Our curators have been puzzled by a group of objects in the collection at Attingham, in Shropshire.
These small, dainty containers, made of cardboard and porcelain, have been described as card racks. They seem to date from around 1820.
They were clearly designed to be hung from a wall or another vertical surface, but as they are only about 15 cm tall they could not have held anything larger than calling cards or small items of stationary.
Their varied and sophisticated designs seem to indicate that they were fashionable objects which played a role in the social life of the house.
Were they used to collect visitors’ calling cards? If so, why were there so many of them in the same house and why did they come in sets of twos and threes?
Do leave a comment if you know more about the use of these Regency relics.