Occasional Contributor
Posts: 11
Registered: ‎05-18-2018

$100K Levi Strauss & Co. Jeans



PORTLAND, Maine — A buyer with a penchant for vintage denim has plunked down nearly $100,000 for a pair of truly vintage jeans that come from the American Old West.


The 125-year-old Levi Strauss & Co. blue jeans, which failed to sell at auction in 2016, now have a new owner somewhere in Southeast Asia.


“It’s somebody who loves old Levis,” said Daniel Buck Soules from Daniel Buck Auctions, who worked for 11 years on public television’s “Antiques Roadshow.”


The price puts it near record territory for old Levis. But the private sale agreement prevents Soules from disclosing the exact price or the buyer’s location, he said. The buyer sent a representative to Maine to inspect the jeans before buying them on May 15, he said.


There’s no mystery behind the jeans.


They were purchased in 1893 by Solomon Warner, a storekeeper in the Arizona Territory. Warner was a colorful character who established one of the first stores selling American dry goods in Tucson and survived being shot by Apache Indians in 1870.


The denim was produced at a mill in New Hampshire, and the jeans were manufactured by Levi’s in San Francisco. Unlike modern Levis, the jeans in those days had only a single back pocket. There were no belt loops because men used suspenders back then.


The denim befits a larger-than-life character. The cotton jeans, with button fly, had a size 44 waist and 36-inch inseam, suggesting Warner was not a small man.


They’d been stored for decades in a trunk and were in pristine condition because Warner wore them only a few times before falling ill, Soules said.


Soules put the jeans up for auction in 2016, but a computer glitch botched the online bidding. Then the owner decided to go the private-sale route, he said.


There’s 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.



Honored Contributor
Posts: 11,448
Registered: ‎01-22-2016

Re: $100K Levi Strauss & Co. Jeans

No different from auctions for vintage jewelry, Levi's Americana, at its best.

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 5,506
Registered: ‎01-27-2014

Re: $100K Levi Strauss & Co. Jeans

Some people have too much money.

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 6,168
Registered: ‎06-10-2015

Re: $100K Levi Strauss & Co. Jeans

I saw an episode of American Pickers that really old work jeans were found in a barn.  They had them appraised by a "vintage jeans expert" (who knew?).  I was shocked at what they are worth.  They were filthy, ripped and torn.  I dont remember the esitmated worth but it was a lot.

Fear Is Incomplete Knowledge---Agatha Christie
Regular Contributor
Posts: 219
Registered: ‎10-30-2013

Re: $100K Levi Strauss & Co. Jeans

Strange how values are decided. On Antiques Roadshow sometimes values are head scratchers lol.


Honored Contributor
Posts: 58,912
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: $100K Levi Strauss & Co. Jeans

More money than sense... 

In my pantry with my cupcakes...