Para smock 1950s

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    Brigade Piron
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    Re: Para smock 1950s

    Post by Brigade Piron on Mon Sep 19, 2011 4:06 am

    I'm sorry I have nicked your photo Embarassed ! It is a really great smock! Any chance of more photos? Did you by any chance buy it on ebay? Very Happy That's where the photo comes from.

    I've bit on 4 of these smocks on ebay. One was taken off just before the end, all the rest I've been outbit on. They seem to pop up at the rate of 1 per month roughly on US ebay...but I'm damned if I'm spending $40 just on shipping to Europe!

    If anyone has any more photos of either type of smock, I'd be interested to see them!

    CollectinSteve
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    Re: Para smock 1950s

    Post by CollectinSteve on Mon Sep 19, 2011 2:08 pm

    The Camopedia photo you nicked is not mine, but the smock in it is. Long story, but basically that photo was taken of it before it came to me. It was part of a huge (800+) uniform collection that I purchased half of several years ago. I can take more pictures of it when my camera problem (dead at the moment) is resolved.

    1 per month up on eBay? Wow... I must not be looking in the same places you are!

    Cheers,

    Steve

    Brigade Piron
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    Re: Para smock 1950s

    Post by Brigade Piron on Mon Sep 19, 2011 2:24 pm

    Sorry, I thought you meant the other one!

    I'd be very grateful for more photos when your camera is fixed, particually of the reverse. It's certainly the nicest I've ever seen of its type!

    It is rather odd that all these smock seem to be in the US rather than Belgium and Europe... They also (apparently) turn up at varying prices (one particular one for $1000!!!) at militaria shows.

    Meh, I'm bound to be lucky eventually. Who knows, maybe I'll find one like Von Stuck's Laughing


    CollectinSteve
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    Re: Para smock 1950s

    Post by CollectinSteve on Tue Sep 20, 2011 1:48 pm

    Nobody is as lucky as von Stuck (Gilles) Very Happy

    New camera is on its way to me. Old one ist Kaput!

    Steve

    koalorka
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    Re: Para smock 1950s

    Post by koalorka on Tue Sep 20, 2011 5:40 pm

    Wow, an 800 uniform collection? That's a healthy start Steve...

    I've never seen the hand-painted Belgium smock on any eBay, local or European, and I can be pretty diligent. Heck, even the Moon & Balls is rather expensive these days, I've seen a half-zip model from 1955 sell for over $200 recently..

    ETA, here it is:
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/260846398483?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2649

    vonstuck
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    Re: Para smock 1950s

    Post by vonstuck on Tue Sep 20, 2011 5:50 pm





    Pictures of the inside of the smock
    The repear of the arm are make with English camouflage
    The "queue de castor" (I don't know the English name) is not original
    Replaced by one "queue de castor" from a French TAP jacket ( I think)
    Gilles

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    Re: Para smock 1950s

    Post by CollectinSteve on Tue Sep 20, 2011 11:25 pm

    Thanks for more pictures, Gilles!

    Koalorka, that is an ultra rare Navy version!! Had I seen it I would have paid that much for it, easily, but I personally wouldn't pay more than $80 for an Army smock. Of course I have a bunch all ready, so just saying in theory Wink

    Steve

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    Re: Para smock 1950s

    Post by koalorka on Wed Sep 21, 2011 12:57 am

    CollectinSteve wrote:

    Koalorka, that is an ultra rare Navy version!! Had I seen it I would have paid that much for it, easily, but I personally wouldn't pay more than $80 for an Army smock. Of course I have a bunch all ready, so just saying in theory Wink

    Steve

    Really? How do you tell it apart from the land forces M&B? I have one just like it, I had no idea there was a navy version...

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    Re: Para smock 1950s

    Post by CollectinSteve on Wed Sep 21, 2011 2:25 am

    This is a Brush Stroke Smock, not a M&B type. Subtle differences, but they are definitely not the same pattern.

    It's all in the tag. ABL = Army. ZM/FN = Navy.

    The only construction difference I can see is in the detachable hood. The Army versions don't have spots for better hearing where the ears are. At least none of the ones I have, that I can think of, have this feature. I don't recall if any of mine have RiRi zippers, though it's possible they do.

