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New Stock Listing

This page lists any stock that has been added in the last 60 days, together with any "Featured" items in stock.
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Reference Stock Item   Description Price
Fleet Air Arm 1st Pattern N type Flying Helmet - Click for the bigger picture Reserved

New Stock - 9 days ago

Fleet Air Arm 1st Pattern N type Flying Helmet - This pattern is often incorrectly called FAA D type but they actually have their own designation which is 'N' Type flying helmet. The chin strap protector is stamped 22C but as advised by Mick Prodger this helmet did not carry a stores reference suffix number but was referenced as 'NIV', meaning "Not In Vocabulary. "This fine example is a very early externally wired 1st pattern with contra goggle straps and provision for use with the D, as well as later E, E* and G masks. An oxygen mask clip has been added so it appears to have been used in conjunction with one of these later masks.

We have had a very few of these over the years and this is well and truly the best example to date. Firstly it is a desirable size 4 (7 1/2 – 7 3/4). Intended for use in tropical/desert climates in the Middle East, Mediterranean and North Africa it incorporates a neck flap, exactly as the RAF pattern D helmet, to protect the wearer from the sun, a real issue in the open cockpit of a Fairy Swordfish. The outer fabric and the flap is very lightly soiled, commensurate with service use. The oxygen mask and goggle snaps are very good and retain virtually all of their original coatings. The helmet is fitted with the characteristic zipped leather receiver housings that give these helmets their distinctive look ; both are very good condition with no damage or scuffing and have excellent brass zips still fitted with elongated leather pull tabs associated with FAA helmets. The earpieces have their original receiver carriers in place and are fitted with a very good pair of set of original foam rubber cushions, one being RCAF marked. Below one earpiece is an ink 'AM' stamp with Kings Crown. The chin strap Bennett buckle clip is exceptional with the full leather cover remaining in place with no damage; the chin strap is missing chrome end but otherwise no issues at all.

Inside is equally crisp. The neck flap has soiling where you would expect and just minor grub on the satin lining which on these helmets is nearly always badly stained or damaged or both. The ear doughnuts are also satin covered and just one minor nick to one. The felt brow lining that is prone to wear or moth damage is close to mint. The helmet is not named and sadly the history has been lost down the years but it most certainly would have a story to tell. These first pattern FAA N helmets are often missing from many collections and are actually significantly harder to source than the RAF B type. Grab the opportunity to add this one to the collection whilst you have the chance!

RCAF/RAF Flying Helmet Sponge Rubber Inserts - Click for the bigger picture New Stock

New Stock - 24th April 2020

RCAF/RAF Flying Helmet Sponge Rubber Inserts - On offer are a matched pair of original WWII RCAF marked flying helmet receiver inserts. These were used on both RAF and RCAF B type flying helmets as well as with both the early and later patterns of the FAA C-type helmets. Originals hardly ever turn up these days and many that do are brittle and perished are of no use in serving their intended purpose. These are an absolutely pristine set and both fully stamped inside RCAF, stores reference number 22C/16 as well as the RCAF property mark of a broad arrow within a part circle. Both pads also carry a 'DU' stamp and we speculate this could refer to the manufacturer, perhaps DuPont? One is also stamped 'HD'. RAF issue examples carry a different stores reference code 22C/67 but are essentially identical so these would display equally well on both types of helmet. The final pictures attached show similar foams in place on an RAF B helmet (picture taken from our sold archive) and as can be seen these give the finishing touch and the characteristic look of these iconic Battle of Britain period helmets. We only have the one set available and when they are gone they are gone.
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Reference Stock Item   Description Price
WW1 German Trench Art Propeller Tip Barometer/Thermometer - Click for the bigger picture New Stock

New Stock - 12 days ago

WW1 German Trench Art Propeller Tip Barometer/Thermometer - A stunning example fashioned from what we believe to be a circa WWI propeller tip with interesting Provence. Whist we say 'tip ' it is a substantial piece measuring 29" along the leading edge (73 cm) and it is 8" wide (20 cm) at the top, with heavy brass sheathing to the pointed end. Sadly without the hub we have insufficient clues as to the aircraft type it served on but we are assuming from one that flew with the Deutsche Luftstreitkräft, known before October 1916 as Die Fliegertruppen des deutschen Kaiserreiches.

