Fashion

Are these 165-year-old shipwrecked jeans the Last Grail?

Denim enthusiasts will go all out to get some high-quality blues. Remember when Carmy traded a Levi’s jacket around 1955 for a lunch shift’s worth of beef above Bear? He had just been supported by a minded pants buyer who purchased a pair of five-button work pants, salvaged from a chest found aboard an 1857 SS Central America after spending more than a century under seabed, for $114,000 at the Holabird Western Americana Collection Auction this month.

The steamship was sailing from Panama to New York in September 1857 when it sank in a storm near South Carolina, with 425 people — and 30,000 pounds of the precious metal spoils of the California Gold Rush — on board. (The ruins were discovered in 1988 by treasure hunter Thomas G. Thompson, Whose entire agreement? seems as complicated as you would imagine a real-life treasure hunter.)

Among the 153 shipwreck survivors was the pants’ owner: a Mexican-American War veteran named John Dement, whose tanned leather luggage was filled with a treasure trove of men’s clothing. A long soak in the sea leaves them with some rusty black, gray and brown stains. Elsewhere in the so-called “Dement Chest” is a cotton vesta couple wool work shirtand some silk scarfthey all look like they could have been designed by Ruby and then worn on the red carpet by Timothée Chalamet.

Dement was also a shopper for his family business, and likely crossed paths with potential gold prospectors during his buying business trips. (Our man is a buyer! No wonder he has so many cups.)

Holabird auction officials believe the pants, due to their button size and fly detail, may even be a very early prototype of Levi Strauss jeans — although Strauss (a dry goods wholesaler) and his collaborator, Jacob Davis, will not patent them. modern blue jeans until 1873, about 16 years after the shipwreck. Levi’s officials call speculative requestthough it’s likely claimed to have helped raise their prices at auction.

Tracey Panek, a historian and director of Levi Strauss & Co. Written in an email to the Associated Press. Either way, we bet Carmy could trade those soaking wet pants for a year’s worth of Italian beef sandwiches.



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