Old Jeans Bring $8,470 At Powell Auction

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Vintage jeans can be a hot item. How about hot as in $700 a pair?

That’s the price that a lot of 12 pair of vintage jeans averaged in an online auction sale from the Forest Wichern Homestead on the South Fork, which closed June 18. The total paid for the 12 pair was $8,470.

Travis Swenson of Swenson’s Auctions of Powell managed the sale of items at the Wichern homestead at 390 Lower Southfork Road. He said the purchaser of the jeans was a reseller for an overseas market.

“I had movie prop producers from New York to Texas to Oregon bidding,” Swenson said.

The makers of the jeans included Levi, Wrangler and Lee. The vintage jeans were from the 1950s and 1960s, “maybe even the 40s,” Swenson said. “They were very worn.”

The uniqueness that made the old jeans so valuable “had to do with the rivets on the Levis, the Blue Bell emblem on the tag inside the pants on the Wranglers and the type of zipper on the Lees,” he said.

There’s a lesson to be learned, Swenson advised: “Don’t throw your stuff away.”

Then he added with a chuckle: “Call Swenson’s Auctions.”

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