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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 - our most recent sale is listed first - this is now quite a large reference record. If you have a specific interest, use our keyword search to search the entire stock database.


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NewStock NEW STOCK In Stock IN STOCK Featured FEATURED Sold SOLD Sold - similar available SOLD - similar available  
Reference Stock Item   Description
6154
Victory Through Air Power Propaganda Scarf by 'Glamour Wear' of London - Click for the bigger picture SoldVictory Through Air Power Propaganda Scarf by 'Glamour Wear' of London - A commemorative headscarf entitled 'Victory through Air Power'. The scarf is printed with illustrations showing the story of flight from the Orville Brothers invention of the 'flying machine' through to the conclusion of the Second World War. Large square commemorative cream-coloured headscarf printed with insignia and aircraft illustrating the story of flight and in each corner is a pilot's brevet for the RAF, RAAF, RCAF and USAAF. In the centre is the phrase 'Victory through Air Power' printed in red and surrounding a depiction of Orville and Wilbur Wright 1902 as 'Inventors of the flying machine' and around this are various illustrations showing bombing raids, crashed aircraft, flying formations and burning cities and factories. The scarf is made of Rayon (probably due to the lack of silk immediately post war) and the edge is finished in short tassels. Printed in one corner of the headscarf is the name of the manufacturer 'Glamour Wear, London'. Jacqmar is perhaps the most famous maker of propaganda scarves but we have been unable to find anything on 'Glamour Wear of London' but we assume this item was manufactured in the early post WWII period to celebrate aviation in general and victory in WWII in particular. The condition is generally good but it does have a few tiny holes and we suspect the colours have faded a little over the years. The range of images depicted are superb and the scarf would display well framed behind non reflective glass. Measures 30" x 30" (76 cm x 76 cm)
1849
RAF WWII Kings Crown Ashtray - Click for the bigger picture SoldRAF WWII Kings Crown Ashtray - A really crisp example that features a set of RAF pilots wings in brass and picked out in red and blue to the centre, surmounted by a Kings Crown, so almost certainly dates back to WWII. The middle of the tray is recessed to carry ash and on each corner is an indent to receive a Craven 'A' or a Players cigarette-untipped of course! The reverse does not carry any makers marks or other clues to its origins, but it is stamped EPNS ;this stands for "Electro Plated Nickel Silver" with Nickel Silver being the base metal onto which silver is plated. Despite its name, Nickel Silver contains no silver at all, but is an alloy of Nickel, Zinc & Copper. I actually purchased this from aviation collector and sometime dealer Kevin King back in 2004 but after nearly 17 years it is time to find a new custodian for it. Whilst displaying minor marks, commensurate with age, it remains in remarkably good original condition. Measures 4.25"x4.25" (10.5 cm x10.5 cm)
5185
Aeronautical Inspection Department Alloy Ashtray - Click for the bigger picture SoldAeronautical Inspection Department Alloy Ashtray - Another scarce example from my own collection purchased in 2010 and we have not seen another since. The Aeronautical Inspection Department (AID) was formed in December 1913 for the purpose of inspecting aircraft and other supplies for the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) and effectively its function was to act as the quality control and airworthiness branch for all aspects of aviation. It was originally established by the War Office, and then passed successively to the Ministry of Munitions (1917), the Air Ministry (1920), the Ministry of Aircraft Production (1940), the Ministry of Supply (1946), and the Ministry of Aviation (1959). ByWW11 the AID was an engineering organisation, mainly staffed by civilians, but in part RAF, whose prime purpose was to ensure that all RAF and RN equipment manufactured or repaired by contractors and by RAF maintenance units was to approved designs and was fit and serviceable for issue to the users, be they Royal Air Force or the Royal Navies Fleet Air Arm (FAA).

