Aeronautical Headgear German
Luftwaffe Nitsche & Gunther Pattern 'Splinter' Goggles
This model, designated 'Flieger-Splitterschutzbrille', was developed by Dr. Knothe, of the optical firm Nitsche & Gunther and were favoured by Luftwaffe fighter pilots in WWII. Allocated stores refrence nos Fl. Nr30550 these represent the later 3rd pattern, offered in varients 'A' & 'D' and entered service in 1944. The pattern features a moulded black plastic frame, with a hinge arrangement over the nose. They are fitted with slightly tinted convex lenses, that were designed to provide protection from flying splinters and shrapnel, without too much curvature to distort vision.
Original examples of this pattern are now very hard to find and expensive, with good examples retailing at well over the £1,000+ level. Many of the replicas that do appear on the market from time to time originated in the Czech Republic although we are told by our contacts in that country the firm that made them is no longer in business and production has ceased. This may explain why even reproductions are now very scarce. We have no idea of the origins of this set but they have been decently executed but not to the exacting build quality of the original. The hinged frames are in excellent condition and on reverse they are indistinctly marked "NiGuRa", the branding used by the original manufacturers Nitsche and Gunther, Rathenow. This model was issued with clear and tinted lenses (designated 'A' & 'D') and it is our view the tinted variant, as this set, displays well, particularly in conjunction with the 'Netzkopfhaube' flying helmet, shown here with an approriate Luftwaffe winter flying jacket, are for display purposes and this sale is for the goggles alone. The pattern features large ventilation slots around the frame to avoid the lenses steaming up in use and the set is completed with a beige elastic back strap with a metal adjuster.
These goggles, despite being replicas, have none the less become a collector's item in themselves and are getting increasingly hard to find. These represent and an ideal stop gap for a serious collector, for a reenactor or film company which needs authenticity without risking using an original and for a fraction of the price of the real thing. We were advised the last of the Czech production was being offered back in 2012 was priced then at EU 500 so grab a bargain whilst you can!