10769.25 | Calling card case (toy)

Calling card case (toy)
1862, 19th century
4.8 x 3.7 cm
Gift of E. Portia MacKenzie, 1962 (Emma Carleton Jack Memorial Collection)
This artefact belongs to: © New Brunswick Museum
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Keys to History

Rigorous etiquette pervaded many aspects of everyday life during the mid-19th century. This doll's calling card case, made of tortoiseshell and ivory, holds five hand-written calling cards inscribed with the name of the doll, Lady Blanche Paulet. In polite society, calling cards were presented when arriving at a home for a visit. If the guests were acceptable to the host or hostess, they would be invited in.

  • What

    Originally, calling cards were handwritten but later they were either stenciled or commercially printed.

  • Where

    In many Victorian homes, a small tray was used to gather calling cards from prospective visitors.

  • When

    In France, in the 1850s, photographic calling cards became very popular.

  • Who

    Lord Frederic Paulet, who was supposed to be Lady Blanche's uncle, sent calling cards to William Jack, Fanny Jack's father.