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Need more Info on this Apparent 631 find......

Hello and Happy New Year Gail!!!!!!!

 

I always enjoy reading these types of "Barn Find" stories and now I may have my own.  I purchased this jacket recently online from a man who thought it was a useless Movie Prop from the 80s or 90s.  He used it as a Halloween garment over the years and shipped it in a box labeled "HALLOWEEN GARB."  Even so, I still had to actually pay him for it.  So I forked over his asking price of $9.38 (Yes, U.S. DOLLARS--don't know HOW that figure was arrived at) plus $20 shipping.

So much for Trash and Treasures!  This jacket is VERY worn but in typical (hopefully) Schott fashion, it is WORN but not WORN OUT.  Extreme distress to the dye in places but generally no damage to the leather.  It FEELS like Horsehide because its really wrinkly and plyable similar to a 50s Horsehide Police jacket I own but I know if its a 631, its Steerhide.  

I don't want to waste your valuable time so I have researched the Schott Forum for weeks blindly hoping to find a clue as to what this jacket is.  FINALLY, I found several posts that seem to indicate this jacket is a Model 631. Please see this link below for your post on this Model from this past Fall for reference:

https://www.schottnyc.com/forum/posts/jacket_identification_help_2.htm

I have been scouring the site and the web for more information on the age of this model because I have never seen one with the slight variations that this one seems to have. It doesn't seem to match what I am seeing date wise as to the zippers so I am confused.

I have attached several pictures for your Official Inspection and review.  

Notable Distinctions:

1.)  NO faux wool Sherpa Liner or Fur Collar -- Indicating its from the reintroduction period in 77-78. 

2.)  Black Quilted Liner in Body missing the tag.  Outline of the tag stitching is faintly visible in the liner so it doesn't appear it was relined.  Again, indicating 77-78 Vintage.  

3.)  Talon Brass Zippers and Pulls.  The Talon Main Zipper and Pull is a much smaller size than is found on most of the Ride Gear and Police Jackets.  I have never seen a zipper so smallish on a Schott jacket.  It works great its just not GIANT.

THE MYSTERY****The Tear Drop Brass Pull for the diagonal pocket is unique from what have seen of these models.  I was of the vague understanding that these Pulls generally indicated a 60s Vintage.  However, your previous descriptions (within the post I linked above) of the production years for this model---1959-69 with the Sherpa Lining and reintroduced in 1977-78 with Acrylic Pile and Quilted Sleeve lining would indicate that this jacket is a 77-78 Vintage.  Perhaps the Tear Drop Pulls were used much later than I had thought?

The Pocket liners are a cream feltish fabric (or it may be soiled white fabric from years of use).   

I'm inclined to believe hopefully that this is a 77-78  Model 631.  Can you confirm this?? Are these Zippers/Pulls Original Schott hardware standard and correct for that Vintage??

Here's hoping it isn't just a MOVIE PROP!!!!  Any of your expert assistance would be treasured Gail.

Thanks so much for helping us decipher our Mystery Jackets!!  

Sincerely,

-GW

(9 photos attached)

IMG_17401.JPG IMG_17281.JPG IMG_17291.JPG IMG_17301.JPG IMG_17311.JPG IMG_17321.JPG IMG_17391.JPG IMG_17361.JPG IMG_17381.JPG

Gail4Schott on 01/12/18 at 08:44 AM

You certainly can not beat the price for the jacket, but I do not believe it is a Schott jacket for a few reasons. We did offer the 631 in 1978 with the quilt lining, but we used a heavy Talon front zipper and the classic chain pull pocket zipper. In addition the buttons are not a type of button I have seen used on the back of these jackets and we never used buttons on the cuffs for this style. This is not to say on this vintage jacket that zippers were not replaced and possibly even the back buttons for the attachable belt, but why add buttons to the cuff. This is why I have doubts and unfortunately the main label is missing. I wish I could confirm without a doubt that it is the old style but I can not.

Gail

claybertrand on 01/12/18 at 02:00 PM

Thanks for the information Gail!!  Awesome as always.