This example carries a Kings Crown, so we believe would date from not later than WWII. Below the Kings Crown is the Air Inspectorate Department crest with wings, AID and the Latin motto 'Securitas Per Diligent' which roughly translated means 'By Diligence Security'. The crest stands out in relief whilst the tray, which could well be made from lightweight aircraft aluminium, has a hammered finish. It carries no makers marks and seems highly likely this was made by the AID themselves. It measures 4 1/2" diameter (11.5 cm) and represents an unusual item from and often overlooked yet critically important department.

5633
WRAF Officer Service Dress Cap - Click for the bigger picture SoldWRAF Officer Service Dress Cap - An excellent early post war example of an Officers pattern Women's Royal Air Force SD cap that are becoming increasingly difficult to find. This one is particularly interesting as sewn inside the plastic covering the makers label is a name card detailing the original owner as Flight Officer F. H. Wilson and below Womens Royal Air Force. This more or less covers the makers label but from the small part we can see we believe indicates the cap was made by Moss Bros of Covent Garden, London.

We have carried out limited research on the original owner and it seems possible she served during WWII as we have identified a WAAF Corporal F. H. Wilson who was notified as being wounded in action by Communique 436 and this was reconfirmed by an entry in 'Flight' of 26th August 1944. She then surfaces again on 22nd May 1950 as Flying Officer Wilson service number 2089639, when she was appointed as Assistant to the Provost Marshall. In November 1956, she is still assisting the Provost Marshall of the RAF. This position was first created in 1920, and had responsibility for the RAF Police; by the end of WWII, the strength of the RAF had reached 1.2 million personnel and the RAF Police had 500 commissioned officers, including 55 from the WAAF. Our research indicated the position was held by Air Commodore H. J. G. E. Proud from 1954 – 1956 and he was succeeded by Commodore W. I. G Kerby who became Provost Marshall during 1956, so both would have been Flight Officer Wilson's Boss 63 years ago. Her final promotion, still in the Provost Branch, is dated 1st January 1958 when she took the rank of Flight Office and she finally retitred from the RAF on 25th June 1963.

In view of the promotions detailed above and the rank shown on the label this cap would appear to date from around 1958 but despite its age it remains in remakably good issued condition. The cloth is generally very clean, with just a minor snag under the visor. The cap band carries a period Kings Crown RAF badge, showing minor age wear, as do the chin strap retaining buttons. Inside the lining shows normal wear, as you would expect. No size is marked but the physical measurement taken inside the hat band is 21.25" circumference or 54 cm. In summary this is an early post war example in above the average condition and with the added benefit of known provenance that is worthy of further research.

6793
RAF Other Ranks Field Service Forage Cap - Click for the bigger picture SoldRAF Other Ranks Field Service Forage Cap - A very clean example and whilst not dated almost certainly originating from WWII. The cloth fabric, which is coarser material than used on the Officers version, is in very clean fresh condition and with just one minuscule moth nibble as shown in our listing photograph. The cap carries the standard Other Ranks brass RAF badge surmounted by a Kings Crown fixed in position by the correct retaining pin. To the front are two RAF brass buttons, again with Kings Crown. Inside is equally clean although any maker or size detail this cap may have carried has been worn away. An above the average example that would sit happily in any collection.

5328
RAF Officers Visor Cap - Click for the bigger picture SoldRAF Officers Visor Cap - Whilst this cap is not named we were advised when purchased it belonged to a Flight Lieutenant C. Cole who served as a Navigator in WWII. His no 1 uniform was also offered for sale as a separate lot but sadly we were outbid on it but I had the chance to inspect and his medal ribbons indicated he was awarded an MBE. Some limited research indicates it probably belonged to Flight Lieutenant Clifford Cole, service number143777, who remained with the RAF post war and was awarded the MBE in the New Year's Honours 1st January 1953 and it seems highly likely he is our man.