    Keep in mind that the various Denison style smocks have a LOT of variations over the years. That's just a general point to think about when you see a smock. If you don't have a half dozen different types you might be missing out on a variant Wink

    Steve

    saltefanden
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    Re: Para smock 1950s

    Post by saltefanden on Wed Sep 21, 2011 8:34 am

    Jesus, Mary and Joseph!

    I've just picked up an unissued, unworn and completely mint ABL smock in brushstroke dated 1955, at a local second-hand store, and paid a measly 29 USD!
    Only the beaver tail-flap was missing, unfortunaltly, but I still feel almost ashamed for such a strike of luck.

    But rather than completeting my Belgian collection, it made me raise new questions, because I've got a M&B smock and a brushstroke one already, this was neither.

    Therefore;

    Are there more than one brushstroke pattern around?

    Was there an intermediate pattern between M&B-pattern and the fully fledged brushstroke?
    Because the one has thin and very brushstroke-like brushstrokes, whereas the other has broader, more stylized and frilly brushstrokes and very differantly positioned colour splotches.

    Would love to regale with pictures, but I am simply too dumb to figure out how to post them here.

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    Re: Para smock 1950s

    Post by koalorka on Wed Sep 21, 2011 8:39 am

    Ronnie, send me a picture and I will post it for you. We'd like to see it.

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    Re: Para smock 1950s

    Post by koalorka on Wed Sep 21, 2011 8:42 am

    CollectinSteve wrote:This is a Brush Stroke Smock, not a M&B type. Subtle differences, but they are definitely not the same pattern.

    It's all in the tag. ABL = Army. ZM/FN = Navy.
    Steve

    Doh, I missed that..

    But I beg to differ in the print. I have the exact same smock and I believe it does have the "bite" mark characteristic to the M&B. Let me find a photo for you.

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    Re: Para smock 1950s

    Post by saltefanden on Wed Sep 21, 2011 8:56 am

    Hey Koalorka, thank you for always standing up and trying to answer my hare-brained questions!

    And I could kick myself for putting that question out, I've re-examined the smock and held it together with the pictures from the eBay auction you've linked to, and it is a Moons & Balls-pattern, with both the green and brown strokes, but no where on the smock were the 'saw tooth' or 'bite marks' as you call them, visible to make a definate identification possible. But it must be a M&B, as it has the other feature distinguishing the two patterns; the curved arrow-like lines.

    But I will send you pictures of my Belgian stuff later/tonight for sure! Cheers!

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    Re: Para smock 1950s

    Post by CollectinSteve on Wed Sep 21, 2011 3:23 pm

    It's really difficult to identify, for sure, M&B vs. Brush without finding that distinctive bite mark. Usually the full front or full back of a smock or trousers shows one of the bites. But there is another way to tell and that's with the "strokes". In 1955 the Belgians made smocks in both types so in theory it could be either. Looking at the Navy smock again it appears it is M&B and not Brush, despite not seeing any bite marks.

    Here's a handy little guide I made a while ago. Note that there is something I call "Brush 2", but it is not Belgian military issue. Could be African export or pure commercial. No definitive answer about that one yet.

    Steve



    Last edited by CollectinSteve on Wed Sep 21, 2011 3:26 pm; edited 1 time in total

    Brigade Piron
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    Re: Para smock 1950s

    Post by Brigade Piron on Wed Sep 21, 2011 3:45 pm

    Thanks for the new photos Von Stuck! I've got a pair of navy moon and balls trousers in that condition...perhaps I'm sitting on a goldmine Wink I'm amazed at the prices these things go for to people with no interest in Belgian history or the period. I've never quite understood the facination of collecting camo rather than just militaria from epoch/country... Neutral

    Von Stuck: "queue de castor" = tail on back of jacket. Beaver tail in English no?

    BP


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    Re: Para smock 1950s

    Post by koalorka on Wed Sep 21, 2011 4:09 pm

    I've got a Navy smock and it does have the very distinctive bite marks, so it falls within the M&B family for sure. On my jacket, all of these marks ended up on the front face. Oddly enough, the pants have the same Navy label and date but look more like the traditional land forces M&B. Do you think the darker colours on the Navy jackets are intentional?






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    Re: Para smock 1950s

    Post by CollectinSteve on Wed Sep 21, 2011 11:03 pm

    The colors are not specific to anything other than different print runs and condition. The smock you have is mint, the trousers are beat. My 1955 ABL marked smock looks the same in terms of colors. Shelter halves from 1955 (IIRC) also have this sort of coloration.

