Mesh and metalwork

Mesh handbags became quite popular by the end of the 19th century. These mesh bags and coin purses were expensive because the metal rings or plates had to be linked by hand to form a criss-cross pattern. Besides silver mesh, there were silver plated and other metallic versions of these mesh purses.

In 1909 the American A.C. Pratt introduced a process of manufacturing mesh purses by machine, thus rendering them much less expensive. The American firm of Whiting & Davis commissioned famous fashion designers such as Paul Poiret and Elsa Schiaparelli to design mesh purses.

In spite of all the new materials, leather continued to be popular among purse designers.