An aneroid barometer has been custom mounted within a recess cut into the blade. Whilst it is not maker marked the dial is printed 'Original Flugzeugpropeller', which translated means 'Original Aircraft propeller'. The card is also printed 'Sturm', 'Veranderlich', and 'Bestandig' which translates as 'Storm', 'Changeable' and 'Stable', as well as 'Regen Order Wind ' meaning 'Rain or wind' and 'SchönWetter' meaning 'Good Weather'. Mounted below the barometer is a thermometer with scales marked R & C. Research indicates this is the Réaumur scale that was used widely in Europe, particularly in France, Germany and Russia until the early 20th century. The R scale is calibrated from +40 to -30 and the C scale +50 to -35.

Perhaps most interestingly the propeller carries oriental writing either side of the thermometer and having contacted our Japanese consultant (thanks again Yasu, as ever for your time) and he has confirmed the script is indeed Japanese. Whilst quite hard to decipher the writing to the left side reads 'Kajiro-Shoten' which tanslated reads 'Kajiro Shop' whilst to the right is written 'This item was presented to Pension Orient'. Further research by our Japanese desk found that Kajiro-Shoten ran a shop in Berlin located at Neue Winterfeldtstraße 20, Berlin W30, in the 1930's. Our surmise therefore was this piece was commercially manufactured in Germany post WWI utilising scrapped or damaged propellers from the period and fitted with a German made aneroid barometer and thermometer.

In this instance it looks like this was originally purchased as a presentation piece given to the owners of the Orient Hotel, perhaps in Berlin but could well be elsewhere. How it ended up in south west England is anyone's guess!

The back of the propeller is in original condition and the brass remains unpolished. Interestingly this is somewhat crudely painted with 1305R. This could perhaps be a retail stock reference or a code for the item's location in the hotel. Another possibility suggested is it could have been the donor aircraft registration number but whilst a nice idea our feeling is this is unlikely. If any visitors to the site can add any additional information in regard to this piece we would be happy to add to our description. Whilst we have not tested either instrument for accuracy both seem to be functioning as intended. An unusual and finely executed piece of early aviation memorabilia and certainly a first for the team here at the Oldnautibits HQ and we don't expect to find another anytime soon!

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WWII Luftwaffe Personal Photograph Album , Brittany, France - Click for the bigger picture New Stock

New Stock - 6th April 2020

WWII Luftwaffe Personal Photograph Album , Brittany, France - A small but beautifully presented wartime photograph album. The covers are made from red leatherette material that are generally in good condition but with some small pressure indentations. Neither the cover or flyleaf page is named but the album contains 25 pages with a single original black and white photograph to each page. This came in by way of an auction and as no captions have been added it has proved a bit of a challenge to add some limited provenance, but we have done our best!

The title page picture shows a typically 'Nordic 'Luftwaffe Flieger (Private) confirmed by his collar badge; standing behind is a lady who we assume was his wife or girlfriend. In the following photograph the same chap features but he now seems to be sporting 'Gefreiter' rank badges (Lance Corporal). It is our assumption he was the owner of the album and took most of the photographs but sadly we are unable to name him. It is possible further clues may be on the back of the photographs but we prefer not to disturb them. Virtually every shot features a number of Luftwaffe colleagues in full uniform and in many they appear to be sightseeing and several featuring bridges and rivers. Another photo shows a couple of chaps standing on we believe on the second floor of the Eiffel Tower in Paris and then a larger group posing with a part built timber building in the background. Another photograph is of a distinctive art deco looking building with a signboard above and a group of military personnel in front and one standing inside at an open window. Whilst quite hard to decipher the writing on the rooftop signboard appears to say 'Erholungsheim' which trnslated means 'Rehabilitation Centre' or 'Sanitorium' followed by 'Schwarze Spiegel' which literally translated mean 'Black Mirrors'. A Luftwaffe wing logo, as used on rank collar tabs, is shown on the sign as well, so clearly for use of injured/rcovering Luftwaffe personnel.

A more conclusive photograph appears a little later with another group of Luftwaffe personnel posing with a viaduct behind them. We have a positive ID on this and believe it to be the railway viaduct which crosses the town of Morlaix in Brittany, in which case the river featured in several shots could be the Morlaix river. Further research confirms an airport that was captured and used by was also used as a Luftwaffe and was situated 3.25 km NNE of Morlaix near the village of Ploujean. It was occupied by the Luftwaffe from June 1940 and was used by Jagdgeschwader 2 "Richthofen", Jagdgeschwader 26 "Schlageter", Jagdgeschwader 77 "Herz As" and Nachtjagdgeschwader 1. It was extended and improved by Spring 1941 and used moderately by fighters and bombers until February 1942 but was very little used after that date. So whilst not definitive we believe this album records life in Brittany by the German occupiers sometimes from 1940-1942.

