Sterling silver calling card cases have a rich history closely aligned to social etiquette and the formalities of visiting and socializing during the 18th, 19th, and early 20th centuries.
Origins of Calling Cards
The tradition of using calling cards dates back to the 18th century in France and England. It was a formal way for individuals to announce their presence or extend an invitation without requiring a face-to-face meeting.
Card Cases as a Necessity
With the rise of calling card etiquette, there was a need for a practical and stylish way to carry and present these cards.
Sterling silver calling card cases emerged as a solution, providing a compact and secure container for storing calling cards.
Development of Social Etiquette
Strict social etiquette governed the use of calling cards. Homes of acquaintances were visited, and a variety of purposes, introductions, expressing condolences, and extending invitations, were served by them.
Craftsmanship and Design
Sterling silver calling card cases were crafted with attention to detail. They often featured intricate designs, engravings, and sometimes even enamel work.
The cases were not only functional but served as status symbols, reflecting the owner’s taste and social standing.
Victorian Era Influence
During the Victorian era, calling cards became even more elaborate and decorative, influencing the design of calling card cases.
Victorian calling card cases often showcased the prevailing design trends of the time, such as floral motifs, intricate patterns, and sometimes personalized engravings.
Decline in Use
The widespread use of calling cards began to decline in the early 20th century with changes in social customs and communication methods.
As social norms evolved and direct communication became more common, the need for calling cards diminished.
Collectability and Antiquity
Sterling silver calling card cases are highly collectable items today. They are appreciated for their historical significance, craftsmanship, and as artefacts reflecting a bygone era of social customs.
Antique dealers and collectors value these cases for their aesthetic appeal and as tangible reminders of the manners and formalities that once governed social interactions.
In contemporary times, while the use of domestic calling cards has largely faded, sterling silver calling card cases remain cherished as relics of a more formal and genteel era, appreciated for their craftsmanship and the glimpse they provide into the social customs of the past.