This is really crisp example and made by the quality makers Bates and embossed on the green felt lining is 'Bates of 21, Jermyn Street, St James, London' and also marked below 'Light Weight'. It is also stamped in gold leaf with makers details on the leather hat band. It is not named to the original owner and looks as though it has had minimal, if any, service wear as overall condition is really excellent. The air force blue cloth all in really nice condition and no signs at all of the dreaded moth. It features an impressive Kings Crown cap badge with crisp brass eagle below and good leather chin strap. Like almost all RAF visor caps we see this one is not dated but with Kings Crown badge certainly wartime or early post war issue. No size is marked but the physical measurement taken inside the hat band it is 21 1/2" or 54.5 cm.

6301
RAF Type 48 Magnetic Microphone - Click for the bigger picture SoldRAF Type 48 Magnetic Microphone - A standard WWII example of the type fitted to the E, E* and G pattern oxygen masks. It carries an embossed stores reference code 10A/12570 to the face plate as well as the microphone 'On' and 'Off' switch. The microphone is wired up with a wartime specification flecked short cord and a two pin female connector to plug into an internally wired RAF C, D or E pattern flying helmet. A near identical example is shown on page 46 top left of Mick Prodger's excellent Luftwaffe V RAF Flight clothing book. We discovered a small quantity of these in a forgotten warehouse and these appear to never have been issued. Other than a minor mark to the face plate it appears in near perfect condition. Interestingly the box in which this example was discovered has written outside 'checked 30/6/44' and below a further check date of 22/11/44. Like all our kit for sale as a collectable but we would not be surprised if this is not still in good working order -despite the passing of close to 75 years!

6892
This is a Used Book
Coastal Command Booklet 'Battle of the Seas Booklet 1939-1942' - Click for the bigger picture SoldCoastal Command Booklet 'Battle of the Seas Booklet 1939-1942'

This excellent series of paperback booklets were published by the Ministry of Information during WWII and are a superb reference source today. This example outlines Coastal Command operation from the start of the War up until 1942. It has 143 pages and is profusely illustrated with official period photographs of operations and shows Sunderland, Catalina, Anson, Beaufort and other types of aircraft on operations.

Chapter titles include 'Its the Bismarck', 'Ten million miles of sea', 'The Fight for Norway', 'The Attack on the U-Boats' and 'Rescue Flight and Secret missions'. Lots of crew pics taken both inside aircraft and on the ground and some excellent shots of the type of flying kit used in the period. Overall in good used condition with minor damage to the cover (which is named to Denmark) and age related wear to the spine. Measuring 7"x 9" (23 cm x 18 cm) and was printed by His Majesty's Stationery Office in 1943. This is an original wartime example and not a more recent reprint.

Pages: 144
Cover: Soft
Author: His Majestys Stationary Office

6391
British War Department Issue Flight Test Helmet - Click for the bigger picture SoldBritish War Department Issue Flight Test Helmet - A modest but often overlooked example that would sit happily in a specialist or general aviation collection. We have previously listed this type as 'an RAF training helmet' based on Jim Weld's reference booklet description that even lists it with an RAF stores reference number 22C/129. We are however now more inclined to go with Mick Prodger's description and use as detailed in his definitive 'Vintage Flying Helmets' reference book:-

'A simple unwired helmet made available to flight test departments of various aircraft production facilities. Although their exact purpose is not known, it seems possible that these helmets were issued to visiting dignitaries, VIP's and other personnel who may have been passengers during demonstration flights. The helmet was constructed of light brown waterproof fabric and lined with soft blanket wool. Snap down ear flaps were fitted with a brow strap that enabled the helmet to be tightened. Most of these helmets appear to have been manufactured in or around 1940 and were War Department marked. Many bear additional makings indicating they were the property of aircraft manufacturers such as Hanley Page or De Havilland (often stamped on the chin strap canvas). This pattern of helmet may also have been available to ATA and Civil Air Guard pilots'. As ever we are indebted to Mick for this detailed analysis but it is of course possible back in 1940 this pattern may have seen use with RAF aircrew or elsewhere, as the need arose.

