Blue Gold: Vintage Levi’s 501’s From the Late 1950’s Emerge On eBay
Truly Incredible. Pair of Mint Vintage “With Tags” Big E Levi’s 501’s Hiding in a Texas Closet
Do you really know what is lurking in your family closet? Sadly for me, it is the odd skeleton and some ill-advised fashion decisions by my father.
A man in Texas was a little luckier. Stored in a closet for the past 60+ years was a pair of original, Big E Vintage Levi 501XX jeans. Pocket flasher, guarantee ticket and all. They are in truly pristine condition. The jeans have never been soaked or worn and now they’re up for grabs on the auction site, eBay.
Over the past couple of decades, the US has been scoured clean of vintage denim. And, given the astronomical price that vintage jeans can reach, it is hard to believe that finds like this are still out there.
It makes you wonder what other finds are waiting at the bottom of a drawer.
These jeans are in such good condition that you would be forgiven of mistaking them for a Levi’s Vintage Clothing repro. But by the sounds of it, they are genuine.
The Details of the Jeans
Given the little information we have, it looks like the jeans are cut like the LVC 1955. The ill-advised zipper of the 1954Z is not there, but hidden rivets still are.
The arcuates are shallow and not completely symmetrical (which is typical of 50s 501s), the cut is high and wide, and the Red Tab is double sided with the Big E, of course.
If the history guys at Levi’s are correct, (and I am sure they are), the denim will be 12 oz. – and if you look closely at the picture showing the selvedge, you can make out the iconic red ID, although it has a little faded like they do. Note that the guarantee ticket says “for over 85 years”, which puts the production to 1958 or later.[infobox title=’HOW TO DATE VINTAGE LEVI’S’]
Are you sitting on Blue Gold? Find Out Here.
But How Much Will They Go For?
I won’t even hazard a guess as to what these will reach when the auction ends next week. They are already sitting just shy of $5000.
And, I am sure the more savvy collectors out there are holding off till the last minute.
An Historical Turning Point
There are a number of famous vintage jeans out there, reaching tens of thousands at auction. They were pulled out of mines or old rubbish dumps and as a result, were in pretty poor condition. They were the rarest of the rare examples, stretching back to the beginnings of blue jeans.
Although old, these are not that old. They do however, hark back to a time when the humble uniform of the workingman was being adopted by the counter-culture. It was this cut that found its way into history on the hips of Marlon Brando in The Wild One.
So, the opportunity to own such a pair in true deadstock condition may prove irresistible to the vintage collector. It is a good bet that the Levi’s archivists will have an eye on these.
Spectator Sport for Denimheads
This is sort of a “Last Man Standing” for us denimheads and, although I am a bit skint, we will all be watching the auction as it comes to an end and you should, too.