1920s Whiting and Davis Floral Beadlite Mesh Bag Purse
This vintage Whiting and Davis mesh handbag dates from the late 1920s, possibly the early 1930s. W&D made several types of metal mesh purses: this bag is a "Beadlite" mesh bag - see more on that below. The bag has the same floral print on the front and the back, and has an exquisite silvertone piercework / filigree frame. It has a bypass clasp, which works well and is properly tight. The inside is not lined - which is typical of mesh purses of this period.
This mesh purse is from an estate, and is in excellent vintage condition, especially for its age. I do not see any missing links - the woman who owned it took esquisite care of her jewelry and accessories. There are two stamped W&D marks on the inside of the frame.
The purse measures 6-1/4" long and 3-3/4" across at the frame. The chain link handle measures about 12" long.
Purse Collector has extensive information on mesh bags, including an explanation of Beadlite: "In 1929, “Beadlite” mesh was patented, although the patent had been applied for on March 2, 1928. The inventor was Sturgis Rice, who later became president of Whiting & Davis from 1940 to 1960. Beadlite mesh is similar to flat mesh except that in the center of the spider there is a rounded projection. Actually, Beadlite must have been developed earlier because bags of this type appear in 1928 jewelers’ catalogs which would have gone to press in 1927. Another patent, this one issued to Richard Berkley and assigned to Whiting & Davis in 1927 (filed in March 1926), was for a machine to produce a type of mesh very similar to Beadlite. Beadlite bags appeared in the same catalogs at the same time as painted ring mesh. Our conclusion is that the first Beadlite bags appeared in the fall of 1927."
For more information on these delightful mesh bags, visit http://pursecollector.com/mesh-purse-info. It's a great source of information.