Late 1800s Victorian Mother of Pearl & Abalone Calling Card Case
In 19th century Victorian times, the exchange of calling cards was a firmly established practice and deemed essential for introductions, invitations, and the building of friendships and potential courtships.
It was considered proper etiquette for gentlemen and ladies to present his or her card when visiting friends and making formal calls. Cards were created by a skilled penman and would bear the person's name in beautiful calligraphy.
This striking case would have been used by a lady to store her calling cards. It is fashioned in wood and overlaid with celluloid and glistening pieces of mother of pearl and abalone shell. Case has a working hinge on one side and a release button on the other. The inside edges of the case are lined in a vibrant blue paper.
The hinge is functional but the top can be pulled off its hinge if pulled too hard while it is closed. The release button tab works but could be bent to be tightened for a more secure closing. There is a crack in one of the side veneer pieces as well as some discoloration on the bottom veneer. Still very useable and a spectacular piece. Priced accordingly.