Mesh handbags made of fine wire metal mesh
have been around for a long time, but they hit their peak at the turn of the last century in the Art Deco era of the
1920's: The overall era & popularity of metal mesh bags was from about 1910 through the mid 1930's.
This section deals with the Dresden or Baby Fine metal wirework mesh purses. Tiny rings of wire
joined together in chain fashion make up these lovely purses.
Originally, these bags were made entirely by hand and was an expensive, laborious process.
The invention (patented & developed by A.C. Pratt
of Newark, NJ) of mesh making machines around 1909, was developed in Germany by Dresden & Weiss using Pratt's
designs which caused some legal problems. Whiting & Davis owned the patents to this machinery & eventually acquired
all the Dresden machinery.The invention of these machines was a boon to manufacturers as the bags could be mass
produced, and they were.
Wire or chain mesh
purses became a large part of the 'Roaring Twenties'. The major producers in the United States were Whiting &
Davis and Mandalian Mfg. Co. These bags were also made in many other countries such as France, England, Germany to name
Dresden bags have a surreal watercolor appearance from a
stenciling method of applying enamel paint.
Production of Dresden mesh
purses ceased in the 1940's with the onset of WWII. Normal production of armor metal mesh resumed after the war.
See enamel Armor Metal Mesh purse catagory for more Mandalian & Whiting &
Davis metal mesh bags. Link near the bottom of this page or use the site map at the bottom of the page.