One of the rarest rock t-shirts in the world has sold for $10,000 US - the largest sum ever paid for a vintage t-shirt. The record-setting sale of a 1979 LED ZEPPELIN t-shirt on eBay has sent ripples through the competitive vintage clothing community.
The item was sold by Kyle Ermatinger of Stormcrow Vintage, one of the top online destinations for sought-after authentic vintage tees. The recent completion of the transaction places the purchase as the world's rarest and most expensive vintage t-shirt.
"When I got the sale notification, my jaw hit the floor," Ermatinger said. "Given this shirt may be one of the only ones in existence, the price tag is completely justifiable. It's a rock relic, beyond rare. Admittedly, I still frequently pinch myself." As the most scarce Led Zeppelin t-shirt ever produced, the article was printed in limited quantity as a unique way to replace conventional backstage passes for one of the band's historic 1979 Knebworth House concerts. Ermatinger acquired the item for $123 US from the family who ran the shop that screen-printed the original shirts. "At the time, I thought I may have overpaid, until I got back home, looked it up online and noticed it was ranked #1 as the rarest Zeppelin t-shirt."
"Other t-shirts have been priced higher on eBay, but never sold," said James Applegath, eBay award-winning t-shirt vendor at Defunkd.com. "We've documented eBay's highest-selling t-shirts on our blog for years and nothing has come close." Applegath, a veteran in the vintage business, migrated away from eBay to transform his Defunkd brand into a comprehensive vintage t-shirt resource and active online community. He says the buzz on his site about this story isn't a total surprise. "People are shocked at the value of some vintage t-shirts, but these items have become as collectible as baseball cards and comics."
The only details known about the buyer are that he's located in Australia and he bought a second Led Zeppelin t-shirt in the same week as the backstage pass gem. Although he declined to comment about the purchases, one thing is for certain: he's got a whole lotta love for Led Zeppelin.