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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Ivory card case highly carved with continuous village scene with original packing box

Victorian ivory calling card case having a two compartmental silk lined interior & a hinged clasp.

A Chinese ivory lozenge shaped card case with a lift off lid, Deeply carved with a village in the Mountains, 19th century, architectural structures in foliage, roof lines, doors, windows, staircases & the access via bridges, condition: a hairline crack on

An ivory card case, with foliate and insect decoration. 9 cm long.

An Edwardian sterling silver calling card case, 1903 Birmingham, with maker's mark for William E. Turner, engraved and bright cut with scrollwork, opening to an emerald moire silk-lined interior with pockets for calling cards and stamps, with an attach

Rare Sampson Mordan sterling silver card case, with ivory aide de memoire and pencil to interior, hallmarks London 1909 in original fitted leather case weighs 138grams

A sterling silver combination card case & aide-memoir, Birmingham (rubbed hallmark), with ivory note sheet

An ivory card case, intricately carved oriental scene.

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

Chinese ivory calling card case with finely carved dragon decoration (one small crack to base)

Two Victorian tortoiseshell covered items; a card case with ivory trim and push-button release, minor losses, together with an oval small purse, the steel frame with sectional chamois interior, the top tortoiseshell panel with gilt Greek key inlaid bands.

An early 20th century finely carved ivory card case, all-over profuse carving of figures on verandas amongst foliage, rectangular form, slot on lid. 10.8 cm x 6.8 cm

Two Cantonese ivory card cases, late Qing Dynasty, 19th century, each one finely carved with figures, trees, roses etc one 11 x 6.7 cm variable; the other 8.3 x 4.5 cm

A Georgian ivory pique card case, early 19th century, of simple rectangular form with a push button release hinged top exquisitely inlaid throughout with a fine pattern of tiny silver dots. Length 9 cm. Width 5 cm

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.

Antique carved ivory card case, cross verso. Approx 9.5 cm long, 6 cm wide

Two Chinese carved ivory card cases late Qing Dynasty, 19th century one with recessed frame and cartouche, the other with an all over design, small repair to later, the former 11 cm high

A Cantonese carved ivory card case late Qing Dynasty, 19th century deeply relief carved, 10.5 cm high

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

An ivory card case, of rectangular form, either side with a recessed shaped vignette carved with figures in pavilion gardens, repeated on the cover, 11.5 cm long

Chinese export ivory card case, late 19th century, the card case is decorated with finely carved figures, amongst oriental architectural structures and foliage. Height 11.5 cm

Chinese export ivory card case, late 19th century, the card case is decorated with finely carved figures, amongst oriental architectural structures and foliage. Height 9.5 cm

Chinese carved ivory lady's card case profusely carved with scene of village life, height 8.5 cm. Provenance: Property of a Lady, NSW

An ivory filigree brush pot, 19th/20th century of slender cylindrical form, the sides decorated with figures and pavilions, rocks and trees, reserved on the pierced diaper ground, wood stand; together with an ivory card case carved in high relief with flow

A Victorian tortoiseshell covered card case, the hinged lid with push-button release revealing ivory fittings, rectangular form, good condition and polish. 7.2 cm x 1 cm x 10.4 cm

A Chinese ivory card case, Qing Dynasty, 19th century each side finely carved with figures and flowers 10.6 cm high, 6.7 cm wide, 8mm deep

An Edwardian sandalwood and inlaid card case, rectangular form, the exterior inlaid with ivory, ebony and dyed ivory geometric and floral forms.

An Edwardian silver card case, Goldsmith & Silversmith Company Limited, London 1908 of rectangular form with embossed floral, shell and scrolled decoration with central cartouch, one engraved with a crown the other empty, with origianl fitted leather and i

A Victorian ladies visiting card case in tortoiseshell with ivory band and silver catch. Height 10.5 cm. Width 8 cm

A Chinese carved ivory card case made for the European market. Pagoda scenes with floral borders. Repaired. Length 11.3 cm. Width 7.2 cm