A pair of 125-year-old Levi jeans sold for almost $ 100K

By David Sharp | Associated Press

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) – A buyer with a penchant for vintage denim has invested nearly $ 100,000 for a pair of vintage jeans from the old American west.

125 year old Levi The Strauss & Co. jeans, which were not sold at auction in 2016, now have a new owner somewhere in Southeast Asia.

"It's someone who loves old Levi's," said Daniel Buck Soules of Daniel Buck Auctions, who worked for 11 years on "Antiques Roadshow" on public television.

The price places it near the record territory for the old Levi & # 39; s. But the private sale agreement prevents Soules from revealing the exact price or location of the buyer, he said. The buyer sent a representative to Maine to inspect the jeans before buying them on May 15, he said.

There is no mystery behind jeans.

They were purchased in 1893 by Solomon Warner, a grocer in the Arizona Territory. Warner was a quaint character who established one of the first stores that sold American dry goods in Tucson and survived the shooting of Apache Indians in 1870.

The denim was produced in a mill in New Hampshire, and the jeans were manufactured by Levi's in San Francisco.

Unlike modern Levi, jeans had only one back pocket in those days. There were no belt loops because the men wore suspenders back then.

Denim corresponds to a character larger than life. The cotton jeans, with button, had a size 44 at the waist and a crotch of 36 inches, suggesting that Warner was not a small man.

They had been stored in a trunk for decades and were in perfect condition because Warner only used them a few times before becoming ill, Soules said.

Soules put the jeans up for auction in 2016, but a computer flaw ruined the online bids. Then the owner decided to go to the private sale route, he said.

There is a market for rare jeans.

A pair of 501 jeans manufactured in the 1880s sold for $ 60,000 to a Japanese collector, Soules said, and another pair, from 1888, sold for six figures.

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