Our example closely aligns to this description and carries an ink stamp to the wool lining 'Q', below 'WD' with broad arrow and '90'. In addition the manufacturers paper label is still in place indicating it was made by M. Kaye and is a size 6 1/2-6 7/8 and is dated 1940. It does not carry any other property marks and seeing the paper label is still in situ it could well be unissued. When these helmets do show up one issue tends to be the canvas tends to harden and become a little stiff and brittle and this is no exception. The chin strap exhibits minor cracking as does one of the fold back ear covers. Despite this it remains in very clean original condition and it displays well on an appropriate 'head', as shown in our illustration photograph, but would just need to be handled with care. As with all our stock if you have interest drop us an e mail and we can supply a range of detailed pictures. Other examples of this helmet are currently listed elsewhere at prices from £100 upwards with one at an eye watering £400 plus! Ours is rather more realistically priced.

6743
RAF / USAAF M-357-A Dinghy Radio Kite - Click for the bigger picture SoldRAF / USAAF M-357-A Dinghy Radio Kite - Manufactured by the Bendix Aviation Co. from 1941 and issued to both RAF and USAAF aircrew in WWII. Often referred to as 'Aerial Kites' as they were made to lift 260 feet of steel wire from the coil drum on the 'Gibson Girl' emergency transmitter. This was effectively copied from a 1941 captured Luftwaffe issue example which used a winged as opposed to the standard box kite design adopted by the British. The system went into mass production in the USA with an initial order placed for 11,600 sets which became standard issue for multi person dinghies for aircrew operating over sea. The full kit also included a balloon and hydrogen generator, as an alternate to the kite, when wind conditions prevented its use.

This example comes complete with its cotton issue bag which is close to mint, with just very light storage marks. It is fully stamped which makes mention of the original contents that would have included inflation tubes and a hydrogen generator. On offer here is just the kite but what makes it exceptional is the fact is appears mint and as issued. The cloth is neatly bound with cord ties as shown in our illustration and it is clear it has never been assembled. These kites featured a fold up aluminium frame that was designed to be 'idiot proof' and featured a 'pop-out spider' to facilitate assembly in a pitching dinghy. The kite had two different bridle attachment points, one for winds 7–20 miles per hour, the other for 15–40 miles per hour. In the folded state you can still read the reference to the 40 MPH attachment ring. Whilst we are happy to break the factory binding cord and assemble the kite on request, we prefer to leave it in its 'mint and boxed' state which makes this example so unique. Many of these that have survived have been used post war for recreational purposes (myself included) and we have had them with messages written on the cloth giving owners name and address and 'Please return if found'! This is certainly not the case here, so if you wish to add a pristine example to you collection in a condition as it left the Bendix factory all those years ago, this is the one for you! Kite folded in storage bag measures 22" (56 cm)

6747
RAF / USAAF M-357-A Dinghy Radio Kite & Case - Click for the bigger picture SoldRAF / USAAF M-357-A Dinghy Radio Kite & Case - Manufactured by the Bendix Aviation Co. from 1941 and issued to both RAF and USAAF aircrew in WWII. Often referred to as 'Aerial Kites' as they were made to lift 260 feet of steel wire from the coil drum on the 'Gibson Girl' emergency transmitter. This was effectively copied from a 1941 captured Luftwaffe issue example which used a winged as opposed to the standard box kite design adopted by the British and Americans. The system went into mass production in the USA with an initial order placed for 11,600 sets which became standard issue for multi person dinghies for aircrew operating over sea. The full kit also included a balloon and hydrogen generator, as an alternate to the kite, when wind conditions prevented its use.

