PHOENIX — A lucky man in Arizona could soon see a 124-year-old pair of Levi’s blue jeans found in an old chest turn into some six-figure green.
Fox Business’ show “Strange Inheritance” reported this week that the jeans belonged to Tucson resident Jock Taylor’s great-great-grandfather, Solomon Warner, who moved to the Wild West in the 1830s from New York.
“He was the first to sell American goods in Tucson. The Butterfield Stage came through and whatever you wanted, you had to buy from Solomon Warner,” Jim Turner, a writer on Arizona history, told the show.
After Warner died in 1899, a trunk bearing his name and belongings was passed down to his children and the object — along with its valuable contents — became a family heirloom.
By the time Taylor got his hands on the trunk, he decided to see if the jeans were worth anything and took them for appraisal.
The jeans were dated back to 1893 and may be the oldest unworn Levi’s found.
Vintage denim collectors will pay thousands of dollars for old jeans. Taylor said Levi’s has offered him $50,000 for the pants, but he’s holding out for a better offer.
However, Brit Eaton, a dealer who works with old jeans, said the pants may not fetch a higher price because of their 44-inch by 37-inch sizing.
Even with the odd proportions, Taylor hit the denim jackpot.
“Finding Levi’s pre-1900 is a massive rarity,” Eaton told the show. “That’s the Holy Grail.”
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