10769.25 | 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
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.
Originally, calling cards were handwritten but later they were either stenciled or commercially printed.
In many Victorian homes, a small tray was used to gather calling cards from prospective visitors.
In France, in the 1850s, photographic calling cards became very popular.
Lord Frederic Paulet, who was supposed to be Lady Blanche's uncle, sent calling cards to William Jack, Fanny Jack's father.