This example comes complete with its cotton issue bag, which is in very good original condition, with just very light storage marks, picked up during the last 75 years. It is fully stamped which makes mention of the original contents that would have included inflation tubes and a hydrogen generator. On offer here is just the kite but what makes it exceptional is the fact is appears mint and as issued. The cloth is neatly bound with cord ties as shown in our illustration and it is clear it has never been assembled. These kites featured a fold up aluminium frame that was designed to be 'idiot proof' and featured a 'pop-out spider' to facilitate assembly in a pitching dinghy. The kite had two different bridle attachment points, one for winds 7–20 miles per hour, the other for 15–40 miles per hour. In the folded state you can still read the reference to the 40 MPH attachment ring. Whilst we are happy to break the factory binding cord and assemble the kite on request, we prefer to leave it in its 'mint and boxed' state which makes this example so unique. Many of these that have survived have been used post war for recreational purposes (self-included! and we have had them with messages written on the cloth giving owners name and address and 'Please return if found'! This is certainly not the case here, so if you wish to add a pristine example to you collection in a condition as it left the Bendix factory all those years ago, this is the one for you! Kite folded in storage bag measures 22" (56 cm). The final image attached here shows a rather over dressed AAF Officer assembling a similar kite, whilst seated in a dinghy, but we feel this could be a studio shot, but interesting none the less!

We have been fortunate enough to purchase a small number of these kites from a forgotten store here in the UK, that have never been issued or used. Whilst these are being offered individually at a very modest £45.00 plus delivery for a purchases of 2 or more kites we will offer at a 10% discount. When they are gone they are gone!

6825a
RAF Manston Trench Art Cross - Click for the bigger picture SoldRAF Manston Trench Art Cross - Formed in the shape of a cross mounted on a tapered plinth, that is reminiscent in design of a war memorial and is a finely worked and unusual example of WWII RAF trench art. It is made from scrap Plexiglas, probably recovered from damaged RAF airframe canopies and refashioned for slightly less aggressive use! The rear of the base is finely engraved to the read 'RAF Manston'; despite having no specific provenance with the piece this is clearly where it originated from.

Manston, located in Kent, was formed in from 1916 as an RFC aerodrome. In September 1939, as RAF Manston, No. 3 Squadron operating Hawker Hurricanes flew in, under the command of No. 11 Group Fighter Command. During the Battle of Britain, Manston was strategically located and was always in the thick of the action and was heavily bombed. Due to its hilltop location it remained usually fog-free and had no approach obstructions and so became a destination of last resort to many badly damaged aircraft and these became the source of spare parts and it is possible this is where the material used here originated from. Post war Manston was home to the USAF, followed again by the RAF, but when they finally pulled out in 1999 Manston became Kent International Airport.

This unique survivor is small but beautifully formed. It stands 6" tall (15 cm) and the base is 3" across (8 cm). Whilst showing minor age wear it is in excellent display condition and would make the perfect gift for the aviation, RAF or Battle of Britain collector in your life this Christmas and certainly not something you can find on Amazon. com-or anywhere else!

6746
RAF / USAAF M-357-A Dinghy Radio Kite & Case - Click for the bigger picture SoldRAF / USAAF M-357-A Dinghy Radio Kite & Case - Manufactured by the Bendix Aviation Co. from 1941 and issued to both RAF and USAAF aircrew in WWII. Often referred to as 'Aerial Kites' as they were made to lift 260 feet of steel wire from the coil drum on the 'Gibson Girl' emergency transmitter. This was effectively copied from a 1941 captured Luftwaffe issue example which used a winged as opposed to the standard box kite design adopted by the British and Americans. The system went into mass production in the USA with an initial order placed for 11,600 sets which became standard issue for multi person dinghies for aircrew operating over sea. The full kit also included a balloon and hydrogen generator, as an alternate to the kite, when wind conditions prevented its use.

