Colorful and lustrous, this Victorian lady’s carnet de bal is a very pretty combination of mother-of-pearl and abalone. The more colorful abalone is strategically placed in a center diamond pattern with an accent at each point. On the back, multiple pieces appear at random to bring variety and color to the surface.
Many carnets were made with an ivory or celluloid tablet onto which the lady would write her dance partners. This example, complete with slim pencil, opens to 10 slots into which her dance partners calling cards would be placed and numbered.
These slots, in rich purple, are finished at the top in gold; the turquoise silk which covers each end shows some wear from use. On the back, it appears that some mother of pearl pieces have been replaced with a few nicks from dance and loving wear and use.
It measures 3 7/7” x 2 5/8.” The thin pencil works perfectly and serves to keep the case closed and secure.
This is an interesting and decorative article of Victoriana and beckons images of Victorian women in their long dresses at the ball carrying their dance programs in lovely cases.