Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Show and Tell!

I’ve written before about my delight in dance cards, those useful little notebooks that enabled fashionable young ladies to keep track of all the young men clamoring for the honor of a dance (that would so not have been me, by the way--just call me Miss Wallflower!), and have a new and exquisite one to share with you.

First, this one is in its original leather box (measuring 6 3/8 inches by 1 3/4 inches), which is just a dozen flavors of wow. See the teeny tiny hooks and loops that keep it closed?

On opening the velvet lined box, we find a fan-shaped carnet measuring 3 1/4 inches long (6 inches overall, including the chain and ring) made of what appears to be gold and silver vermeil over brass in an elegant, etched Rococo pattern. It is complete with double chain fastening it to a ring so that it could dangle from a young woman’s hand as she danced (because not all ball gowns have pockets!) Notice that the ring is a little outsized, to fit over a gloved finger.

When the “fan” is opened, there are five leaves of bone or ivory on which to write the names of dance partners…and the dainty pencil (all of 1 3/4 inches long!) with which to write them is still secure in its little loops.

I wonder what sparkling events this delightful little dance card was carried at, or what joys or heartaches it might have played a role in? There are plenty of signs that it was written on and erased…and then perhaps tucked away in a bureau drawer, based on the faint sachet scent still clinging to it. I do hope that whoever owned it kept it so well because of happy memories attached to it.

1 comment:

Mindy said...

They are so lovely!!!
What a clever idea for the popular ladies!