Para smock 1950s

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    Brigade Piron
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    Para smock 1950s

    Post by Brigade Piron on Sun Jun 05, 2011 2:00 pm

    Hello,

    These are my two Belgian para smocks.


    No label or anything - 1954?



    Dated 1953

    Thanks for looking!

    BP

    filupe
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    Re: Para smock 1950s

    Post by filupe on Sun Jun 05, 2011 5:49 pm

    Wow! I have seen pants in mint now and again but to find such an early dated smock in such fine condition is rare indeed. Congrats!

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    Re: Para smock 1950s

    Post by Camo_fiend on Sun Jun 05, 2011 8:06 pm

    Very nice smocks!


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    Re: Para smock 1950s

    Post by CollectinSteve on Mon Jun 06, 2011 1:43 am

    Yeah, mint pre 1956 smocks are indeed hard to come by.

    I'm not sure what year your first smock is, Brigade Piron. I've got smocks from 1952, 1953, 1954, and 1955. Yours appears to be Brush Stroke and not Moon & Balls. That means it's 1954 or later. Since the only 1955 smock I know of has a shorter zipper (i.e. it doesn't go as far down to the belly), my guess would be yours is 1954. There's really not much difference in the smock features.

    Steve

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    Re: Para smock 1950s

    Post by Brigade Piron on Mon Jun 06, 2011 8:29 am

    Thanks!

    I have a feeling that the 1st smock is private purchase. It doesn't seem to have ever had a label or tag in it...

    The material is also subtly different to other types I've seen...

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    Re: Para smock 1950s

    Post by CollectinSteve on Mon Jun 06, 2011 6:29 pm

    I'm not aware of any private purchase stuff for this time period. There were several manufacturers and a couple different weights of cloth. I haven't checked to see if this corresponds with M&B and Brush Stroke variants.

    Steve

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    Re: Para smock 1950s

    Post by koalorka on Tue Jun 07, 2011 2:44 pm

    That's a very fine example of the "Moon & Balls" pattern. Nice and bright. Mine is terrible dark for some reason.

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    Re: Para smock 1950s

    Post by CollectinSteve on Tue Jun 07, 2011 3:42 pm

    There are quite a few variations, but it seems exposure to the elements and washing can make them diverge quite a bit more. The minty example above is what I think of as the intended look.

    Steve

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    Re: Para smock 1950s

    Post by drmatz on Tue Jun 07, 2011 4:53 pm

    oh yes thats a very nice smock...

    here are a few of my stuff... the conditions are really bad compared to this.

    I also have what i think is the 1st puzzle pattern, quite in a rough shape though













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    Re: Para smock 1950s

    Post by Brigade Piron on Tue Jun 07, 2011 5:09 pm

    Nice, I must admit that don't know which came first: the jigsaw type you've got or the 1/2 zip jigsaw type...

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    Re: Para smock 1950s

    Post by drmatz on Tue Jun 07, 2011 5:12 pm

    hum i guess i don't know either... when i learned that the jigsaw was originally made in the 50's i was surprise, it always felt like a kind of "modern" pattern...
    Which one is the 1/2 zip jigsaw? do you have one? or a photo?


    cheers



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    Re: Para smock 1950s

    Post by Brigade Piron on Tue Jun 07, 2011 5:59 pm


    Not in my collection sadly but hey...



    I also have to show my 1956 Dated overtrousers. Unfortunately like all the ones available, its MASSIVE! This particular one was made for the Navy...



    Shelter half (folded)

    BP

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    Re: Para smock 1950s

    Post by vonstuck on Thu Sep 15, 2011 1:35 pm











    I put this set in civil category on my website
    Not label
    Gilles






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    Re: Para smock 1950s

    Post by filupe on Thu Sep 15, 2011 7:51 pm

    Strange indeed, Gilles. The pocket configuration is very similar to some variations of South Vietnamese tiger stripe uniforms. I have seen early Belgian camo smocks being passed off as 'French Indochina' but whether this would fall into that I don't know. Is the material heavyweight or lightweight?

    Cheers!

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    Re: Para smock 1950s

    Post by CollectinSteve on Thu Sep 15, 2011 11:16 pm

    Looks like something made from surplus shelter halves. There's certainly tons of them out there. I've probably had a dozen (still have 2 extra) in both M&B and Brush.

    Backing up a few posts...

    The progression of Belgian camouflage goes something like this:

    1948 -> "48 Pattern" or "Korean Pattern" consisting of 2 colors total. SUPER rare.
    1950 -> experimental derivative of British WW2 Brush. I've only seen two, one is mine. I have no info about this!
    1952 - 1956 -> Moon & Balls. Fairly consistent colors, some variants.
    1954 -> Leibermuster, which apparently was rejected and given to the brand new Bundeswehr in 1955
    1954 - 1970s -> Brush Stroke. Several variants, but one dominate type.
    1958 - Present -> Jigsaw. Some color variations over the years.
    Early 1990s to roughly 1997 -> Large Flecktarn
    Early 1990s to roughly 1997 -> Small Flecktarn
    2004 - Present -> Desert Jigsaw

    There are many different cuts, but VERY roughly from 1948 until 1955 the uniform was a two piece affair closely patterned after British Denison. 1956 (and a wee bit into 1957) a 4 pocket jacket, in two slightly different cuts, was made in HUGE numbers. Each variant was made in both M&B and Brush. Trousers were similar to prior type. The 1958 Jigsaw was also made in two slightly different cuts with the same trousers. During the 1960s very few uniforms were made because Belgium radically downsized it's military and it apparently had enormous stocks of uniforms left over. Jigsaw Denison style smocks started appearing in the very late 1960s (earliest I've seen is 1967). Last one was early 1990s when the Belgians started experimenting with new uniform, which eventually lead to the current stuff. Last Brush item I can remember was a Denison from late 1970s.

