4753 Private Purchase 1930's Flying Helmet by S.Lewis - Click for the bigger picture SoldPrivate Purchase 1930's Flying Helmet by S.Lewis -

A classic example of an inter War period flying helmet manufactured by S.Lewis. Inside the crown of the helmet is stitched a high quality woven label confirming ''S. Lewis's OF RACING FLYING & MOTOR CLOTHING FAME' with an address at 27, CARBURTON STREET LONDON. W.1. TEL. MUSEUM 4793 followed by 'No Connection with any other firm.' This was added to avoid confusion, as another manufacturer of the period operated under the trading title of ' D.Lewis of Great Portland Street, London' and the two firms wanted to establish their own identities. We have found a period S.Lewis advertisement on line featuring an identical helmet dated 1930 (marked at 25/9 to those of us who remember 'old' money!) and the pattern remained in use throughout the 1930's and into WW11.

Whilst a private purchase item many RAF pilots preferred to use these in preference to the issued item and Bob Stanford Tuck is a classic example. Added to the fact all private flying was suspended once war was declared it is safe to assume many of this pattern served with the RAF and this text book example would make a fine addition to an RAF or general collection. The dark brown leather is very soft and supple and is close to mint condition. It features an adjustable wide chinstrap for added comfort and press stud leather earflaps for use with Gosport tubes which were fitted when we purchased and were offered as a standard fitting back in the 1930's. These remain in very good original condition with no fraying to the tube covers. The brow carries a leather adjustment strap to customise the helmet's fit whilst to the rear is a buckle fastening goggle retaining strap. Inside is equally crisp with signs of just very light use. The remains of the paper size label is still in place confirming the size is possibly 7 1/2 but part of the label is missing ; having tried it on it probably equates to an RAF size 3 helmet. The top specification manufacturers label has already been mentioned but an added bonus is the original owner has inked in his name one Robin Sykes. Sadly we have no history on him and whilst two 'Sykes' were members of 'The Few' in the Battle of Britain neither was called Robin. Interestingly however a picture of Sub Lieutenant John Humphrey Sykes in the excellent 'Men of the Battle of Britain' appears to show him wearing a similar helmet, thus reconfirming many of this pattern saw RAF use in WW11.

In summary a very fine example that fully meets the oft quoted collectors maxim of ' always buy the best example you can afford' and this one is realistically priced with the added benefit of being fitted with Gosport tubes so the helmet is offered in service condition. All that is lacking is the DH Tiger Moth to plug it into!

3711 RAF Trench Art 20 MM Shell Case Trench Art Lighter - Click for the bigger picture SoldRAF Trench Art 20 MM Shell Case Trench Art Lighter - Another fine example from the small collection we have just purchased. This one is free standing and whilst inert appears never to have been fired. The head stamp is clearly visible and is embossed 'BBC 1941 20 MM' Online research throws up some confusion over the manufacturer. Some chat rooms indicate this was made by the British manufacturer 'Barking Brassware Company', who apparently only made ammunition for the 20mm Hispano, so seems to fit the bill. Others state it was made by the 'Bridgeport Brass Company of Bridgeport, Connecticut, USA', who also manufactured 20mm Hispano-Suiza cartridges. Seeing the items clear RAF origins we are inclined to think this is from the British Company but stand to be corrected by any 'armchair experts' out there! The Hispano-Suiza 20 MM HS-404 equipped virtually every British fighter aircraft during WW2 including later Mks of the Spitfire, Hurricane, Typhoon, Tempest, Mosquito, Whirlwind, Beaufighter, P38 Lightning and many more. After some early teething troubles it proved to be an extremely effective weapon in both he air to air and ground strafing roles.

This example is in first class condition with the front having a Kings Crown attached and a large RAF eagle below and despite its origins now being lost it is safe to assume this would have originated from an RAF station in WW11. The cannon shell itself retains its copper band and interestingly the beautifully engineered brass head unscrews to reveal a hollow interior which would originally have held high explosives. The shell case has been sectioned and the top part is removable which then reveals a lighter mechanism fitted inside of near identical construction to the other example we have also just listed (Item OC319).We have not attempted to get this working and we can no longer guarantee its original purpose although it does look complete. Despite being inert to avoid postage issues at customs we are restricting the sale of this item to UK customers only. Measures 7.25" tall (18.5cm)

4899 RAF Trench Art Shell Case - Click for the bigger picture SoldRAF Trench Art Shell Case - Another example of the craft which we are listing today, this time fashioned from a shell case clearly stamped 'DURA 20MM M21' and dated 1942. Online research indicates this was manufactured by the Dura Division of Detroit Harvester Corp, Toledo, Ohio, USA. Unusually this one is displayed inverted and the pointed end is screwed onto a turned aluminium base, that also features a riveted brass plaque with the RAF motto 'Per Adua Ad Astra' which translated means 'Through adversity to the stars'. We are unsure if the shell is an original item but compared with the other example we have listed today it carries no stampings to confirm its origins and we therefore surmise feel this may be a turned from a block of metal, fashioned to represent the 20 mil shell that was originally fitted. The front of the shell case has a wartime Other Ranks RAF Kings Crown cap badge attached and either side extended RAF wings cut from scrap brass. Whilst an inert display piece, to avoid any possible issues with customs, we are restricting this one to UK customers only. Measures 8" (20.5 cm)
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