Ian Fleming’s Pea Coat

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Fleming-Pea-Coat

Though Ian Fleming never included the pea coat as part of James Bond’s wardrobe in his novels, Fleming himself wore a pea coat as a Royal Navy officer during the Second World War. This pea coat was sold at Bonham’s on New Bond Street in London on 22 November 2011 for £13,750. The dark navy double-breasted coat has eight buttons with four to button. It has single-button cuffs, and the shawl collar and vertical outside front pocket welts are trimmed in a ribbed knit stretch fabric. The buttons are made of black horn, and the lining is scarlet.

According to the auction listing, Commander Fleming wore this pea coat during the Dieppe Raid of 1942 whilst he was serving in the Naval Intelligence Division. The coat was later given to Ivar Bryce, a friend of Fleming’s since his school days at Eton. Bryce’s middle name was Felix, and Fleming gave his name to Bond’s ally and best friend CIA agent Felix Leiter. The pea coat was shown at For Your Eyes Only: Ian Fleming and James Bond Exhibition, which celebrated the centenary of Ian Fleming’s birth, at Imperial War Museum London from April 2008 to March 2009. You can see more about the pea coat at the auction listing on Bonham’s website.

It wasn’t until the film Casino Royale that the film Bond wears a pea coat. Later, the film Bond wears another pea coat in Skyfall. Though the pea coat doesn’t have any earlier history with Bond in the films or the books, it’s quite an appropriate casual coat for a former naval officer, and Fleming himself wore one.

6 COMMENTS

  1. I have worn a peacoat for the last two years (I take it off when I’m inside), partly influenced by the Skyfall jacket, partly because my old jacket looked like a tramp had disowned it.
    Budget conscience, I got one from Top Man in the UK for £75 but Primark also sell them for £35 and these seem fine. The one I got had no interior pockets which was annoying but my tailor added some.
    Not sure Fleming’s shawl collar would do up as high as the peaked collar on mine which, somewhat worryingly, resembles a WWII German uniform around the collar when fully closed. But it’s warm and doesn’t require a scarf.
    By the way, the side vent pockets on Fleming’s jacket are huge!

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