Saturday, July 13, 2013

Whiting and Davis Purse trivia

This is a vintage Whiting & Davis gold mesh purse with  Fancy frame and  original tag and mirror . 

The early 1920-30's was a time when women were freeing up their hands and didn't have to wear gloves all the time. The purses would accentuate the beauty of unfettered fingers and hands and wrist, while accommodating all the necessary items so the woman could dance or have mad money.The woman would look extremely stylish. . I guess you could consider this a Necessaire because it could be used to hold the small necessities one needed when going out. 

Whiting and Davis have been in existence since the late 1800's. What is really interesting that Elsa Schiaparelli actually designed purses for the Whiting and Davis. The mesh process was a really intriguing way to make the mesh look like scales. They were first firm to develop patents for the machines to make mesh in their own plants ( per a Brown university study)/. They were the first to make solder filled wire in making metal mesh. These were woven into many different patterns. A finished mesh purse might contain 100,000 links ( each soldered individually). When it was placed in an electric furnace, the solder melted and flowed, At first the purses were joined to their frames. Later the company introduced a spiral wire to join the purse to the frame. This method was called hanging up . A mesh to the edge was another whiting and davis innovation that gave a smooth silhouette and thereby added to artistry of the purse. Purses in the early 20's sterling and 14kt gold and plated metal ( according to 1995 Vintage purses at their best by lynell schwartz) . I think this was possibly pre-world war 11).

The purse has been hardly used. It has the original mirror, tag and stamping into the frame. The silk is peach colored and original with one small corner having a few spots ( see photo) . This purse measures 7 1/2" x 5" and the fancy etched chain measures 10" long. It is heavy and the mesh flows like silk when you move it. What a great piece for a wedding or an elegant evening out!

You can see it HERE
If you want to see more of these pretties this is the link to my Etsy store
or visit our gallery on pinterest where you can see all our pieces at once 

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