Although these medieval bags infrequently held the rare commodity of money, they did serve to stash other small personal items such as important papers for men and sewing implements for ladies.
As far back as the medieval times, both men and women carried purses.
Some of the most popular bags with collectors these days are the beaded and metal mesh examples of the early 20th century.
Beaded examples in excellent condition seem to be moving into the rare category now.
Charles Whiting made the first mesh bag for the new Whiting & Davis Company in 1892.
We believe beauty goes beyond the surface – it’s why we created Charity Hearts, our line of minaudière handbags supporting a number of charities close to our hearts. Inspired by seasons past and present, we are tirelessly conceiving new styles. 1920s Whiting & Davis’ beautiful, high quality purses are coveted accessory of flappers, actresses and “well dressed women everywhere.” Through automation and advertising, the company expands its reach, becoming, and remaining to this day, the world’s leading mesh handbag manufacturer.
In the teens and early ‘20s, Whiting & Davis bags are made of small precious metal rings and are unpainted for the most part, their striking designs coming from a mixture of metal colors, artfully joined rings and metal fringe.
In 1912, a process for machine made mesh was developed and Whiting and Davis purchased the patent.
This process cut the cost of a bag dramatically, so that mesh bags were available to the mass market.