    Steve

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    Re: Para smock 1950s

    Post by Brigade Piron on Thu Sep 22, 2011 3:54 am

    Yep, but I think there is a colour difference in M&B between 1952/3 smocks and '54/5 ones. Earlier ones seem more tan and the other colours are not as strong. Look at the diffference between my smock in the first post of the thread and the latest one.

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    Re: Para smock 1950s

    Post by CollectinSteve on Thu Sep 22, 2011 3:15 pm

    Oh, no doubt there are color differences apart from wear/fading. I'm just saying it's related to print runs of cloth, not anything else. Whether the changes to the colors were deliberate or production variance I can't say. My money is on production variance, especially because different types of cloth were used over the years.

    Steve

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    Re: Para smock 1950s

    Post by koalorka on Fri Sep 30, 2011 11:00 pm

    Posting these for saltefanden in chronological order:

























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    Re: Para smock 1950s

    Post by CollectinSteve on Sat Oct 01, 2011 12:31 am

    Whoa! The Navy smock has a snap on hood? Well, that's unexpected. I have 1955 dated Army smocks and they don't have hoods (neither do earlier types).

    Great batch. 1960s dated Jigsaw smocks aren't that easy to find.

    I've always wondered if the two versions (snap vs. buttons) of the M&B/Brush jackets was manufacturer related, but it's odd because the Jigsaw type was made 2 years later and it also has two versions. Oh well, lots of mysteries will never get solved. No point getting worked up about this one Smile

    Steve

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    Re: Para smock 1950s

    Post by Gulf91 on Sat Oct 01, 2011 4:22 am

    Lovely smocks!!!!

    Around 15 years ago i had one of those brush stroke smocks that i loved and wore it regularly but unfortunately swapped it Sad

    From memory it was 50s dated and made of a stiff canvas type material-would almost stand up on its own when taken off but the one thing i do remember is that unlike most i see these days which are claimed to be half zip but are three quarter zip,the smock i had definitely had a half zip.

    Before the advent of digital cameras i used to take 35mm pics of most bits in my(then tiny) collection so will have a rummage to see if i can dig out any of the pics.

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    Re: Para smock 1950s

    Post by CollectinSteve on Sat Oct 01, 2011 6:40 pm

    Yeah, the 1956 jacket and trousers combo were made in a stiff, but thin, canvas material. This same material was used by the French, Germans, Swiss, and Spanish. The design of the jackets (not so much the trousers) were also based on the experimental EVG (Europäschen Vereidigungs Gemeinschaft, the failed precursor to NATO) model. All were introduced between 1954 and 1958, but the cloth was obviously unpopular and so it was abandoned by around 1962 by everybody but the Spanish. They used it until the late 1960s at least.

    Steve

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    Re: Para smock 1950s

    Post by Gulf91 on Sun Oct 02, 2011 9:26 am

    CollectinSteve wrote:Yeah, the 1956 jacket and trousers combo were made in a stiff, but thin, canvas material. This same material was used by the French, Germans, Swiss, and Spanish. The design of the jackets (not so much the trousers) were also based on the experimental EVG (Europäschen Vereidigungs Gemeinschaft, the failed precursor to NATO) model. All were introduced between 1954 and 1958, but the cloth was obviously unpopular and so it was abandoned by around 1962 by everybody but the Spanish. They used it until the late 1960s at least.

    Steve

    Thanks for the info Steve,wish i had kept it now Sad

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    Re: Para smock 1950s

    Post by saltefanden on Sun Oct 02, 2011 1:24 pm

    First of all a big, big thank you to Koalorka for posting my pictures!

    I will try and get into this new Millenium with the rest of you and learn to host pics myself!

    And thank you all for the kind words. The smocks have mostly been found primarily in non-militaria second hand shops, sold as fashion items and hence relatively cheap. Embarassed

    Steve, one question; the Navy smock has no beaver tail, and quite frankly it looks like it has never had one. The smock is in mint condition, with tailor's chalk marks on the inside, and there are no signs of a beaver tail ever having been sown on to, or removed from, the back of the smock. Could this be because it's not a jump smock per se?
    Did the Belgian navy boys not need to jump from airplanes and so skipped having the tail fittet?

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