Whiting & Davis - A Powerful Brand In The World Of Mesh Handbags & Jewelry
One of the brands that have made their mark on the scene of beautiful things is Whiting & Davis. And it remains a sought-after name among collectors today.
Whiting & Davis also produced accessories and costume jewelry but rose to fame for their mesh metal handbags.
They applied extensive rhodium plating in silver and gold tones, either on a metal hang tag or with their signature stamped directly into the metal.
The History Of Whiting & Davis
Three men met in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1876, marking the beginning of the Whiting & Davis jewelry company's history.
A small silver jewelry-making workshop was formed by Willian H. Wade, Edward P. Davis, and Louis Heckman.
They gave their business the name Wade, Davis & Co. in 1886.
At the age of 16, Charles Whiting starts working for the company in 1880 and quickly advances to management.
Whiting creates the first mesh bag in 1892, manually forming and attaching each ring.
He and Mr. Davis establish a partnership in 1896, gather the funds necessary to buy the business, and rename it The Whiting & Davis Company.
A device to automate the mesh-making process is created in 1912.
Flappers, actors, and "highly dressed women everywhere" all desired the gorgeous, high-quality purses marking Whiting & Davis.
The business grows through automation and promotion, becoming and continuing to be the top producer of mesh handbags worldwide.
Whiting & Davis bags from the 1910s and the beginning of the 1920s are made of small precious metal rings and are mostly unpainted. Their stunning motifs come from a combination of metal colors, skillfully linked rings, and metal fringe.
By the end of the 1920s, Dresden mesh, with its tiny rings hand-silkscreened in ethereal Impressionist hues, and flat Armor mesh, painted in striking Deco patterns, took center stage.
High-profile partnerships with legendary designers Paul Poiret and Elsa Schiaparelli appear in the 1930s.
The renowned works of Whiting & Davis continue to appear in the hands of contemporary actors on stage and in films.
In the middle of the 1930s, Elsa Schiaparelli, a well-known and prolific designer, created designs for Whiting & Davis and added a number of fresh, contemporary shapes to the line.
Leading French designer Paul Poiret teamed up with Whiting & Davis to make vibrant bags with "Parisian allure," according to Whiting and Davis Collection.
Poiret was the first to design without rigorous tailoring and corsets while also establishing cosmetics, fragrances, and home goods brands.
Whiting & Davis briefly stopped making their metal mesh bags during World War II due to a lack of raw materials and focuses instead on producing radar equipment to aid in the war effort.
After the conflict is over, the business resumes producing its renowned mesh purses and other mesh products.
Whiting & Davis Jewelry
Although it's not known when Whiting & Davis started making jewelry, vintage advertising was available in 1931.
According to some reports, the jewelry line debuted in the 1950s.
In the city of ambiguity, one thing is certain: Whiting & Davis discontinued their jewelry line in 1991.
Designs for metal jewelry by Whiting & Davis frequently feature open latticework, mesh, or intricately overlapping metal leaves.
One or more substantial centerpieces, like reverse-carved glass cameos, are frequently framed by metalwork. The jewelry is quite collectible because of the excellent metal craftsmanship and stones.
Whiting & Davis started making necklaces, pins, bracelets, brooches, and earrings popular in the late Victorian era in 1907 using silver and gold plating.
According to Nasvete, the design typically incorporates motifs from the Art Deco, Art Nouveau, Egyptian, and Victorian eras.
Notable pieces include mesh necklaces made of gold and silver shaped like ties and spiral bracelets shaped like snakes, which are quite precious to collectors.
Some items from the 1950s were copies of antique museum jewelry.
The Whiting & Davis Legacy
More than 120 years after the company's first mesh handbag was made, Whiting & Davis is still the industry leader in metal mesh handbags.
The company also continues to draw the attention of discerning customers, such as actors, and musicians, by routinely releasing new styles with an eye toward both trend and functionality.
Whiting bags currently come in a range of shapes, colors, and mesh patterns with trims like snakeskin, studs, and Swarovski elements. The original bag was made of plain, unpainted ring mesh.
Whether you're a lover of beautiful things or a die-hard collector, collecting jewelry or mesh handbags by the Whiting & Davis brand is always a no-fail choice.