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RAF 1932 pattern Mae West

RAF 1932 pattern Mae West

Code: MW23892

SOLD

'Waistcoat, life-saving, inflatable stole type - temperate pattern'.  Stores reference 22c/55.  Size medium.  The archetypal Battle of Britain Mae West commonly referred to as the '1932 pattern' due to the year of introduction.  Manufactured using unbleached linen, dyed drab green and rubber proofed on the inside of the parts that contained the inflatable stole and kapok pads.  Overall condition is very good '+'.  Most of the linen is in excellent and robust condition but there is some fading, fairly minor staining and one small hole on the left side seam (see photograph).  Stencilled with various 'user' instructions to the front lobes.  Complete with functioning original 'D-o-T' zip, buttons and buckled straps.  Interestingly the upper straps are manufactured from a coarser webbing than the lower ones.  This example has not been modified with the addition of leg straps or pockets.  The internal rubber coating is very sound/flexible and not shedding as dust.  Clear Air Ministry label with 1939 date. The Mae West comes fitted with an extremely rare golden yellow kapok filled stole.  This is manufactured from proofed cotton covered in yellow silk.  It contains java kapok pads sealed inside providing extra bouyancy before air is introduced via the inflation tube.  Like the 'standard' 1932 pattern rubber stole, there is no provision for a CO2 bottle.  Although normally associated with the equally rare 'Combined Flying Jacket, Light Webbing Harness And Parachute Equipment (Parasuit), MKIII',  this stole has clearly been fitted for a long time.  It is Air Ministry King's crown marked and appears to be good and supple although the silk on the inflation tube is cracking/coming adrift.  These early war Mae Wests are of exceptional rarity and very sought after by collectors.  A really good example and only the second we have offered for sale.  This could be your only chance to obtain an original.   Stock code MW23892.