Balls were the premier social events in Britain and the United States in the Victorian era. Dance cards were used by women to record the names of the gentlemen with whom they intended to dance each successive dance. Dance cards appear to have originated in the 18th century, but their use became widespread in 19th century Vienna at the same time that the waltz became popular. Dancing schools developed in the late 19th century. While the wealthiest families might hire a private dancing instructor to prepare their sons and daughters for presentation to society, other upper echelon families might send their children to an elite dancing school for their training.
This unused dance card is from the Fifth Annual Exhibit and Ball of Miss E. Saville’s Dancing School, held on Friday Evening March 29th, 1895 at City Hall. No town is listed however the music was provided by the Salem Cadets Orchestra, so perhaps Miss Saville’s was in Massachusetts or New Hampshire.
The card is a lovely one, made from heavy card stock, die cut and embossed with silvered lace-like edges and rococo swirls. An embossed and silvered branch of apple blossoms blooms in the center. The card measures 4 ¼” x 3 5/8”. Inside is one folded paper page. The original white cord is attached but there is no pencil. The order of dances began with a march and circle followed by multiple quardrilles, two- steps and waltzes.
The card is in very good condition with bends to the back cover corner tips. Please examine the photos and feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
While you are here, do enjoy the other dance card I have available for sale at this time. Thank you for visiting my shop today.