By David Sharp | Associated Press
PORTLAND, Maine (AP) – A buyer with a penchant for vintage denim has lost nearly $ 100,000 for a real vintage pair of jeans from the American "Old West".
Strauss & Co.'s 125-year-old Levi Blue Jeans, which could not be auctioned in 2016, now has a new owner somewhere in Southeast Asia
"It's someone who loves old Levi's," said Daniel Buck Soules by Daniel Buck Auctions, who spent 11 years in the "Antiques Roadshow" of public television.
The price brings it close to the record for old Levi's. But the private sales contract prevents Soules from revealing the exact price or location of the buyer, he said. The buyer sent an agent to Maine to visit the jeans before he bought them on May 1
There is no secret behind the jeans.
They were purchased in 1893 by Solomon Warner, a warehouse keeper in the Arizona Territory. Warner was a colorful character who founded one of the first dry goods shops in Tucson and was shot in 1870 by Apache Indians.
The denim was made in a mill in New Hampshire and the jeans were made by Levi's in San Francisco, Tucson.
Unlike modern Levi's, the jeans had only a single back pocket at that time. There were no belt loops because men used braces at that time.
The denim suits a larger than life character. The cotton jeans with button placket had a waist of 44 and an inseam of 36 inches, indicating that Warner was not a small man.
They had been stored in a trunk for decades and were in pristine condition because Warner only wore them a couple of times before he got sick, Soules said.
Soules put the jeans on auction in 2016, but a computer error botched online bidding. Then the owner said, "There is a market for rare jeans."
A pair of 501 jeans made in the 1880s were sold to a Japanese collector for $ 60,000, said Soules couple, from 1888, sold for six figures.