This jacket is still confusing to me because of the others that have been ID'd in the forum and one in particular really looks to be the same.  Please see the post below where the 631 model ID'd as a Horsehide 631SM does indeed have BOTH Rear Belt Buttons AND Cuff Buttons.  Did they stop putting the cuff buttons on the 77-78 retintroduced models?  It also APPEARS to have a similar sized Talon Main zip as the one in the post but I could be wrong.  My Main zipper pull measures 1" x .25".   Is this jacket I have possibly a Dur O Jak or other brand made by Schott??  I have seen Dur O Jaks that look like this same model.  It just seems odd that this EXACT look would be replicated by other makers of the period.  It doesn't seem to be a look that was so generically popular that it was in universal production by multiple manufacturers---but it could've been.  

The missing tags are problematic for sure as they are the ultimate ID tool.  The jacket is an interesting obviously vintage piece regardless of brand and I'm not reselling it so I don't need to be able to advertise it as a Schott or have official confirmation or anything.  It just looks so much like the one in this post below that it makes me really curious.  Aside from the Color, Liner type and Zipper Pulls (particularly the hoop and chain vs. the tear drop), the jackets look eerily similar.  This jacket I have also really seems to have the same look, weight and feel of confirmed, labeled horsehide jackets I have from the late 50s.  

Does this comparison make sense to you at all in looking at the two jackets side by side so to speak???

Here is the Link you addressed from a couple of years ago:

https://www.schottnyc.com/forum/posts/help_identifying_jacket_maybe_late_1940s.htm

 

Thanks for all of your knowledge and your willingness to share it with us.

 

-GW  

 

Gail4Schott on 01/13/18 at 08:53 AM

I am sorry I was unable to open the link in your post and ai was unable to find the post you are referring to in a search. It is possible it could be our jacket, but the photos I have do not show the buttons on the sleeve. The buttons and zippers are also not the same as I have seen on these jackets. It os always possible when making the jacket they used stock items at the time to make the production lot, possibly to use up the buttons and type of zippers. I guess the zippers are the most telling as we did not use a light weight zipper in our heavy jackets, though the front zipper may have been replced by a previous owner. Is it a Schott? Possibly but I can not determine it is a Schott jacket just based on what I see on the jacket and it not having a Schott label.

Gail

claybertrand on 01/14/18 at 03:27 PM

Thanks for your further evaluation of this Jacket Gail.  Following your lead as a true brand historian, I try to ID and date every jacket I have and I do a little Vintage Profile of each one.  You have been invaluable in preserving the Schott Brand standing and in maintaining a historic connection to the Vintage Models.  Schott has a great thing going with this Forum because of you and so many of the sharp eyed members here.  

SO PROPS to everyone here especially Gail.

In the spirit of sharing the results of my continued investigation into this Schott-LIKE jacket, I present the following pictures.  These are only intended to aid others and add information to the Forum as the photos I believe indicate that the Jacket I have posted about herein is actually a PENNYS HORSEHIDE of likely early 60s Vintage.  I wouldn't say this case is 100% solved, but I am pretty convinced by these pics. 

The only discernable difference between the jacket I posted and this one is the apparent Tied On Zipper Pull, the STYLE/COLOR of the buttons, Color of the Leather, and the addition of Metal Vent holes in the Pit areas of this jacket. Mostly stylistic differences with the Metal Vent holes I believe being an updated feature indicating the jacket picured below MAY be a little bit more recent model than mine.  

Stark similarities include, Horsehide Leather, Buttons in Same Locations and a Smaller/Lighter Weight Talon Zip starting about 4 inches above the bottom Hem. 

Interested parties, please see the pictures posted below.  

Thanks for viewing. If anyone has any additional observations or information that may be helpful--your 2 Cents or more would be welcome and appreciated. 

--Clay Bertrand

 

 

Front_View3.jpg Back_View1.jpg Label18.jpg Front_Lying_Down_View1.jpg Inside_Liner1.jpg Upper_Front_Close_View1.jpg

GailH on 01/15/18 at 08:23 AM

Just to clarify, to the best of my knowledge we did not make this jacket for Penny's. Not to say it is not a possibilty but I have never seen this label on any other jacket. I also noticed the color of the quilt lining and it does not look like the color of brown quilt we used in our jackets.

Gail

claybertrand on 01/15/18 at 02:24 PM

Gail and Others,

Thanks for clarifying this Gail.  SO sorry if my post seemed to imply this was a Schott product.  I certainly wasn't trying to go there.  I was just updating for purposes of some random person who may run into a similar unidentified jacket.  Just sharing my investigation.   

