A 1980s Martin-Baker Mark IV aluminium ejection seat, priced at £12,500 from Hatchwell Antiques.

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This 1980s British-built ejection seat is being sold by Chelsea dealer Hatchwell Antiques with an asking price of £12,500.

The Martin-Baker Mark IV aluminium seat flew in a French Dassault/Dornier Alpha jet, a light attack aircraft manufactured by French and German companies. When operational the handles above the pilot’s head or between his legs would be pulled and a series of blasts would blow the seat free of the aeroplane and a parachute would open.

“We managed to acquire this through contacts, but they are getting much harder to find,” said Allan Hatchwell of the second-generation family business. “Martin-Baker began making ejection seats in 1948 and they have saved many thousands of lives since. We have sold 12 to one customer who wanted to use them as dining room chairs and another re-purposed his as a gaming seat for his son.”