This example comes complete with its cotton issue bag which is close to mint, with just very light storage marks. It is fully stamped which makes mention of the original contents that would have included inflation tubes and a hydrogen generator. On offer here is just the kite but what makes it exceptional is the fact is appears mint and as issued. The cloth is neatly bound with cord ties as shown in our illustration and it is clear it has never been assembled. These kites featured a fold up aluminium frame that was designed to be 'idiot proof' and featured a 'pop-out spider' to facilitate assembly in a pitching dinghy. The kite had two different bridle attachment points, one for winds 7–20 miles per hour, the other for 15–40 miles per hour. In the folded state you can still read the reference to the 40 MPH attachment ring. Whilst we are happy to break the factory binding cord and assemble the kite on request, we prefer to leave it in its 'mint and boxed' state which makes this example so unique. Many of these that have survived have been used post war for recreational purposes (self-included! and we have had them with messages written on the cloth giving owners name and address and 'Please return if found'! This is certainly not the case here, so if you wish to add a pristine example to you collection in a condition as it left the Bendix factory all those years ago, this is the one for you! Kite folded in storage bag measures 22" (56 cm). The final image attached here shows a rather over dressed AAF Officer assembling a similar kite, whilst seated in a dinghy, but we feel this could be a studio shot, but interesting none the less!

We have been fortunate enough to purchase a small number of these kites from a forgotten store here in the UK, that have never been issued or used. Whilst these are being offered individually at a very modest £45.00 plus delivery for a purchases of 2 or more kites we will offer at a 10% discount. When they are gone they are gone!

5394b
RAF Battle Of Britain 1940 Churchill's Speech Match Box Cover - Click for the bigger picture SoldRAF Battle Of Britain 1940 Churchill's Speech Match Box Cover - Manufactured from tin, the cover carries RAF wings logo to the front and on the reverse an edited version of Churchill famous speech made to the House of Commons on August 20th 1940: "The gratitude of every home in our Island, in our Empire, and indeed throughout the world, except in the abodes of the guilty, goes out to the British airmen who, undaunted by odds, unwearied in their constant challenge and mortal danger, are turning the tide of the World War by their prowess and b~ their devotion. Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few. ''

These covers were first produced and sold in 1941 and this is an original period example, that came in with a box of assorted kit belonging to a WWII airman. The exterior finish shows some age related marks below the acetate, but generally in good original condition and would complement the RAF cigarette case, item 6825, we also have listed in this section. We would offer a 10% discount on the list price of both for anyone ordering the two items together and would make a perfect low cost stocking filler for the aviation collector in your life this Christmas. Measures 2.25" x 1.5" (6 cm x 4 cm)

6888
Air Sea Rescue / 270 Squadron Trench Art Cigarette Case - Click for the bigger picture SoldAir Sea Rescue / 270 Squadron Trench Art Cigarette Case - We have had many examples of trench art cigarette cases here over the years but this has to be one of the best. It is made from what we believe to be scrap aircraft alloy and is very finely worked indeed. To the front is a depiction of an RAF High Speed Rescue launch (HSL) and looking at the design this appears to be based on the Type Two 63' known as the 'Whaleback'. The bows carry an RAF roundel and above the lettering 'ASR' and to the top left corner is a set of RAF Wings. The opposite side is engraved with an RAF Sunderland flying boat passing a steamer below and again finely engraved. The case is opened with a sprung catch to the right side and inside, whilst the cigarette retaining elastic is long gone, this is more than made up for by a reclining female, carrying a calling card and on the telephone. The image seems to be a close depiction of the 'Just Jane' cartoon character created and drawn by Norman Pett in 1932 and of course today proudly displayed on 'Just Jane' Lancaster NX611. The case has various knocks and bumps, commensurate with it's age and use, but is overall in fine original condition. The opposite inside face is engraved with the West African locations of Apapa, Accra, Jui, Oshodi, Gold Coast, Sierra Leone and Nigeria. Above a further name was engraved but this has sadly been ground out, but may have been the original owner with possibly his service number, followed by his surname and intial 'K'.

