1930’s Whiting and Davis Mesh Purse, Designed by Elsah Shiaparelli, Paul Poiret


Measures:  6” long, 5” wide, 7.5” chain drop

“Hand in Hand with Fashion” was the company motto.  In the mid 1930’s Whiting and Davis began a collaboration with high profile designer Elsah Shiaparelli to bring a more modern look to the line of mesh purses.  These purses ended up on the arms of several stage and screen actresses of the day:  Jane Wyatt, best known for her role on “Father Knows Best” and Beatrice Lille, “Thoroughly Modern Millie” to name a couple.  A collaboration was also begun (in the 1930’s) with French designer, Paul Poiret to create colorful bags with a “Parisian Allure”.  The color was silk screened onto the mesh, tres moderne! This purse has an art deco inspired gold frame, a gold chain with links in the shape of a figure 8, the links also resemble the infinity sign.  The frame is stamped with the Whiting and Davis logo and there is a metal tag attached to the frame, “Elsah” indicating design by Elsa Shiaparelli.  The bag is a colorful mix of blues, reds, pinks and yellows with a white background.  The frame has some minor tarnish as does the chain, the kiss lock lines up and works very well.  The bag is beginning to come away from the frame at the point where the hinges attach to the bag, please see photos.  The Elsah tag has been bent a bit but it is still firmly attached and readable.  This really is a wonderful find, it is in very good vintage condition and would make any collector proud!