After spotting an original Whiting & Davis purse from the 1920s recently in an antique shop here in Perth, I decided I’d write a little blog about them as I see them pop up all the time on ebay and Etsy in some stunning designs. W & D were not the only company to make this type of mesh purse at the time, but I have found their designs to rather beautiful.
The Whiting and Davis Company, located in Plainville, Massachusetts is the oldest purse company in the US and is responsible for a great variety of exceptional mesh purses as well as other accessories. They made the first mesh bag in 1892.
By the 1920’s mesh bags were offered in a large spectrum of colors and fashionable designs, including enameled, fine meshed calledDresden mesh and pearlized enamel finishes. Fabulous enameled flat mesh purses, known as armored mesh, were offered in varied colors and a constant parade of unusual patterns. Most of the bags made from 1929 to 1932 were patterned by silk screening where the baby ring mesh took on a soft, hazy, romantic appearance much like a blurred water color. This technique was done by hand over several days by applying one color at a time and allowing 24 hours of drying between colors.
Here are some pics of lovely examples from the 20s and 30s that I have found online either for sale or in private collections. My fav is the one with the compact attatched.