Posted by Marie Bernadette on January 14, 1998 at 00:30:00:
In response to Codes, written by Rosamunde on January 13, 1998 at 20:02:24
] Wasn't there a code in the way corners were folded and whether the cards were left upwards or down?
Yes, Rosamunde, there was a 'code' or ettiquette of calling cards. I have an antique book that has a chapter called 'Visiting and Calling Cards'. The book is Our Deportment. People sent cards to newly married couples and at Christmas and Easter. These had only a person's name on them but seem like a precursor to our greeting cards. This bit from the book is entitled 'Cards to Serve for Calls':
' A person may make a card serve the purpose of a call, and it may either be sent in an envelope, by messenger or left in person. If left in person, one corner should be turned down. To indicate that a call is made on all or several members of the family; the card for the lady of the house is folded in the middle. If guests are visiting at the house, a card is left for each guest.'
There were also such things as P.P.C. cards (Pour Prendre Conge) which were left at a farewell visit before a long absence. Here is what I found on turning down the corners of cards:
Visit: the right hand corner
Felicitation: the left hand upper corner
Condolence: The left hand lower corner
P.P.C. (To Take Leave): the right hand lower corner
Card, right hand end turned down: delivered in person.
It also says that : 'To return a call made in person with a card inclosed (sic) in an envelope, is an intimation that visiting between the parties is ended. Those who leave or send their cards with no such intention, should not inclose them in an envelope. An exception to this rule is where they are sent in return to the newly married living in other cities, or in answering wedding cards forwarded when absent from home. P.P.C. cards are also sent in this way, and are the only cards that it is as yet universally considered admissible to send by post.'
Keep in mind that this is an American book and was written in the 1880's, so I don't know how much it would differ from England in the Regency.
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