Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Etiquette for Calling Cards and Visiting



VISITING CARDS

HUSBAND AND WIFE. When the wife is calling, 
she can leave cards of the husband and sons if it is impossible for them to do so themselves. 

After an entertainment, cards of the family 
can be left for the host and hostess by either 
the wife or any of the daughters. 



(See Also MR. AND MRS. CARD)

LEAVING IN PERSON. When cards with a message of congratulation are left in person, 

nothing should be written on it.


LEAVING IN PERSON--AFTERNOON TEAS. 
Women leave cards of their male relatives as well as their own, although their names may be announced upon entering the drawing-room.


Guests leave their cards in a receptacle provided, or give them to the servant at the door. 

MEN. A bachelor should not use AT HOME 
cards as a woman does, nor to invite his 
friends, by writing a date and MUSIC AT FOUR 
on his calling card in place of an invitation.

A rare Unger brothers silver, Art Nouveau period calling card tray


MEN--LEAVING IN PERSON. When returning to town after a long absence, a man should leave cards having his address. When calling upon a young woman whose hostess is not known by the man, he should send his card to her. 


At the beginning of a season, a man should 
leave two cards for all those whose entertainments he is in the habit of attending, or on whom he pays social calls. 



These cards may also be mailed. If left in person, there should be one for each member of the family called upon, or only two cards. In the former there should be left one card for the host, one for the hostess, one for the "misses," and one for the rest of the family and their guest. 

Men of leisure should leave their own cards, while business men can have them left by the women of the family. The corner of the card should not be turned down. 

Cards are now left in the hall by the servant 
and the caller is announced. In business calls the card is taken to the person for whom the caller asked.

What if this card had P.C.C. at the bottom? "There has been a difference of opinion, too, on the use of capital letters for P. P. C. on visiting-cards, and R . S. V. P. on cards of invitation. Since the time of the Romans large letters have been used for abbreviations, but America now uses small letters, an innovation distasteful to European eyes." From "All the Year Round"by Charles Dickens, 1882 – P.C.C. stood for the French, 'Pour Prende Conge' or 'To Take Leave' but many Americans used it for 'Presents Parting Compliments' 


When calling, a man should leave a card 
whether the hostess is at home or not. P. P. C. card's may be left in person or sent by mail upon departure from city, or on leaving winter or summer resort. When a man calls upon a young woman whom a hostess is entertaining, he should leave cards for both. When a man calls upon another man, if he is not at home, he should leave a card.


When a man calls on the hostess but not the host he should leave a card for him. If the hostess is out, he should leave two cards--one for each. 

BREAKFASTS, LUNCHEONS, DINNERS. A man 
should leave a card the day after a breakfast, 
luncheon, or dinner for the host and hostess, 
whether the invitation was accepted or not. 
They may also be sent by mail or messenger, 
with an apology for so doing. 

BALLS, SUBSCRIPTION. Shortly after receiving 
an invitation to a subscription ball, a man 
should leave a card for the patroness inviting 
him. 

DEBUTANTE. When calling upon a debutante a man should leave cards for her mother, whether the entertainment was attended or not.

Victorian Era advertisement for calling cards 


ENTERTAINMENT BY MEN. After a man's formal entertainment for men, a man should leave a card within one week, whether the event was attended or not. It can be sent by mail or messenger. 

RECEPTION. When the host and hostess receive 
together, a man should leave one card for both, and if not present at the reception, he should send two cards. 

THEATRE. After a theatre party given by a man, he should call within three days on the woman he escorted or leave his card. 

WEDDING RECEPTION. After a wedding reception a man should leave a card for the host and hostess, and another for the bridal 
couple. If a man has been invited to the church 

but not to the wedding reception, he should 
leave a card for the bride's parents and the
bridal couple, or should mail a card.

Lovely Victorian calling card tray with a bird motif 


SENDING BY MAIL, OR MESSENGER. After an 
entertainment a man should call in person on 
host and hostess, whether the invitation was 
accepted or not. If a card is mailed or sent, it should be accompanied with an apology. 

At the beginning of the season a man should leave cards for all those whose entertainments he is in the habit of attending, or on whom he pays social calls. These cards may also be mailed. If left in person, there should be one for each member of the household or only two cards. In the former case, there should be left one card for the host, one for the hostess, one for the "misses," and one for the rest of the family and the guest. 



If a man is unable to make a formal call upon a debutante and her mother at her debut, he should send his card by mail or messenger. A man may mail his card to a woman engaged to be married, if acquaintance warrants. 



Visitors to town should send cards to every one whom they desire to see. The address should be written on them.

"Ohio Card Company" samples 


AFTERNOON TEA. If a man is unable to be 
present at an afternoon tea, he should send a 
card the same afternoon. 

BREAKFASTS, LUNCHEONS, DINNERS. A man 
should leave a card the day after a breakfast, 
luncheon, or dinner for the host and hostess, 
whether the invitation was accepted or not. 
They may be sent by mail or messenger with 
an apology for so doing. – The Book of Manners

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