A Little About Calling Cards
I love the form of etiquette used by the Victorians. One way they kept social graces was by calling cards. I have a book on etiquette and when I ran across the chapter on Making Calls I was rather surprised to read the following:
"It is the correct thing to use perfectly plain visiting cards, of fine pasteboard, engraved in plain script."
Very simple and no fuss were the proper calling cards for 1888. There is something always so elegant in simplicity.
The book went on to say:
"It is not the correct thing to use cards with any fancy device upon them, cards of irregular shape, or those with a border of any sort,-such as an embossed border or a gilt edge.
It is not the correct thing to use visiting-cards that are printed or written by hand, instead of engraved."
I find it interesting that men used calling cards as well as women. It was a bit different from business cards. In my book it said this about men's calling cards:
"It is the correct thing for a gentleman to use a smaller card than a lady, and one narrower in proportion to its length."
Many still used the calling cards with various designs, shapes, and colors. They bended the rules and the rules did change as well. So today when one thinks of Victorian calling cards most likely they are thinking of the kind below:
Calling Card Paraphernalia
The Victorians found it convenient to store their callings cards in a small case made just for this purpose. Often times these cases were fanciful. Also many of them were made from things like mother or pearl or ivory.
Two lovely examples of calling card cases: