Reclaimed metal mesh is antique and vintage brass, plated in gold or silver, culled exclusively from signed, Whiting & Davis and Mandalian handbags. The bags date from the 1920s through the 1980s, all manufactured in the United States and Canada. Purses in various conditions — many chipped, torn, or tarnished — are sourced from antique dealers, estate sales, and flea markets across North America. The wide selection of mesh ranges from antique, artfully-worn patinas to newer, bright finishes.
The earliest enamel mesh versions, from the Art Deco period, have been embellished with colorful, hand-painted designs. Many of these antique treasures were created by a bustling cottage industry of women in Massachusetts, where the Whiting & Davis company is still located today. At the turn of the last century, groups of women could be seen dotting front lawns all across town, gathered under trees in the fresh air. Such a romantic image. Think quilting bees, but for painting mesh — the industry was booming.
Jewelry is detailed with 14k gold fill or oxidized sterling silver, with a few select styles incorporating 22k gold/sterling vermeil. Mesh may also be custom-plated with .999 fine silver, or 14k and 18k yellow and rose gold. Earrings are 14k gold filled or sterling silver.