This is a rare calling card or visiting card case made of papier-mache. Most of the 19th Century cases are made of mother of pearl or silver. Papier-mache ones are harder to come by.
The case is English in origin and dates to the mid 1800's. It has a black shiny lacquer background and the front has a floral design with inlaid abalone. There is gold trim around the borders. The back has a fancy Renaissance type design with inlaid mother of pearl at its center. There is a small silver plaque on the very top for a monogram. None is currently present.
The case has a push button latch and hinged lid. It measures 3 3/4" by 2 5/8". It will only fit a standard modern business card if you trim the length slightly. Usually these cases are used for display only. I have several displayed on small easels throughout my home. I consider them miniature works of art.
The case is in very good antique condition. The lacquer shows some slight crazing rotated in light. The hinge and push button work very well.
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Antiques and whimsies from a gentler age.