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What is a card case?

A card case is a so-called ``business card holder,'' but in the antique era, business cards were not used for business as they are today, but rather were used by upper-class people to give out at social gatherings.

Around the 17th century, the custom of handing out cards called ``calling cards'' and ``visiting cards'' began at social gatherings among the upper classes in Europe and America, and card cases were beautifully decorated with various materials such as silver, white pearl shell, and tortoiseshell. will be created.

The cards are also decorated with various decorations.
Naturally, there is no phone number or email address, just your name and simple address.
It seems that they wrote messages on the back and handed it to them.

This was a time when there were no telephones, so you had to call around people's homes for even the slightest errand.
In Victorian England, there seemed to be various rules for exchanging cards.
First, visit the house of the person you wish to visit, place a card on a small salva called a card tray held by a servant, and have the owner of the house give it to you.
It is said that the owner of the house who received the invitation wrote on his card the appropriate time to visit and sent it to the person he wanted to invite, and sent the other person's card back to the person he did not want to invite.

Types of card cases

There are various types of antique card cases.
Here we will introduce some representative ones.

①Zippo 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.
They are 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 double-opening and comes with a celluloid plate for notes and a small pen.
There is a leather or cloth pocket inside that can hold cards, stamps, etc.
Many of them have lost their inner pockets and celluloid versions.

Aid Memoir Type Card CaseAid Memoir Type Card Case

③Curved small type

It is a small type with a curved shape that makes it easy to fit into your pocket.
It seems that men used it and the cards were also small.

Curved small type card caseCurved small type card case

④Type with chain

This type comes with a chain and a ring for hooking your fingers.
It looks like a small handbag and seems to have been used by women.

card case with chain

⑤ Items other than silver

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

leather card case

White pearl card case

The charm of card cases

The charm of antique card cases is that no two are alike.
Since these are used by upper-class people for social gatherings, each card case is made to order with an elaborate and beautiful design.

At that time, calling cards did not have a fixed size standard like they do now, and card cases came in various sizes, but many of them could hold today's business cards (approximately 9 x 6 cm).
If you take out a business card from an antique card case when exchanging business cards, it will be a great conversation starter and will definitely leave a lasting impression on the other person.

Even if your card case is too small to fit a business card, there are ones that can fit credit cards and folded bills.
Recently, electronic money has become popular, and there are fewer opportunities to use coins and cash, so I think it's a smart way to use these card cases as an ultra-small wallet by putting several credit cards and bills in them. Masu.


Card cases are not only beautiful as crafts, but also antique items that can be easily incorporated into daily life as business card holders or small wallets.

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