We do however have some provenance with the item and were told by the previous owner it belonged to /originated from a member of 270 Squadron RAF and our online research seems to confirm this. The Squadron was originally formed in 1919 and was based at Alexandria, operating coastal reconnaissance flying boats and floatplanes. Disbanded in September '19 it was reformed at Jui, Sierra Leone on 12th November 1942, as a general reconnaissance Squadron, equipped with the Consolidated Catalina IB, that were operated until May 1944, tasked with anti-submarine patrols along the West African coast. 270 then moved its base to RAF Apapa in Nigeria in July 1943 and the following December began to convert to the Short Sunderland III, which they operated until June '45. In general the anti-submarine squadrons in West Africa had a quiet war, but their ceaseless patrols helped to keep the area safe from U-boat attack. The squadron finally disbanded after the war in the Atlantic had ended on 30 June 1945 at Apapa. In addition we have established the RAF also operated Air Sea Rescue out of Apapa in Nigeria, with 135 HSL's being allocated for West Africa in 1941 although the first did not arrive until October '42 but the reminder were delayed until mid 1943, with Sunderland's carrying out any rescue work in the interim.

So this modest case indicates a WWII story as good as any novel. We speculate it was made after December 1943 in view of the Sunderland and Whaleback HSL engravings. Looking at the quality of the workmanship we surmise it was made by a local craftsman from scrap obtained from the base and sold to an unknown member of the ASR branch or from 270 Squadron and brought home as a souvenir at war end. This would make a unique Christmas gift for the ASR, Sunderland, 270 Squadron or trench art collector in your life! It measures 6.25" x 3.0" (15.5 cm x 7.5 cm)

4127
RAF Air Rank Officers Visor Cap - Click for the bigger picture SoldRAF Air Rank Officers Visor Cap - A really crisp post war example, as issued to senior officers above the rank of Group Captain, for use by Air Commodore, Air Vice Marshall or at the top of the tree Air Chief Marshall. This pattern differs from that used by a Group Captain as these caps only have a single band of 'scrambled egg' on the patent peak peak but here it carries two rows. The leather hat band is stamped with the original owners initials 'ECB'. When purchased we were not aware of who the owner was but with the assistance of our customer 'JW' he has now been idntified as Air Vice Marshal Eric Cecil Bates, AFC, CBE, born in 1906 and received his final posting in 1975. Bates was an Australian pilot who flew with 57 Squadron RAF, and was subsequently CO of No 101 Squadron, when it was equipped with Blenheim I's. He was promoted from Group Captain to Air Commodore 1st Jan 1953, so confirms our thoughts on the date of this cap. When he retired from from the RAF, he became Principle of the College of Air Training at Hamble until 1971.

Overall condition of this cap is excellent and no moth damage to the cloth and just minor age related marks to the top. The double row of gold bullion wire for rank shows just normal age tarnishing. The small Queens Crown Air Rank cap badge in matching condition and is stitched to the black centre band and to the cap. The leather chin strap is also excellent and just normal age related marks.

The interior is equally crisp. The inside of the peak is made from green composite material, to a similar specification as wartime examples. The leather headband and the green felt inner lining are both stamped with the makers details 'Bates Hatter, 21 Jermyn Street, St James, London' and 'Light Weight'. This company was one of the most prestigious UK hatters, being established by Edward Bates in the 19th century when he opened a shop on Sloane Street but moved to Jermyn Street in St James' in 1898. Although the Bates name is still current we understand Bates have not been a contractor to the RAF since about 1975. No size is marked but it is too small for my 23 7/8th (61 cm) head so probably a medium. Despite being post war original examples in good condition don't turn up very often and this one would be hard to improve on for an Air Rank issued cap of this ag with the added bonus we now have the proveance to support it and only fitting a Bates manufactured cap was issued to Eric Cecil Bates!

Whilst we have your attention can we also highlight the other standard RAF Officers cap we also have listed in this section, item 5328. This was also manufactured by Bates, is in stunning condition and with a Kings Crown badge is likely to date from the early post war period.

