125-year-old Levi's jeans sold for US$100,000 at auction

A pair of 125-year-old jeans from Levi Strauss & Co were sold for nearly US$100,000 (S$134,000) on May 26, 2018. PHOTO: ST FILE

WASHINGTON (XINHUA) - A pair of 125-year-old jeans has sold for nearly US$100,000 (S$134,000), setting a record for vintage denim, US media said Saturday (May 26).

The pants, manufactured by Levi Strauss & Co, were sold by an auction house in Maine on May 15 to a buyer in South-east Asia.

Daniel Soules of the auction house said: "It's somebody who loves old Levis."

At this old age, the jeans come with a fascinating history.

The fabric was produced by a mill in New Hampshire on the East Coast, but the pants were manufactured in San Francisco on the West Coast.

The first owner of the pants was Solomon Warner, a store owner in Arizona who purchased them in 1893.

Warner had barely worn them before his death, so the jeans stayed in good condition as they were passed down in the family throughout the years, helping preserve their value.

Levi's had offered to buy back the pants for US$50,000.

Several features of the pants were distinctively different from today's model, such as their single back pocket, and their lack of belt loops due to the popularity of suspenders in the 19th century.

Vintage denim is a sought-after item among many collectors. A pair of 501 jeans manufactured in the 1880s sold for US$60,000 to a Japanese collector, Soules said, and another pair, from 1888, sold for six figures.

Analysts said that blue jeans are coveted because they have been deeply ingrained in American culture after their first appearance during the years of Western expansion.

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