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What is a card case?

A card case is a so-called "business card holder", but business cards in the antique era were not used for business as they are today, but were handed out at social occasions by people of the upper class.

Around the 17th century, the custom of handing out cards called "calling cards" and "visiting cards" began at social occasions of the upper class in Europe and America, and beautifully decorated card cases made of various materials such as silver, white mother-of-pearl, and tortoiseshell. will be created.

Cards are also decorated with various decorations.
Of course, there is no phone number or e-mail address, and the contents are only a name and a simple address.
It seems that he wrote a message on the back and handed it over.

In an era when there were no telephones, people had to visit their homes even for small errands.
It seems that there were various rules for exchanging cards in Victorian England.
First of all, visit the house of the person you want to visit, place the card on a small salva called a card tray held by the servant, and have it handed to the owner of the house.
The master of the house who received it seems to have sent the other party's card back to the person who did not want to invite, writing a good time etc. on his card to the person he wanted to invite.

Type of card case

There are various types of antique card cases.
Here are some representative examples.

① Zippo lighter type

It is a type that flips up the lid part like a Zippo lighter.
This is the most common type of British antique sterling silver card case.
It's light and compact, but some can hold more than 20 business cards.

Zippo lighter type card caseZippo lighter type card case

② Aid memoir type

It is a bi-fold type with a celluloid version for memos and a small pen.
There is a leather or cloth pocket inside to store cards, stamps, etc.
Many of them are missing the inner pocket or the celluloid version.

Aid memoir type card caseAid memoir type card case

(3) Curved compact type

It is a small type with a curved shape that makes it easy to put in your pocket.
It seems that a small card was used by a man.

Curved small type card caseCurved small type card case

④Type with chain

It is a type with a ring for hooking a chain and a finger.
It looks like something a woman used in a shape like a small handbag.

card case with chain

⑤Things other than silver

In addition to silver, there are various materials such as leather, white mother of pearl, and tortoiseshell.

leather card case

white pearl card case

Charm of card case

The charm of antique card cases is that no one is the same.
Since it is used in social occasions by the upper class, each of them has an order made card case with an extravagant and beautiful design.

At that time, the size standard for calling cards was not set like it is now, and the size of the card case varied, but many of them could fit today's business cards (approximately 9x6 cm).
If you take out a business card from an antique card case when exchanging business cards, it will definitely be a conversation starter and leave an impression on the other person.

Even credit cards and folded banknotes can fit in card cases that are slightly smaller than business cards.
Recently, electronic money has become popular and there are fewer opportunities to use coins and cash, so I think it would be a smart way to put several credit cards and banknotes in this card case and use it as a super small wallet. Masu.


A card case is not only beautiful as a craft, but also an antique item that can be easily incorporated into your daily life as a business card holder or a small wallet.

No two are the same, so we hope that you will come across a card case with a design that is uniquely yours.