Learn about Card Cases

In the early 19th century etiquette dictated that upper class ladies and gentlemen should carry a visiting card, also known as a calling card, being a small paper card, about the size of present day business cards, printed with the individual's details, and often bearing an artistic design.

In 19th century England, the caller or the footmen accompanying the caller (if he or she was very important) would deliver the visiting cards to the servants of their prospective hosts, introducing the arrival of the card bearer.

Card cases solely for the purpose of holding visiting cards were introduced at this time and etiquette dictated that ladies should always carry their cards in a card case, although it was acceptable for a gentleman to carry his cards in the breast pocket of his jacket.

Reflecting the fact that card cases were mainly used by ladies, the designs were feminine in nature.

The early card cases were made of silver and leather with fine gilt tooling. The earliest French cases, c1760, were made of gold, silver and enamel, sometimes with ivory panels or beadwork. more...

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Victorian silver card case, mark of Birmingham, 1885, engraved with leaves and flowers, hallmarked, approx. Weight 76 grams

An Edwardian silver calling card case, engraved scrolled foliate decoration; Henry Matthews, Birmingham, 1912. Weight 47.6g.

HMS silver card case with engraved decoration and Masonic symbol, hallmarked Birmingham 1901, 8 x 5 cm

HMS silver card case with engine turned and engraved decoration initialed A.R., hallmarked Birmingham 1899, 4.8 x 8 cm

A French rosewood and inlaid card case. 10 cm high, 11.5 cm long.

A card case with sliding lid decorated with porcupine spines and medallions of bone, 22 cm long, 10 cm wide. Provenance: Property of a Gentleman, Melbourne. NB:

A whalebone card case, c1830s. 8.5 x 5 cm. Note: This lot has been identified at the time of cataloguing as containing organic material which may be subject to restrictions regarding export

A silver filigree card case no marks, attributed to a Birmingham maker

A carved Canton ivory card case depicting Napoleon's tomb on Saint Helena, 19th century. 10.5 cm high, 7 cm wide, 2 cm deepNB: This Item requires a Cites certificate for export, this lot cannot be shipped to the USA or Territories

Two Russian silver card cases, late 19th/20th century, one with finely chased enamel work, the largest 9.3 cm wide (2)

Chinese silver card case with chased scenes of underwater and a family

Chinese export silver card case decorated with cherry blossoms pierced work, approx 8 cm x 7 cm

An Edwardian silver card case, rectangular, engraved; H Hayes, Birmingham, 1901.

A silver card case, plain rectangular with engraved monogram; H.Matthews, Birmingham 1912.

A plain playing card case, of box form with hinged lid. Birmingham 1901 by Henry Matthews. 9.6 cm x 7 cm x 22.

Asprey of London Silver gilt card case, marked for London 1906, Charles and George Asprey, approx 69grams and approx 6.5 cm x 10 cm

A Victorian silver card case, rectangular shape with hinged lid, decorated all-over with foliate scrolls framing circular cartouches to either side, one with monogram. Birmingham 1894

A silver card case with chain handle by W.G Sothers & Co, Birmingham, 1913

A silver calling card case with pencil by Adie & Lovekin Ltd, Birmingham, 1887

An Australian silver card case, rectangular, curved for the pocket and with engraved dedocation 'H.B.Jones 21/3/25, 107 Pitt St'; Prouds, Sydney 1924. 8 x 4.5 cm

A diamond, gem-set and silk brocaded evening clutch bag, Cartier, circa 1930 the clutch decorated with a gold and rose pink foliate pattern, the interior with pink satin lining, completed by a diamond and red gem-set clasp, including a lighter, signed Cart

Japanese silver card case approx 7.5 by 8.5 cm closed

An early Victorian castle top lady's card case, 1845 Birmingham, with maker's mark for Nathaniel Mills, the hinged card case scrolled to the edges and decorated throughout with floral and foliate imagery upon a lightly textured ground, and bearing a high r

A Victorian castle top lady's card case, 1855 Birmingham, with maker's mark for David Pettifer, the hinged card case scrolled to the edges and decorated throughout with floral and foliate imagery and bearing a relief image of Windsor Castle; hallmarked to

An Edward VII silver engraved card case. Maker John Rose, Birmingham 1907. 166gm. 9.5 cm high

A Chinese Canton ivory card case, later Qing Dynasty, 19th century, with a lift off lid, and intricately carved to shaped panels on both faces and to lid with figural narrative scenes in a garden and pavilion setting; with interior repair. Length 11.5 cm.

Continental silver card case with classical engraved decoration, stamped 'Coin', approx 9.5 cm high, 6.5 cm wide

Hong Kong silver 'Dragon' card case, approx 10cm long. Hong Kong silver 'Dragon' card case, approx 10 cm long, 7 cm wide

A rare Victorian silver double-sided castle-top card case, depicting Windsor Castle on one side, and Warwick Castle on the other. Both views have very fine detail, and are set on an attractive floral chased and engraved background. The Windsor view is of t

A silver gilt emerald and diamond card case, mid 20th century, the rectangular silver gilt case with openwork cover of foliate detail, decorated by eleven rectangular step-cut emerald collets, accented throughout by rose-cut diamonds, the sculpted lionhead

An Islamic pierced ivory card case, early to mid 20th century, having a fitted removable lid, and pierced in dots and tear drops in various floral and circular designs, the pieces of the case joined with petite pins, length 8.5 cm. Width 5 cm

A French amboyna card case and a painted card case, the amboyna card case with a hinged top, with enclosing compartments, the painted case with fabric interior. Each 8 cm high.

Inlaid sandalwood visiting card case from Vizagapatam-late 19th.century

A Chinese export carved wood card case intricately carved with all over decoration of pagodas, trees and people, circa 1900. Height 11 cm. Width 7 cm

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