There is absolutely nothing to indicate that this is a Schott Jacket other than loose similarity.  And that is fine for me.  I do LOVE my Schotts but this jacket is still a great vintage find in its own right.  AND I should add that these "CAR COATS" were indeed universally popular and produced by several makers in various forms in the 60s and beyond.  I have also seen them called "SUR COATS".   

I should note as well that among collectors, SEARS, PENNYS and LEVIS models of leather jackets have value and particularly the Hercules Sears leathers.  As SEARS and JCPenny circle the retail drain, their jackets may take on even more of a nostalgic following over the years.  People will be telling their kids that Sears was a big store where you could buy EVERYTHING and their kids will say, "You mean bigger than Amazon?? Did Sears have 2 day PRIME Shipping Daddy???"  ; )  

Sorry to have potentially misled anyone.   

Thanks again Gail and Cheers!

 

-CB/GW

GailH on 01/16/18 at 07:29 AM

Not a problem, like you I learn something each day about these vintage jackets. It was a great style then and is a great style today, as we had several variations of this jacket in our line, the firts being a Genuine Horsehide with a Genuine Sheepskin lining, now that must be a very heavy and warm coat. As you can see these vintgae jackets don't die, they just live on, enjoy your coat.

You are correct we didi not have Amazon w/2 day free delivery with Prime, but we had the big Sears and Penny's catalogs that you could search for anything!

Gail

GailH on 01/16/18 at 08:00 AM

Had to update you on my findings, this is a photo of a jacket similar to your jacket that I found in our 100th Anniversary book, while checking something for another member. I just had to post the photo for you to see as it looks almost like your jacket except for front zipper and label. Since it is from the 50's who knows maybe Schott did make the jacket for Penny's.

Gail

 

IMG_14681.JPG

claybertrand on 01/16/18 at 07:00 PM

Thanks Gail.  Yes this is the jacket I originally saw as similar to my Jacket and led me to believe it may be a Schott.  I posted a Schott Forum link to this one but the link didn't open for you.  The style is very similar but the pockets are different.  The Zip Pocket is horizontal on this Schott where it is a Diagonal Zipper Pocket on mine and these others. 

This Schott model is certainly indicative though of the breadth of popularity of this Style of jacket at the time as it seems it was made my a few manufacturers. 

Here below are some pictures from a Macy's Coat that, like the Pennys one I posted pics of, is Front Qtr Horsehide and has nearly identical features as the one I have and the Pennys model: Same Lining, Same Button locations, Same Diagonal Zipper Pocket, Same Non Heavy Duty Talon Zipper etc.  The main visible difference on the jacket below compared to mine and the Pennys model are the Elasticized sides of the Belt Line which may indicate a slightly newer model with the advancement of Elastic in the design of the Macys jacket.     

Again, nothing definitive here as to my jacket's ID, but these are all nice pieces of evidence to evaluate and compare.  The mystery is part of the intrigue!!! ; )  

Please see the additional pics below:

As always, thanks Gail for your knowledge.

 

-GW/CB

 

 

Macys_Model_Front1.jpg Macys_Model_Rear_View1.jpg Macys_Model_Label1.jpg Macys_Model_Talon_Main_Zipper1.jpg

AussieJagman on 01/17/18 at 08:18 AM

It may be worth noting that your jacket has a front yoke which is something neither the pictured Penney's nor the pictured Schott has - an important constructional aspect that would instantly render theose two as out of contention as comparables. 

The Macy's jacket pictured has a front yoke so it's at least in the same ballpark (though there are a number of other crucial details that simply do not match at all).

The devil is in the detail and it looks to be a fairly run of th  emill mass production cowhide jacket to me.

claybertrand on 01/17/18 at 12:51 PM

Thanks for your input Aussie.  I respect your keen eye and knowledge.  However, I don't see the comparisons as necessarily "instantly rendered....out of contention as comparables" due to the differences you noted.  

Rather, I tend to agree more with your "ballpark" comment about the Macy's jacket.  The devil IS certainly in the details.  I haven't been able to find an exact match yet.  So I am just trying to find the best available comparisons and am finding different ones that match different aspects thus far.  I am not trying to elevate the status of a barn find jacket to some rare one of a kind museum piece.  I am trying to simply establish the provenance of this jacket if possible.  

Finding ones that are AT LEAST SIMILAR or in the ballpark is the best I've been able to uncover so far.  The differences you note COULD simply be the evolution of the design and modernity of elements that unfolded in jacket production from year to year or over 5 years even.  Even in the many Schott Cafe racers I own there are small changes that occur over periods of time.  Same with the Lescos, Brooks, all of the makers really.  Pockets go from straight to slightly angled, sleeve stiching style subtly changes here and there, adding two snaps where there was one, etc. I wonder if the yoke differences, like the elastic addition, could just be stylistic evolution or changes??   

This jacket being a run of the mill mass production jacket would be just fine and would also even appear likely if it has ANY relation at all to the two comparisons I posted which were made for Large Department stores in Pennys and Macys.  But the statement "run of the mill mass production" could also be applied to a 65 Mustang Coupe which clearly isn't common or without vintage value today though it was common in 1965.  My point being even an 50 year old Sears Jacket is still 50 years old and the "rarity" for lack of a better term is in its survivial to this point.  That's the main reason I am interested in dating it if possible.    

Since I tend to agree with you that it is a mass production type of garment likely made for department store distribution--that would make me think the leather should also be more mass produced in this jacket and it could be steerhide as you mention.  That said, I have never been able to eyeball ID leather.  I have to see it, feel the texture and weight and also see the type of abrasions it has suffered and to what degree those abrasions have damaged the leather etc.  I only believe this is horsehide because of comparing of to all of my other jackets of known leather type and evalutating it in person.  Though the photos may not reveal it, it does appear to be horsehide.  But without a label or other determinative indication I cannot say for certain and I'm just an amatuer Leather Jacket Detective ; ).

What makes you think it may be steerhide??  You always provide sharp incite and I'm curious what is tipping you off that it is steerhide??  Please let me know what you think.

I appreciate your input and look forward to your feedback.

Cheers.   

 

AussieJagman on 01/17/18 at 09:36 PM

The reason why I discount the first two nominated jackets as not being comparable is that the major difference I nominated is a constructional one, not an evolutionary or decorative one. That particular type of front yoke design is not simply a styling aspect it is a constructional aspect (and usually of an economic nature, ie an aspect of quality and when using thin leather it can also add some stength against stretching in the chest area) designed to save on the rerquirement to cut large single panels for the jacket front.

To change from one type to the other would require the re-design/re-making of several of the most important pattern pieces in a jacket as well as needing to be sewn differently during manufacture and this type of major design shift is certainly not something that Schott (or any other of the major manufacturers) has a history of carrying through within the same model number as an evolutionary change (and hence why I'd have simply discounted them completely once I saw the pictures). My commmentary in regard to "instantly rendering" yours incomparable was based in the context of your original posting seeking a schott connection and seemed to be focussing on minor ancillary details whilst disregarding or not noticing the one very glaring major detail in the construction and style of the jacket itself. 

It was a relatively commmon style of jacket and differences between one and another are more likely based around the sheer number of makers copying the design across varying price levels rather than evolutional aspects. The type of front panel construction puts yours towards the cheaper end of that market (an aspect that still holds true today).

claybertrand on 01/19/18 at 02:44 PM

Thanks Aussie!!!!  This explanation is very informative and when I think about it, this absolutely oozes LOGIC!! 

If I am understanding what you are saying, the front Yoke essentially is sort of a sign of a lower end grade of jacket in that the maker is able to NOT use the more costly one piece hides to do the front of the jacket.  Rather, this style allows for them to piece in another hide portion for the upper chest and thus, save costs.  As well, you are saying its not cost effective for the makers to change their designs drastically in short spans of time.  These are the main concepts I am gleaning from your post.  

The Yoke IS a glaring detail in comparison to the zippers, buttons and other less significant details.  In fact, especially with Horsehide, (I am not saying MY jacket is horsehide--just making a point here), the hides themselves have significantly LESS jacket worthy leather than say, Steer or Cow hide.  Apparently, with Horsehide, only the FRONT QUARTER and two much smaller areas of hide near back/hindquarters can be used for jacket making.  The rest of the hide is more suitable for shoes, handbags etc.  As such, perhaps cost cutting design and construction that includes the front yoke would signify the lower end of the cost spectrum as the front is NOT all one single hide.  I found a link to Horween Leather (I may have found it here in the Schott forum) that really simply explains the differences in leather types and hide grades etc.  I will post the link at the end of this post for anyone interested.    

