Not every piece of militaria I buy is in the best shape, and tonight we have a piece that is in definite need of restoration. I am intending to look at the object and its history tonight and then do a follow up piece covering its restoration later.
The No9 Artillery dial sight was used on a number of field guns including the famous 25 Pounder and was in service form the Second World War into the 1970s. It had a periscopic configuration with a rotating head, when the scale was set to zero the sight head was aligned with the axis of the barrel:Sadly I do not have this sight, what I do have is the leather transit case that protected the sight when it was not mounted on the gun:This case has suffered badly over the years and as can be seen here, the lid is dry and warped and the stitching around one edge has completely disintegrated:All this can and will be put right in time, but for now we will look at the case as it is. The case is made from very heavy and high quality leather and the whole front hinges down to allow access to the interior:There is a strap and staple to secure the front flap shut when not needed:A small strap is fitted to the rear as a carry handle:This was also used to mount the case onto the field gun when not needed so it was stowed away neatly and securely on the rear of the gun shield:
Inside the case is a wooden framing that holds the sight securely in place:A metal staple on the inside of the lid prevents the sight from falling outwards:The remnants of a label can also be seen, glued to the interior of the case:This originally read:
Sight, Dial, No9, Mk 1
Under no circumstance must the instrument be stored or transported out of its case, except where otherwise stated in artillery drills
The leather of the case is dated 1943 and has the original manufacturer’s initials stamped on:This case has obviously had a hard life. My plan is to feed the leather to restore some suppleness and then gently try and manipulate it back into shape before stitching the lid back together.