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Vintage Levis


Want a pair of really vintage jeans? These Levis are over 100 years old!
This old pair of LEVI'S were found in a mine in the Rand Mining District, on the Mojave Desert,. California. They are covered in candlewax from the candle's the miner was using to light the tunnel he was working in. They were found with and old paper bag with the name of a mercantile store which operated between 1895 and 1898 in the town or Randsburg. Their was also a gunny sack with the initials A.P.K. and Randsburg marked on it. A.P.K. is through to be Adam P. Kuffel who was a partner in the mercantile store.

With less than a day to go on the eBay auction, the bidding is over $15,000. In case you are wondering, the size is W34 x L33. You can assume they are prewashed, but they aren't all that clean. Link -via YesButNoButYes

Ok, I haven't researched this, but the fact that the jeans have a tag listing the size as "W 34 L 33" makes me seriously doubt the advertised age. I'd be surprised if that sizing method was in use 100 years ago.

Some of the questions on the eBay page are pretty funny:
"Dear Sir, If I purchased these jeans from you, what type of detergent would you suggest using to get the wax off?"
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Looks like viral advertising. Note the coin pocket in the front right of the jeans; did they even include those in the 19th century?
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The picture is too small to tell for sure, but that fly doesn't look like it uses buttons. I'm pretty sure zippers weren't in common use 100 years ago.
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This is a fluke!

Wikipedia says: "Although the company began producing denim overalls in the 1870s, modern jeans were not produced until the 1920s."

Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Levi's
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And this continues to prove why I will not buy a pair of jeans with rips, scuffs, or bleached areas just to look like I've worn them out. Buy a decent pair...work and play in them then you'll get that worn look you pay over $45 for.
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The lister doesn't really provide much information regarding authenticity or how they got from his neighbor's hands to his..but since this is a really popular listing you'd think Levi's would have spoken up about it if they know they didn't produce anything like this in the 1890's. But I'm suspicious that the wording of the listing is one of those 'you actually were bidding on a picture of an iPhone' scams..like it's the bag that's the 1890's piece..not the jeans (because he doesn't actually know or because he does know they're fake).
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It just looks a little suspicious to me. I know they are supposed to have been found in the dirt, but if they are what the seller claims them to be, is it wise to display them ON dirt? (I'm assuming this is not the mine they were pulled out of.) Antique texiles are pretty fragile and laying them out on the dirty ground, in full sunlight is NOT the way to conserve the fabric. Anyone who watches Antique Roadshow - even on casual basis - would know this, and would be running to the nearest expert in fabric conservation!
With an item like this, I'd sure like to see a LOT more detailed pictures.

Also, wasn't there something on TV recently about antique Levis? Just wondering.
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I had my doubts when I saw "They are covered in candlewax from the candle’s the miner was using to light the tunnel he was working in."
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The Levi company bids on these often and attempts to drive the price upwards. Eventually they win the bid and right off the expense by "donating" the jeans to their own Levi's Blue Jean Museum and calling the whole thing a charitable donation when in fact it is just done for the free advertisement.

If you doubt this ask yourself why these jeans keep popping up from mines (seven or eight of them by my count) and not from the closets of people. I was able to find a 1920's jean jacket in my great grandfather's clothes.
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Just look at the picture and you can tell they are not that old.

Trust me, I think some of the hand-me-downs I've had to wear were at least 100 years old and I wish they were that stylish
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@ lisa

It was quite common for miners to strip down to the bare essentials due to the heat underground. However, I could be just stating the norm and these pantless miners were just getting loopy from a gas pocket down there.
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The pocket in the front right was not a "coin pocket", but a watch pocket - a place to put your pocket watch.

Miners went without pants all the time in the mines - like steel workers, they worked hard and they played hard.

I doubt the story. They may have "found" them in the mine, but that doesn't mean they didn't place them there themselves.
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it seems somewhat legit. it has the buttons for suspenders, no belt loops (those didnt come till a few decades later), from what you can see there are studs for buttons on the back waist also which means it predates the cinch back, the left leg shows some twisting (which usually happened to earlier makes of levis), one of the earliest surviving pair of 501s are from 1901 and this is found in cali nonetheless. they actually did have sizes back then but fit smaller by todays standards. eg a pair of 501s from 1947 that are w32 l34 would translate to a w30 l33 today (i have a pair of deadstock repo 1947s). referring to the coin pocket, its not actually a coin pocket but a watch pocket. having that said it's either these are very very good repos from that time period or its the real deal.
levis is actually know for buying back vintage capital E era jeans so they can display them in their museum.
i used to work for levis, that's how i know all this needless info. it does seem legit
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i retract the statement about the cinch back. the ebay picture shows them. oh and also that pair only has one back pocket, typical from that era.
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