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Posted (edited)

A few days ago my wife decided last minute to go to a car boot sale with my sister in law, leaving me behind to do some "DIY" (aka watching football).

She returned home later with a carrier bag proudly and excitedly stating she had bought a "really, really old coat".

Before I even opened my mouth to say "what on earth for?" the smell from the carrier bag hit me like a kick from a mule! This was an old coat alright with that familiar smell of stale tobacco, sweat and general age mustiness.

Immediately, I wanted to snatch the bag from her and throw it in the garden, that was until she pulled out the "stinky" offender and my eyes fell out onto the floor.

"Happy early birthday present" she said.

 

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Missing two front lower and two skirt buttons so if anyone can help me source replacements I would be most grateful.

Also, one belt hook is missing and the loop to secure the duty armband, which is heavily mothed, looks to have been period replaced by a cotton becket.

Apart from these issues and the offending smell, it is a great piece.

Edited by G Hanson

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Posted (edited)

Wow! What a terrific find! I’d say that takes care of several birthdays. Beautiful!

Whitechapel no less! Maybe you can research just a bit to narrow down the possible owner.

Mike 

Edited by Mike McLellan

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What an excellent find, and a rare survivor that I'm sure is making a lot of faces envious on screens around the world. Is it possible for you to post a few more images of the interior, as I for one would be very interested to see just how similar and different these early jackets are to the later dress ones that often get used as Victorian tunics.

As to replacement buttons, I highly recommend:

http://www.goldenagebuttons.co.uk/lists/Police.htm

Metropolitan (Type 2). ”Metropolitan Police” in buckle around QVC

Horn, one-piece convex, 25 mm. £2.50

Although if you're looking to get exact matches I might have one or two. What maker/style should they have on the back?

 

 

Buttons.jpg

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Posted (edited)

Thanks Mike & Andrew for your comments.

I am away this weekend but will try and get some interior shots posted as soon as.

Andrew, thanks for the tip on the buttons.  Unfortunately, the seller is all out of QVC horn buttons so if you could part with some of yours I would be hugely grateful.

The buttons on the tunic are identical on the front with the majority marked as “English Made” apart from 1 which appears to have a makers name which is illegible.

Tunic currently locked away in a suitcase but the awful smell is still managing to get out!!

Desperate to clean it but don’t want to take the risk. 

Edited by G Hanson

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23 hours ago, G Hanson said:

Thanks Mike & Andrew for your comments.

I am away this weekend but will try and get some interior shots posted as soon as.

Andrew, thanks for the tip on the buttons.  Unfortunately, the seller is all out of QVC horn buttons so if you could part with some of yours I would be hugely grateful.

The buttons on the tunic are identical on the front with the majority marked as “English Made” apart from 1 which appears to have a makers name which is illegible.

PM sent :-)

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Posted (edited)

Almost too good to be true.😎

PC 55H Jonas Mizen (Joseph Mizen PC 55H—Times Aug 19th 1886)

One of the first constables on the scene after the Ripper murder of Mary Ann Nichols.

If, and it is an enormous if, it is genuine the tunic could fetch a considerable sum.

 

Edited by NickLangley

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Wow! Just keeps getting better!

I don’t think I’d clean it just yet. Far fetched, I know, but somebody somewhere will wonder if there’s retrievable DNA evidence on that tunic. Okay, my imagination has gotten the best of me. 

Mike 

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After reading Nick's post I had a very quick look in my book on the police in Jack the Ripper era; "Capturing Jack the Ripper, In the boots of a Bobby in Victorian England".  

Undoubtedly, most collectors here will already own this book but for those that don't, I would thoroughly recommend you get this absolutely fantastic piece of work.  As great as the book is, it has left me somewhat confused as the Index (p253) refers to a PC 56H Mizen which is backed up on p131.  However, on p132 it refers to Mizen as PC 54H and on p90 as PC55H?

I would of course love this to be connected to one of the ripper murders however, I have to be realistic.

Is this a genuine untouched original or re badged/buttoned put together?  I don't know but if I had to pick one I would probably go with the latter as after all, this was a £15 purchase from a car boot sale.

However, It doesn't really matter to me either way as this represents a wonderful, thoughtful present from my wife and well worth £15 of anyone's money.

 

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Posted (edited)

I agree with or without the Mizen connection, £15 is a bargain of bargains!!!! The collar numbers letters and studs alone are worth that!!!!

Edited by bigjarofwasps

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Posted (edited)

First thing to check is to see if the fabric wear under the collar numbers matches up. That would be very hard to fake.

The English Made on the buttons makes me suspicious. Country of origin markings came about as part  of the British Merchandise Marks Act, which took effect on August 23, 1887.

Edited by NickLangley

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For what it's worth, I don't believe it is an original 1880's jacket as there are a couple of stylistic features that to me would put it later. However, those could maybe at a pinch fit with say a c.1900/01 jacket or within a few years, and if stocks of buttons were being used up or an old hand held onto his older style as long as possible that could make sense.

Some posters my recall my thread on the subject of the period kit below:

https://gmic.co.uk/topic/54174-metropolitan-police-kit-c1880-1920-what-do-you-have-put-away/?tab=comments#comment-496219

One of the key differences between the later dress tunics which are often used to represent Ripper period jackets is the cuffs. The later dress jackets almost always have plain box cuffs, sometimes faux French/barrel cuffs. In the late 19th/early 20th century period they should have V or lancer cuffs - exactly as here. That to me is a strong piece of evidence in its favour. And I would happily buy jackets like that at £15 all day long.

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