'Antique' Jeans Expected to Earn Big Bucks

It's a truly historical find, the oldest pair of jeans known to man were discovered and now you can try them on for size. That's as long as you have a fat purse to go with them.

The jeans are being auctioned off on eBay and though they're not designer, they're expected to go for more than $30,000.

The oldest pair of Levi's was discovered in a Nevada mining town three years ago. They've been authenticated by the Levi Strauss & Co., the clothing manufacturer that produced the garment.

The archivist from the Levi's museum in San Francisco said the jeans were manufactured in the 1880s. She was able to determine the approximate age by the design. The exact date could not be determined because Levi Strauss' records were destroyed in the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.

The jeans have no belt loops, they were not added until 1922, and there is a buckle on the back of the pants. The pockets are not the cotton kind were accustomed to and the interior seams are very rough.

The company says the pair of waist coveralls were crafted from 9-ounce denim produced by the Amoskeag Mill in Manchester, N.H.

Catherine Butterfield with Butterfields Auctioneers, which is owned by eBay, showed off the jeans on ABCNEWS' Good Morning America. "We've estimated these between $30,000 to $40,000, given their rarity, their age and the fact that they are so early and so important in American culture."

Some recent eBay sales include vintage JC Penny's jeans which sold for $1,100 and a pair of vintage Levi 501 jeans which sold for more than $750. Levi Strauss & Co. is nearly 150 years old and the Levi's 501 jeans it made back in the 1890s cost about $1.25.

Bidding on the oldest pair opens May 18 and ends a week later on May 25. The History Channel is airing a story on the "History of Denim" which will be followed by a History's Lost and Found Auction Block segment featuring the jeans.

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