As well, I do agree with you that major design shifts would not be cost effective for manufacturers because of the pattern work you describe.  Avid Schott fans have learned that they have only undergone MAJOR pattern changes a few times in their history.  For example, some Schott models are still cut on the "OLD" patterns and hence need to be sized UP for modern fit versus the same model in different leather that they use the UPDATED patterns for.  This seems to be comparable to having a Die made for casting metal or a mold made for plastic injection---i.e. The MAJOR EXPENSE is in having the Die/Mold itself made.  The parts are made for almost nothing next to the input costs necessary to have a custom Die/Mold made.  Could well be the same for Jacket Patterns.  I am sure ALOT of work and measuring etc. would go into the creation of a complete set of patterns for a leather jacket.  Can't just change that Willy Nilly I would think and make money making jackets.    

These are things I have never really considered in evaluating Vintage jackets.  I feel ignorant to be honest in not myself realizing these aspects and their importance. 

I have read a number of your posted comments and you really get into the details Aussie.  As I said before, you have a keen eye and you articulate your points very well.  

Thanks for jumping into this thread and droppin your knowledge.  I appreciate it.   

 

Here is the Link to Horween on Hide/Leather differences:

https://www.horween.com/blog/2010/12/14/by-request-whats-the-difference

 

Cheers!

 

-CB/GR

AussieJagman on 01/19/18 at 06:43 PM

nah, you're likely miscronstruing what I said about manufacturer's history of pattern changes so I'm probably not managing to get my whole train of thought down in writing with enough clarity.

I'm not saying that economics dictate against major evolutionary pattern updates (though they often can, they are but one consideration), I'm saying that the sort of pattern change that this type of construction would require is not an evolutionary one  and would not be done by schott or other quality manufacturers under the same model number because such a change would be a major one in that it would make it a completely different jacket. I've never seen one example of a single schott model that went from two panel plain front to a four panel yoke style front construction, I can't  imagine them doing it ever in the future either (imagine if they did that on say a 125, it simply couldn't be a 125 anymore - I realise that's an extreme example)

As for the hides, it's a whole nuther area that is really not my bag, horsehide's never been the big thing in Australia that it seems to have become in America, most of our leather items in "vintage times" were cow, pig or kangaroo and most average people in the street here would probably look down their nose at horse leather. Personally, I prefer Schott's nice soft naked cowhides that don't require much breaking in - I hate break-in processes but that's probably because I'm more concerned with how a jacket feels when I wear it rather than how it looks to others after it's "creased up". I have a few horsehide jackets and vests and just don't like to wear them as they just don't have the conformability out of the box that I like.

 

claybertrand on 01/19/18 at 07:23 PM

I see.......I was going a totally different direction with your analysis.  

This also makes sense though.  Such a different Style would be considered a different jacket model.  I was applying more the logic of hide use.  I see get what you're saying though now.  

To be clear, as to pattern change, I was only suggesting that it likely costs money to change/update patterns so companies may not have done it so often especially in the old days unless it was needed.  They'd just create a different model altogether perhaps.  Not necessarily saying that economics are the determining factor for companies like Schott etc.  I am merely speculating.  In Schott's case, it seems they have simply changed with the times and the fat bellys to update their fits as necessary.  I don't think they held off on the changes due to the costs.  I'm not trying to suggest that at all.    

I was also saying that economics COULD logically play into it in terms of production costs for some retailers.  The jackets I have posted are from large retail department stores.  If a department store like Sears, Macy's or Penny's back in the day requested 5000 jackets be made for them that could hit a certain price point to be sold en masse, its possible certain style options could be less costly than others.  For example, those styles that might allow for smaller hide parts to be pieced together versus one larger hide piece that may be more costly---those styles MAY be the ones chosen to be sold as more your run of the mill, mass produced jackets sold by the department stores.  

I'm just saying it's possible the cheaper (or more affordable to put it a nicer way) to make jackets are the most widely made and sold etc.  The sort of EVERYMAN model if you will. 

 

Thanks for clarifying your post man. 

 

Cheers 

 

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