6745
RAF / USAAF M-357-A Dinghy Radio Kite - Click for the bigger picture SoldRAF / USAAF M-357-A Dinghy Radio Kite - Manufactured by the Bendix Aviation Co. from 1941 and issued to both RAF and USAAF aircrew in WWII. Often referred to as 'Aerial Kites' as they were made to lift 260 feet of steel wire from the coil drum on the 'Gibson Girl' emergency transmitter. This was effectively copied from a 1941 captured Luftwaffe issue example which used a winged as opposed to the standard box kite design adopted by the British. The system went into mass production in the USA with an initial order placed for 11,600 sets which became standard issue for multi person dinghies for aircrew operating over sea. The full kit also included a balloon and hydrogen generator, as an alternate to the kite, when wind conditions prevented its use.

This example comes complete with its cotton issue bag which is close to mint, with just very light storage marks. It is fully stamped which makes mention of the original contents that would have included inflation tubes and a hydrogen generator. On offer here is just the kite but what makes it exceptional is the fact is appears mint and as issued. The cloth is neatly bound with cord ties as shown in our illustration and it is clear it has never been assembled. These kites featured a fold up aluminium frame that was designed to be 'idiot proof' and featured a 'pop-out spider' to facilitate assembly in a pitching dinghy. The kite had two different bridle attachment points, one for winds 7–20 miles per hour, the other for 15–40 miles per hour. In the folded state you can still read the reference to the 40 MPH attachment ring. Whilst we are happy to break the factory binding cord and assemble the kite on request, we prefer to leave it in its 'mint and boxed' state which makes this example so unique. Many of these that have survived have been used post war for recreational purposes (self-included! and we have had them with messages written on the cloth giving owners name and address and 'Please return if found'! This is certainly not the case here, so if you wish to add a pristine example to you collection in a condition as it left the Bendix factory all those years ago, this is the one for you! Kite folded in storage bag measures 22" (56 cm)
1398
WWI German Trench Art Propeller Tip Barometer/Thermometer - Click for the bigger picture SoldWWI 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!

5653
Original DH82 Tiger Moth Propeller and Spinner - Click for the bigger picture SoldOriginal DH82 Tiger Moth Propeller and Spinner - This example was purchased for my own collection back in 2011 and has since that date has graced the wall of our Oldnautibits HQ. However a growing collection of assorted propellers has necessitated a thinning out of the collection and it is time for this stunning example to be rehomed. It last flew on DH82 De Havilland Tiger Moth 11 back in 1987. The airframe construction number is 82102 and was manufactured in 1939 was taken on charge with the Royal Air Force with serial number N6847. On line research indicates the airframe was converted to a Thruxton Jackaro and obtained its C of A 15th May 1959 but was converted back to the Tiger Moth spec in 1984 and is currently airworthy in its original RAF configuration and colour scheme.

The propeller, despite being in very good condition, comes without paperwork and is for sale purely as an impressive display piece and is of a fine pitch variety. The previous owner made up a very useful metal wall mount which is included with the sale and is set off by a metal spinner as shown in our illustration. The hub has various stampings on it but these are largely obscured by the paintwork. As shown in the photograph the wooden propeller is finished in a high gloss black lacquer with yellow tips. It measures 80" long (2030 cm) tip to tip and weighs about 8 kilos. As with all out stock more detailed pictures are available on request. Personal pick up would be preferred on this one but we can look into the possibility of courier delivery if you can advise the destination address. We have noticed a replica Tiger Moth prop currently for sale in the UK over £1000; here you can buy an original with mount and spinner for rather less!

5632
Spider's Web 'Cobweb' Gun Sight - Click for the bigger picture SoldSpider's Web 'Cobweb' Gun Sight - This is only the second example of this pattern we have had in 20 years trading. The previous one we described as 'believed to be from a Bofor's gun' although we have been unable to establish conclusively its origins. This example is in rather better condition than the other, with most of its original matt black paint in place. We assume it dates to circa WWII and is of British origins, but we stand to be corrected. Whatever its history it is an impressive display piece. The diameter of the sight is 7.5" (19 cm) and it stands 11" (28 cm) measured top to bottom. If any visors to the site can add anything to our knowledge please get in touch and we will update our description.
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