    There are all kinds of variants, including poplin, and a limited amount was issued to the Navy. The above info is just an overview.

    Steve

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    Re: Para smock 1950s

    Post by Brigade Piron on Fri Sep 16, 2011 1:53 pm

    Yep, totally wrong for indo.

    The earlier type (for brushstroke) is very lightweight. It's always different for "peau de saussisson" what moon and balls should be called Very Happy

    One point where I must disagree with Steve - the 1950 (or 1949 I'm never sure) pattern is not particually rare - it's just so often mislabeled or totally faded. It was on wide issue in paracommandos until the mid 1950s. There is only one type although it was hand-painted. It should look like this:



    But most often fades to look like this:



    Hence it is usually sold along the lines of "super-rare ww2 british commando/sas/sbs denison" and because of the buttons.

    If anyone has a set to sell, could they contact me please? Embarassed I've been trying to get hold of one for AGES but keep missing out!

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    Re: Para smock 1950s

    Post by vonstuck on Fri Sep 16, 2011 2:42 pm

    filupe wrote:Strange indeed, Gilles. The pocket configuration is very similar to some variations of South Vietnamese tiger stripe uniforms. I have seen early Belgian camo smocks being passed off as 'French Indochina' but whether this would fall into that I don't know. Is the material heavyweight or lightweight?

    Cheers!

    heavyweight, but the material is very sweet, not tent material
    Gilles

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    Re: Para smock 1950s

    Post by vonstuck on Fri Sep 16, 2011 2:46 pm

    Brigade Piron wrote:Yep, totally wrong for indo.

    The earlier type (for brushstroke) is very lightweight. It's always different for "peau de saussisson" what moon and balls should be called Very Happy

    One point where I must disagree with Steve - the 1950 (or 1949 I'm never sure) pattern is not particually rare - it's just so often mislabeled or totally faded. It was on wide issue in paracommandos until the mid 1950s. There is only one type although it was hand-painted. It should look like this:



    But most often fades to look like this:



    Hence it is usually sold along the lines of "super-rare ww2 british commando/sas/sbs denison" and because of the buttons.

    If anyone has a set to sell, could they contact me please? Embarassed I've been trying to get hold of one for AGES but keep missing out!

    The cupon is hand paint before manufacturing
    Very strange!
    Gilles

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    Re: Para smock 1950s

    Post by vonstuck on Fri Sep 16, 2011 2:52 pm




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    Re: Para smock 1950s

    Post by Brigade Piron on Fri Sep 16, 2011 3:05 pm

    YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW JEALOUS I AM RIGHT NOW!!!

    Amazing Very Happy ! If you don't mind me asking, how much did you pay for it?

    The other thing is would it be possible for you to take another photo but with a ruler across it? I hope to try and get a repro made, but I cannot find a good reference for size of the colour pattern! If you could do that I'd be SUPER grateful!!!

    BP

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    Re: Para smock 1950s

    Post by koalorka on Fri Sep 16, 2011 4:27 pm

    Ah yes, this and his TAP smocks are what I envy most in Gille's collection, the so-called Korean camo because it was used by troops deployed with the UN to Korea.

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    Re: Para smock 1950s

    Post by vonstuck on Sun Sep 18, 2011 1:29 pm

    Tailored cap




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    Re: Para smock 1950s

    Post by Philip on Sun Sep 18, 2011 3:55 pm

    Gilles, very nice!


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    Re: Para smock 1950s

    Post by CollectinSteve on Sun Sep 18, 2011 11:28 pm

    Brigade Piron wrote:One point where I must disagree with Steve - the 1950 (or 1949 I'm never sure) pattern is not particually rare - it's just so often mislabeled or totally faded. It was on wide issue in paracommandos until the mid 1950s.

    Interesting! Well, I've only seen one on eBay and haven't seen examples in other people's collections. Compare this to the more than two dozen early 1950s smocks and jackets that I've had in my hands before, not to mention uncountable numbers I've seen on eBay and in people's collections. So I still say it's "rare", if only by comparison.

    There is only one type although it was hand-painted. It should look like this:

    Mine looks exactly like that. No, I mean exactly... because that's mine Very Happy

    If anyone has a set to sell, could they contact me please? Embarassed I've been trying to get hold of one for AGES but keep missing out!

    Heh... I thought you said it wasn't all that rare? Smile

    Steve

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    Re: Para smock 1950s

    Post by CollectinSteve on Mon Sep 19, 2011 12:31 am

    Gilles,

    I am also VERY jealous!! I have been looking for one of these for 10+ years now. It is the only significant piece of Belgian camouflage I do not have. I tried negotiating for a set of very abused trousers many years ago, but that is the closest I ever came to one.

    This might be the #1 thing on my list of "must have before I die". The other contender for #1 slot is BGS Splittertarn.

    Steve

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