Whilst the metal version of the Imperial Airways Pilot’s Wings are sometimes encountered the hand embroidered gold bullion version as I have here seem almost unobtainable.
Acquired during my own career with British Airways some years ago, this example is in very good condition with toning to the golden wire.
Imperial Airways was an early British commercial long-range airline, operating from 1924 to 1939 and principally serving the British Empire routes to South Africa, India, Australia and the Far East, including Malaya and Hong Kong. Passengers were typically businessmen or colonial administrators, and most flights carried about 20 passengers or fewer. Accidents were frequent: in the first six years, 32 people died in seven incidents. Imperial Airways never achieved the levels of technological innovation of its competitors and was merged into the British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) in 1939. BOAC in turn merged with the British European Airways (BEA) in 1974 to form British Airways.