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.

Victorian mother of pearl & Abalone calling card case oblong with sterling silver cartouche side hinged opening revealing concertinaed compartments

Victorian tortoise shell calling card case oblong with mother of pearl floral inlay, top hinged opening

Tortoiseshell & mother of pearl calling card case having rounded edges, a velvet lined interior, with an inlaid unmarked silver cartouche, & a working button clasp. Condition, good to fair, minor losses to the shell. Dimensions, 10 x 7.6 x 1.2 cm

Antique mother of pearl & silver card case, as inspected

Antique mother of pearl card case as inspected, 10.5 cm high approx

Two antique card cases with mother of pearl & paua shell casing, as inspected

Mother of pearl card case as inspected (one missing piece inside)

Antique French enamel opera glasses; sterling silver mounted purse; two 19th century mother of pearl card cases. (4 items)

Mother of pearl card case for restoration, approx 10 cm x 8 cm

Victorian mother of pearl, paua shell and silver card case

Two Victorian tortoiseshell card cases 19th century each with silver inlay and one with mother of pearl, 11 cm high( each)

A Victorian mother of pearl and tortoiseshell card case, circa 1860s. The rectangular shaped bone case with a button release hinged top decorated with alternating panels of tortoiseshell and mother of pearl lightly engraved with patterns and scrolling rose

Victorian tortoiseshell card case with mother of pearl and abalone inlay

Chinese mother of pearl card case, 19th century silk lined interior. Provenance: Property of a Lady, NSW

Victorian mother of pearl card case, clock measuring tape, ruler set, a pin cushion cup, handled cup (5)

Antique mother of pearl card case and interesting contents, as inspected, 10.8 cm x 7.8 cm

An Austrian silver and enamel card case Vienna /, circa 1920, engine turned with pale blue guilloche engraved internally to Ann / from mother / 28.1.34 stamped with Diana. 900 mark and makers mark R.S 112grs. Total weight, 7.5 cm long

A Victorian ladies visiting card case in tortoiseshell with inlaid mother of pearl shell floral panels. Pewter stringing. Height 11 cm. Width 8 cm

A 19th century mother of pearl card case with lozenge panels, the centre with a cartouche of flowers. 11 cm high.

Tortoise shell and mother of pearl card case. Length 10.5 cm

A collection of four antique card cases and change purses, comprising a rectangular late Victorian card case, Brimingham 1887, 10.5 cm wide, with a projecting pencil and an ivory notes page; a rectangular sterling silver mounted mother of pearl change purs

Victorian tortoise shell and mother of pearl inlaid card case. Height 10.5 cm

A Victorian mother of pearl and paua shell card case (slight a/f)

Victorian mother of pearl Engraved Card Case and an Islamic Style Card Case with Fine Marquetry

A fine Japanese shibayama card case, Meiji Period, (1868-1912), the front inlaid with hard stone and mother of pearl depicting a pheasant on a flowering cherry branch, the reverse with a flowering branch with insects and butterflies, minor hairline cracks,

Mother of pearl card case featuring Arabic scene and a wooden Souvenir box