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Whiting & Davis

You might not expect chain-mesh bags to predate sliced bread by three decades, but it’s true. The very first mesh purse was created by Charles Whiting (1864–1940) in 1892 while working for the jewelry manufacturer Wade Davis & Company in Plainville, Massachusetts. Whiting joined the company at the age of 16, and by 1896 he formed a partnership to purchase it, renaming it the Whiting & Davis Company.

While the original mesh purse was made entirely by hand — artisans hammered out the links and wove them together — the company developed a machine to automate fabrication in 1912. With the ability to produce more rapidly and prolifically, Whiting & Davis became a veritable mesh empire, creating handbags and purses in all shapes, styles and colors, including ones made from precious metals, painted with Art Deco designs and silk-screened with Impressionistic images. The purses became status icons for the stylish elite, particularly with the flappers of the 1920s.

Over the years, Whiting & Davis struck up partnerships with some of the most talented designers of the time, including Paul Poiret, Elsa Schiaparelli and Elsa Peretti, who used their mesh in elegant pieces for Tiffany & Co., propelling their popularity even further. After a brief hiatus during World War II, when Whiting & Davis produced radar equipment rather than handbags, the brand continued to develop an ever-expanding line of products that included clothing.

In the 1970s, Whiting & Davis accessories and clothing were the rage of the disco scene. By the early 2000s, everyone from Paris Hilton to Lady Gaga donned the brand’s mesh handbags. Recent innovations to their offerings include color mesh and fine mesh, with the brand refocusing on fashion jewelry with the launch of a new collection in 2013 featuring a revamped vintage snake-bracelet design. The company has been based in North Attleboro, Massachusetts, since 1995, also supplying its renowned chain mesh for industrial uses like work gloves and protective applications such as shark suits for divers.

Find vintage Whiting & Davis mesh handbags, necklaces and other accessories on 1stDibs.

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Designer: Whiting & Davis
Whiting & Davis Gold Metal Mesh Embellished Cream Jersey Dress
By Whiting & Davis
Located in New Hope, PA
A glamourous cream jersey evening dress from the late 1980's is embellished with Whiting & Davis gold toned metal mesh at the neckline, both front and back. The shoulder straps tie ...
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Late 20th Century American Whiting & Davis

Whiting & Davis Silver Metal-Mesh Halter Top
By Whiting & Davis
Located in Scottsdale, AZ
This top is jaw-dropping! Bring the 70's into 2020 and have fun with styling this top as it can be worn in so many different ways. It is sultry with the minimal fabric and completely...
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1970s American Whiting & Davis

Whiting & Davis Gold Metal-Mesh Halter Top
By Whiting & Davis
Located in Scottsdale, AZ
This top is jaw-dropping! Bring the 70's into 2020 and have fun with styling this top as it can be worn in so many different ways. It is sultry with the minimal fabric and completely...
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1970s American Whiting & Davis

30s Red Whiting and Davis Mesh Purse
By Whiting & Davis
Located in San Francisco, CA
1930s Whiting and Davis iridescent red mesh purse. Metal zip closure and interior pocket.
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1930s American Whiting & Davis

Whiting & Davis Black Floral Print Metal Mesh Shoulder Bag W/ Black Leather Trim
By Whiting & Davis
Located in San Francisco, CA
Whiting & Davis metal mesh shoulder bag in a stylized floral pattern in black, red, blue, green and yellow with black leather trim. A wonderful example of the evolution of a signific...
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1990s American Whiting & Davis

Whiting & Davis Gold Mesh Purse and Key Holder in Original Boxes
By Whiting & Davis
Located in London, GB
Whiting & Davis beautiful gold mesh purse, and a gold mesh key holder in the style of Whiting & Davis. The purse is length 14cm / 5.5 inches by width 8.5cm / 3.3 inches. The peach li...
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Mid-20th Century American Whiting & Davis

1990s Whiting & Davis Pink To Blue Ombre Chainmail Halter Cowl Top
By Whiting & Davis
Located in San Francisco, CA
A stunning 1990s Whiting & Davis pink/blue ombre chainmail halter top: A deeply draped cowl neckline, silver-toned base metal with thin silver leather ties at neck and waist. Size sm...
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1990s American Whiting & Davis

1990s Whiting & Davis Aubergine toOrchid Ombre Chainmail Halter Cowl Top
By Whiting & Davis
Located in San Francisco, CA
A stunning 1990s Whiting & Davis aubergine to black ombre chainmail halter top: A deeply draped cowl neckline, black mesh base with thin black leather ties at neck and waist. Size sm...
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1990s American Whiting & Davis

Avant Garde 1970s Whiting & Davis Red + Black + Silver Chainmail Metal Mesh Top
By Whiting & Davis
Located in San Diego, CA
Avant Garde vintage 70s WHITING & DAVIS red, black and silver chainmail metal mesh top / blouse! I have had quite a few W&D pieces over the years, but I have never seen one so unique...
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1970s American Whiting & Davis

