Score! Whiting & Davis Mesh Purses

You know that a brand has cachet when you start seeing knockoffs. For Whiting & Davis, a maker of metal mesh purses that has been in business in Massachusetts since 1876, knockoffs have been a sincere form of flattery for almost that long. (The current knockoffs come from China.)  Originals are highly collectible. You can see a quick history of the company, the nation’s oldest handbag maker, on its website here, and A Schiffer Book for Collectors, Whiting & Davis Purses: The Perfect Mesh, was published in 2002. The book has a price guide, and online, we see that secondhand Whiting & Davis purses currently are selling for up to $600.

Yet originals can regularly be found at thrift and consignment shops. We found the gold one at left one a few weeks ago for $20 at the American Cancer Society’s Discovery Shop in Rancho Mirage, CA. All the purses at right were $30 or less from thrift or antique stores, and all but the black one are authentic Whiting & Davis. (Originals will have the Whiting & Davis tag inside, and some have a distinctive charm on the zipper pull.)

Here, ThriftStyle co-author Reise Moore gives a video explanation of why Whiting & Davis purses are so prized.

4 thoughts on “Score! Whiting & Davis Mesh Purses

  1. Never heard of this brand but will be keeping an eye out for it. Thanks so much for this video. In the future, if you could include how you know they are authentic, that would be even more helpful. Looking forward to more videos.


    1. Thanks, Laurie. Real Whiting & Davis purses have a Whiting & Davis label inside each purse. So far on the knockoffs we haven’t seen them attempting to put in fake labels.


  2. I accidentally stumbled upon this beautiful bag while browsing at my local thrift store about 5 years ago. I cannot believe that I paid less than $5 for it.


    1. What a deal you got! We’ve noticed that most thrift shops and antique stores are wise to the Whiting & Davis tag usually inside the bag — and price accordingly.


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