Tuesday, September 30, 2014

So I've Been Thinking...

Very early in my costuming and historical clothing obsession I stumbled upon the Victorian Trading Company. My grandma had a subscription to their store and would on occasion order trinkets and do-dads.

Some of their items are purely in the nick nack trinket realm (albeit still expensive) but they every now and then would have a item that I thought was gorgeous or a must have. 

One item that I've been lusting after for some time (from reading historical fiction and non fiction) has been a ladies calling card.

How cool would I be, if when perchance, I happen to meet someone at an event and I handed them not a business card but a calling card! 

Sophistication to the max! 

It would totally be the 'bees knees' the 'cats meow'! 

Lol, I know I'm mixing my eras. 

But 'squee'!!! 

A calling card for Costume College?  

 High Tea

Needlepoint Roses

Either one is lovely.

Calling cards "served a number of social purposes, such as a means of introduction, to further acquaintanceship, to express congratulations or condolences and to provide notices of arrival or departure. Card etiquette had strict rules."

Unlike business cards of today and the way they are used historically particularly in the 18th century those rules sternly governed societies interactions. Business cards are stylized and individualized to the max, with special fonts and pictures. Yet, the high ranking society and trend setters used calling or visiting cards that "reflected simplicity and elegance. Women’s cards measured approximately 2.75 to 3.5 inches wide by 2 to 2.75 inches high. Men’s cards took on a longer, narrower aspect from 3 to 3.4 inches long by 1.25 to 1.5 inches wide." Typically with a simple coat of arms and block or script print.  

One simply did not bring their calling card and wait in the parlor or drawing room, especially if they were relatively unknown to the recipient. They visited in their carriage and had a servant deliver their calling card, if they were especially bold they could deliver the card themselves and 'fold the corner to signify that it was delivered in person'. Typically the receiver could and had the right to take several days to respond to the card, by sending their own card or sending an invitation for tea. 

Either way there were many rules and guidelines to polite society and the use of this handy little slip of paper.

I'm not sure if I could afford Victorian Trading Company on my budget but this is definitely on my list of to-do craftiness! 



1 comment:

  1. Oh I love Victorian Trading Co.'s calling cards!! My favorite is the Sweet Violet one! I think you should get some for your blog!!