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Dance Cards - Carnets de Bal - Ballspenden

Dance Cards - Carnet de Bal - BallspendeDance Card, 18th century

DUCHESS OF BERWICK. So strange Lord Windermere isn’t here. Mr.Hopper is very late, too. You have kept those five dances for him, Agatha?

LADY AGATHA. Yes, mamma.

DUCHESS OF BERWICK. [Sitting on sofa.] Just let me see your card. I’m so glad Lady Windermere has revived cards. - They’re a mother’s only safeguard.
You dear simple little thing! [Scratches out two names.] No nice girl should ever waltz with such particularly younger sons! It looks so fast! The last two dances you might pass on the terrace with Mr. Hopper.
Lady Windermere's Fan: A Play About a Good Woman by Oscar Wilde

Dance Cards - Carnet de Bal - BallspendeEdwardian Dance Card

Sometimes the ladies would have dance cards on one side of which the various dance titles and composers would be listed that an orchestra would play throughout the ball - usually 18-24 dances per evening, with spaces on the other in which they or their partners would write in their names for the dances they preferred with the helpful little pencil that was attached to the card by a ribbon, a useful memory aid when there were many dances.
They were generally given only to ladies, while gentlemen were evidently expected to remember to whom they had promised dances. But in a while men started using them as well - dance cards helped avoid confusion.

Dance Cards - Carnet de Bal - BallspendeGold and Enamel Dance Card with Concealed Watch, c.1850

Dance cards originated in the 18th century, but their use first became widespread in 19th century Vienna and later beyond in Europe and the US. At first it was a fan with the name of a partner inscribed on the back; later, manufacturers created real objects d'art, made of precious materials like silver, ivory or pearl and porcelain. The dance cards remained in use well into the 1920s.

Dance Cards - Carnet de Bal - Ballspende

Dance Cards - Carnet de Bal - BallspendeJean-Louis Forain (1852-1931) Le Carnet de Bal


Dance Cards - Carnet de Bal - BallspendeJeweled Gold and Enamel Carnet de Bal with Watch Movement

Dance Cards - Carnet de Bal - BallspendeGold and Enamel Carnet de Bal

Dance Cards - Carnet de Bal - Ballspendec. 1928

Dance Cards - Carnet de Bal - Ballspende19th c.

Dance Cards - Carnet de Bal - BallspendeFrench Silver Gold Plate Vermeil Carnet de Bal

Dance Cards - Carnet de Bal - BallspendeCarnet de Bal in Form of Violin

Dance Cards - Carnet de Bal - BallspendeA Louis XVI Enamel and Gold Carnet de Bal, Paris, 1774-80

Dance Cards - Carnet de Bal - BallspendeFrench Porcelain Dance Card from Grand Ball of Philharmonic Society

Dance Cards - Carnet de Bal - BallspendeFrench Dance Card, 19c

Dance Cards - Carnet de Bal - BallspendeFrench Dance Card, 1800s

Dance Cards - Carnet de Bal - Ballspende

Dance Cards - Carnet de Bal - BallspendeDance Card from Simmons College, Boston

Dance Cards - Carnet de Bal - Ballspende

Dance Cards - Carnet de Bal - BallspendeThis is an 1885 dance card from our UNC ephemera collection. The name written on the front, presumably the gentlemen who originally used the card, is H.W. Jackson, from here

Dance Cards - Carnet de Bal - BallspendeA silver set of a mirror, pillbox, dance cards, coin ball, lipstick case, pencil, etc.

Dance Cards - Carnet de Bal - Ballspende

Dance Cards - Carnet de Bal - Ballspende

7 comments:

  1. Wonderful web site...could spend hours

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  2. These are wonderful pictures of dance cards. I've always wondered what they looked like. And like the poster above, I adore your blog. Excellent research, accuracy, and such wonderful pictures. Thanks for all the hard work it must take to maintain a site as complex as this. Best!!

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  3. Thanks for all the hard work you've put into this site. I'm astounded by the sheer volume of beautiful pictures, accurate information, all the work in researching these artists and in studying art history, everything. It's fantastic, and I greatly appreciate your work!! Best, Ellen

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  4. Thank you, dear Ellen, your kindest words made my day! Blogging is indeed time-consuming work, yet enjoyable. Thank you again, I sincerely appreciate it.

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  5. stumbled upon your fascinating blog and have been sitting here with my chin on the desk; struck by my dumb luck....looks like I may have found a new item to collect! Dance Cards! I am mesmerized. thank you

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  6. Thank you, dear Anonymous, for the nice comment and good luck with "a new item to collect"!

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  7. Theses are fabulous. I can't tell you how happy I was to see the Georgian dance cards.

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