Whiting & Davis Silver Hardware Link 'Snake" with Red Eyes Accent Chain Belt
By Whiting & Davis
Located in New York, NY
Whiting & Davis silver hardware link "Snake" with red eyes accent chain belt measures 38" in length.
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1970s American Whiting & Davis

4 Paul Poiret 1920's Purses for Whiting and Davis
By Whiting & Davis, Paul Poiret
Located in New York, NY
Extraordinary discovery of 4 Paul Poiret mesh bags designed in 1925 for Whiting and Davis, each enameled metal with cloth interiors, all in fine condition with minor losses and some ...
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Early 20th Century American Art Deco Whiting & Davis

Whiting and Davis 1980s Gold Metal Chainmail Vintage Metallic 80s Belt
By Whiting & Davis
Located in San Diego, CA
Chic early 80s vintage WHITING & DAVIS gold chain mail metal belt ! Features signature chainmail in a bright metallic gold. Large gold buckle. Really makes any outfit complete. Great...
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1980s American Whiting & Davis

Edwardian Vintage Whiting & Davis Dresden Multi-Color Mesh Bag
By Whiting & Davis
Located in Palm Beach, FL
Edwardian Vintage Whiting & Davis Dresden Multi-Color Mesh Bag. This bag is in excellent vintage condition with a fringe-look on the bottom. The hardware is starting to show minor da...
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Early 20th Century American Whiting & Davis

Whiting & Davis Figural Face Flower Frame Mesh Chainmail Gold Purse Evening Bag
By Whiting & Davis
Located in Miami Beach, FL
Rare vintage Whiting & Davis Co. gold mesh chainmail purse with frame that features a centralized face among leaves and flowers. It has a gold chain that is approximately 15" from t...
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Mid-20th Century American Whiting & Davis

1980s Whiting and Davis Gold Mesh Glasses Case
By Whiting & Davis
Located in Toronto, Ontario
Fabulous Whiting and Davis gold metal mesh glasses case from the 1980s. Keep in your purse for your glasses or sunglasses. Kiss lock closure. Branded lining. Excellent vintage condit...
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1980s American Whiting & Davis

Whiting and Davis Silver Mesh Evening Bag Minaudière w Figural Frame, late 1940s
By Whiting & Davis
Located in Tucson, AZ
An evening bag that bridges decades, this liquid silver mesh purse looks equally appropriate with a mid-century sheath as it does with a slithery disco halter dress. In scarce and sp...
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1940s American Whiting & Davis

A 1960s Whiting & Davis Gold and White Mesh Hand Bag
By Whiting & Davis
Located in Aci Castello, IT
A mesh bag by Whiting & Davis in very good conditions
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Mid-20th Century Whiting & Davis

Vintage Whiting & Davis Art Deco Style Chainmail and Crystal Evening Bag 1950s
By Whiting & Davis
Located in Wilmslow, GB
A Vintage Whiting & Davis Evening Bag from the 1950s. Featuring the most fabulous chainmail body, topped with an art deco style frame and crystal embellished fold over closure. Vint...
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1950s Whiting & Davis

Whiting & Davis Gold Mesh Bag
By Whiting & Davis
Located in Alford, MA
Petite gold mesh bag by Whiting & Davis with wrist strap and curved gold metal frame itch engraved initials "WMF".
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1950s American Whiting & Davis

Whiting & Davis Silver Mesh Metal Top
By Whiting & Davis
Located in Carmel by the Sea, CA
Whiting and Davis metal mesh top in silver features ruched sides and a back zipper closure. Top is labeled a size M and is made in USA. Bust- 42'' Length- 27''
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1980s American Whiting & Davis

Whiting & Davis Silver Mesh clutch
By Whiting & Davis
Located in New York, NY
The Whiting & Davis Evening clutch has a starburst multiple Rhinestones clasp closing at front center. The clutch has slight gathering along the front and back two inches from the to...
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1950s Whiting & Davis

WHITING AND DAVIS Gold Mesh Dress or Skirt with Tassel
By Whiting & Davis
Located in Los Angeles, CA
This Whiting and Davis design is composed of a gold mesh. This item can be fashioned as a draped halter dress or skirt. Features a zipper closure with drawstring tassel detail. In ex...
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20th Century British Whiting & Davis

Whiting & Davis silver mesh clutch with matching change purse
By Whiting & Davis
Located in New York, NY
Whiting & Davis silver mesh evening clutch has detailed rhinestone clasp closure. The evening clutch comes with a matching silver mesh change purse. Both items have the signature "Wh...
Category

1970s American Whiting & Davis

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Whiting & Davis fashion for sale on 1stDibs

Find extraordinary range of authentic Whiting & Davis fashion available on 1stDibs. Customers interested in this designer might also find the work of Proenza Schouler, Barry Kieselstein-Cord and MCM appealing. Find haute couture, vintage and designer Whiting & Davis fashion from top boutiques around the world on 1stDibs. On 1stDibs, the price for these items starts at $119 and tops out at $3,900, while the average work can sell for $448.

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