So a small but interesting WWII Luftwaffe album and definitely worthy of further research. Sadly no details of the base he was stationed at are shown and the mainly off duty nature of the pictures would seem to confirm these were taken with his personal camera when touring away from base. The album measures 4.5" x 3.25" (12 cm x 8.5 cm) with strong binding and no loose pages or photographs.

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Reference Stock Item   Description Price
This is a Used Book
The Fairey Aviation Company Ltd Works Rules - Click for the bigger picture New Stock

New Stock - 6th April 2020

The Fairey Aviation Company Ltd Works Rules

Fairey Aviation was a British aircraft manufacturer founded in 1915 by Sir Richard Fairey as the Fairey Aviation Company Ltd manufacturing seaplanes based in Hayes Middlesex and Heaton Chapel, Ringway in Greater Manchester. They made a number of famous aircraft in WWII including the Swordfish, Fulmar fighters and Barracuda dive-bombers. Fairey's also built 498 Bristol Beaufighter aircraft and over 660 Handley Page Halifax bombers in their northern facilities. Post war they produced the Firefly and Gannet for the Fleet Air Arm and assisted with sub-contracts from de Havilland for Vampire and Venom jet fighters. In the late 1950's Fairey developed the Fairey Rotodyne, a unique aircraft that was probably ahead of its time, an example of which I well remember building as an Airfix kit as a boy in the 1960's. The company subsequently diversified into mechanical engineering and boat-building and the aircraft manufacturing arm was taken over by Westland Aircraft in 1960 and following a series of mergers and takeovers, the principal successor businesses now trade as FBM Babcock Marine Ltd and Spectris PLC.

Here we have a set of original hard cover bound 'Woks Rules' that remain in very crisp overall condition. The booklet contains 10 pages of regulations and details exactly what employees can and can not do whilst on the works premises including smoking restrictions, payment arrangements and even the official secrets act! The front cover carries the Fairy logo and the binding remains strong. The rules are not dated but clearly must date from pre 1960. A fascinating insight into one of the great names in British aviation.

Pages: 10
Cover: Hard
Author: The Directors Fairey Aviation

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Reference Stock Item   Description Price
A Pair of Admiralty Standard Sealed SampleThread Bundles dated 1897 - Click for the bigger picture New Stock

New Stock - 9th April 2020

A Pair of Admiralty Standard Sealed SampleThread Bundles dated 1897 - These unique items are Admiralty Pattern sealed samples to confirm the thread specification to be used on Royal Naval contracts. The labels, showing some age wear, are still readable and carry a wax admiralty seal with fouled anchor to both sides, as well as an instruction "this label is not be removed nor the pattern damaged" and below CP 7365 and clearly dated 1897. A manufacturer's ticket is slipped through the thread of one bundle naming the manufacturer W J Knox Kilbirnie. The firm of W J Knox established their business in 1778 and are still operating from their factory in Ayrshire, making camouflage nets and marine signal equipment and are still supplying the Royal Navy 123 years after these sample were sealed.

Sealed samples were used in Government contracts to check the factory bulk production matched exactly the specification of the sealed sample so was critical in maintaining quality standards. These are absolutely unique pieces and are of historical interest and really deserve to be in a museum collection. Better still of course would be for W.J.Knox to purchase and to go on public display in a factory museum!

These have been in our personal collection since 2001 but it is now finally times to rehome the pair so grab them whilst you can! Each bundle measures 7" (17 cm)

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Reference Stock Item   Description Price
Comite Reception des Prisonniers de Guerre et Deportes Politiques Seraing Centre - Click for the bigger picture New Stock

New Stock - 14th April 2020

Comite Reception des Prisonniers de Guerre et Deportes Politiques Seraing Centre - At the end of WWII millions of displaced persons, and many former POW's from the Soviet Union, were held in temporary camps. Most of them subsequently returned home but thousands decided to stay. In 1947 these people were re-homed with those countries willing to take them and Belgium was one of the first. Between 1947 to 1952 15,000 Russian-speakers settled in Belgium. One such reception centre was the miners' camp at Seraing, but living conditions were poor and lacked even basic necessities and life for the inmates must have been very harsh.

Our plaque is made from chrome plated brass and is inscribed in French and translated reads 'Reception Committee for Prisoners of War & Political Deportees Seraing Centre.' Above is an image of a soldier wearing a forage cap set against a background of barbed wire. We have no idea when or to whom this was presented but an emotive and probably scarce object relating to a little know aspect of post war history. Measures 3" x 3" (7.5 cm x 7.5 cm)

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