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1920s Whiting and Davis Blue Enamel Art Deco Clasp Mesh Bag



Elegant 1920s Whiting and Davis evening purse! This gorgeous mesh purse features a pressed art deco geometric triangular clasp featuring accents of bright blue enamel. The mesh body of the purse is unpainted, allowing one to admire the intricacies of the weave. The purse has a figure eight infinity chain and sharp scalloped bottom that dangles freely. Stamped "Whiting & Davis" on the interior. Whiting & Davis was established as Wade, Davis and Co. in 1876. In 1892 Whiting and Davis created their first mesh handbag, and in 1912, after automating the mesh weaving process, Whiting & Davis expanded considerably, overshadowing their competitors with a wide variety of mesh woven handbags and accessories. Whiting & Davis has been a stalwart presence throughout the 20th century, partnering with couturier Paul Poiret in the 1920s, collaborating with designer Elsa Schiaparelli in the 1930s, and joining the war effort in the 1940s. Whiting & Davis spearheaded the flashy cocktail jewelry trend of the 1950s, created jewelry for Elizabeth Taylor in her leading role in 1963’s Cleopatra, and were also tremendously popular with the 1970s disco crowd because of the slinky, sensual quality of their mesh. Michael Jackson’s 1983 “Beat It” jacket featured Whiting and Davis mesh on the shoulders; finally, in the 1990s, Whiting & Davis worked alongside numerous designers including Marc Jacobs and Anthony Ferrara. Whiting and Davis fan’s of note include Mamie Eisenhower, Rebecca Romijn, and Lady Gaga. 5.5" Drop Oh also, they make chain mail shark suits - amazing!


  • Brand
  • Dimensions
    Height: 6 in. (15.24 cm)Width: 3.5 in. (8.89 cm)
  • Style
    Art Deco (Of the Period)
  • Place of Origin
    United States
  • Period
  • Condition
  • Seller Location
    Houston, TX
  • Reference Number
    1stDibs: LU10326505352

Shipping & Returns

  • Shipping
    Free Shipping: Standard Parcel Shipping
    to United States 0, arrives in 7-14 days.
    We recommend this shipping type based on item size, type and fragility.
    Ships From: Houston, TX
  • Return Policy

    A return for this item may be initiated within 1 day of delivery.

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About the Manufacturer

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.
About the Seller
5 / 5
Located in Houston, TX
Vetted Seller
These experienced sellers undergo a comprehensive evaluation by our team of in-house experts.
Established in 2013
1stDibs seller since 2014
750 sales on 1stDibs
Typical response time: 8 hours
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