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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These items are not for sale and the descriptions, images and prices are for reference purposes only.

19th century heavy Chinese export ivory calling card case continuously finely carved with village scenes

Antique Chinese ivory card case circa 1900 with finely detailed carving depicting figures on a boat and village scene, 8.4 x 4.3 cm approx.

A Japanese ivory Shibayama card case, the rectangular case inlaid with bronze, coral and mother of pearl depicting birds and insects amongst foliage

A vintage Thai silver gilt filigree card case, serpentine rectangular form, the fine scrolling wire body with panels including sinuous dragons and florals, carry chain attached.

A carved Chinese ivory card case decorated in relief with figures in a landscape. Length 11 cm

A carved Chinese ivory card case decorated with a village scene. Length 9 cm

Chinese carved ivory card case, late 19th century. 8.5 x 4.5 cm

Five assorted silver items, four sterling silver, one Chinese, 19th to 20th century, including a small export .90 Chinese silver beaker with a dragon motif, maker's mark Klj; a 1908 Birmingham engraved matchbox by Joseph Gloster; a 1924 Chester engine turn

A Chinese export silver card case, curved for the pocket, engraved with a dragon on a 'Planished' ground

Chinese silver card case with dragon decoration, notes not negotiable reserve

A Chinese ivory card case, late Qing Dynasty, 19th century, the petite rectangular case with a lift off lid, carved all over with figures in traditional Chinese landscape and pavilion settings; in a timber stand. Length 7.5 cm. Width 4 cm

A Cantonese carved ivory card case, Qing Dynasty 19th century, 9 x 5 cm

Two early games and card case. English walnut cased craps set; 1920s maple cased bone and ebony domino set; and cloisonne card case with King of Hearts lid

Antique Chinese carved ivory card case 11.4 cm high, 7.5 cm wide

A 19th century Chinese export ivory card case with figure and floral cartouche and cross panels. Fault. Height 10.6 cm

A Chinese carved ivory card case. Early 20th century, rectangular of typical form with a slide-off top, carved all over with scenes of figures around buildings amidst trees. Height 10.5 cm. Width 6.5 cm.

A Chinese carved ivory card case. Early 20th century, rectangular of typical form with a slide-off top, finely carved all over with scenes of figures around buildings amidst trees. Height 9.5 cm. Width 5.5 cm.

A Chinese carved ivory card case. Early 20th century, rectangular of typical form with a slide-off top, finely carved and under-carved to both sides and all edges with scenes of figures around buildings amidst trees, one side with an oval tablet containing

Chinese silver card case with embossed dragons, monogrammed 'Ts - 26-3-34'. Length - 9.5 cm. Weight 110 grams)

A Chinese silver card case, 19/20th century, Qing Dynasty. Decorated with figures amongst trees and bamboo, 'Khc' mark

A Japanese embellished ivory card case, Meiji period, 1868-1912, with a landscape design in polychrome lacquer

An ivory card case, Qing Dynasty, 19th century, of rectangular form, either side with a shaped central panel reserved on the intricately carved ground of figures in pavilion gardens 11.5 cm

A Chinese carved ivory card case and an ivory writing pad, early 20th century, the case carved to each side with scenes of figures in buildings amidst trees; the metal-clasped pad with a pencil fitted in the spine sliding open to reveal seven leaves, each

A finely carved ivory card case, Qing dynasty, 19th century 12 x 8 cm

A Chinese filigree silver card case, Qing dynasty, circa 1900

A Cantonese carved ivory card case, Qing dynasty, 19th century

A finely carved Chinese ivory card case, Qing dynasty, 19th century

Indian silver card case with various animals in jungle setting. Height 10 cm weight 85g

Ivory carved 19th century century Chinese export card case with courtesans amongst pagodas (restored). Length 9 cm

An ivory card case, Qing Dynasty, 19th century, either side carved with figures in pavilion gardens within shaped panels, 11.2 cm

Antique Chinese carved ivory card case. Scene of pagoda and garden

Two ivory containers, c. 19th century, the lidded pot Meiji period, Japan, the card case Tongzhi period, china, 7-11 cm (2). Provenance: Purchased from Yesteryear, Hong Kong with certificate of Guarantee

19th century Chinese export ivory card case with court & Domestic scenes

Unusual carved tortoiseshell export card case with Village Scenes

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