WASHINGTON: A pair of Levi’s jeans dating to the 1880s were found in an abandoned mine and auctioned for US$87,400.
The pants were found in an abandoned mine in the American West by self-described denim archaeologist Michael Harris and were sold at Durango Vintage Festivus, a four-day celebration of denim on the outskirts of Aztec, N.M, according to United Press International (UPI).
The jeans, which feature a buckleback adjuster along the seat, were purchased by Kyle Hautner and Zip Stevenson. Hautner paid 90 per cent of the price, while Stevenson contributed the remaining 10 per cent, it reported.
Stevenson, who owns and operates the Denim Doctors repair shop in Los Angeles, said the pants were a rare discovery.
“These jeans are extremely rare — especially in this fantastic worn condition and size,” UPI cited he told CNN.
Stevenson said Harris has looked in at least 50 abandoned mines for five years and has not found a pair of equal quality.
He said a couple other pairs of Levi’s from the same time period were known to still exist but they are on display in museums and are not considered to be in wearable condition. He said the auctioned pair, by contrast, could be worn with only a few minor repairs, it added.
The new owners said the jeans are now being kept in a safety deposit box near Denim Doctors and can be viewed by appointment. They said they are hoping to sell the pants to a museum for public display, according to the report. — BERNAMA