Calling Cards

We offer calling cards on our Classic and Elegant papers as well as Crane's™. We offer the traditional variety of sizes of cards ranging from a child's card up to a "Mr. and Mrs." card. Please note that envelopes are only available for the Elegant and Crane's™ papers. You can choose a traditional look with just the name(s) or you can add a motif, embossment, ink color or hand calligraphy for a little different look. For a little history on calling cards, please see the text below the examples.

Elegant TS43S
Classic TS86
White Classic TS88
Crane's™ Hand calligraphy supplied by a customer


Calling cards are the social equivalent of business cards. In fact, they likely originated from the cards that tradesmen used in the 19th century to attract business. Calling cards became a ticket, of sorts, to climb the social ladder.

A small calling card stand was placed in the foyer or entranceway of most Victorian houses. This receptacle was frequently a silver tray in the homes of the wealthy, but glass and china plates were used in other homes. When a family arrived in town, they would leave their calling cards at the homes of residents with whom they would like to become acquainted. Frequently, the card would be left with an attendant who would convey the card to the master or mistress of the house. The residents could receive the new couple or declare themselves “unavailable”. Should the residents want to arrange a meeting, they would likely give the calling family a card of their own, essentially an invitation to return at another time. Once families were acquainted, they would be able to visit each other, giving an attendant a calling card to announce their presence or leaving a calling card if the resident family was not at home.

While calling cards and the rituals associated with them are still used in some circles, the most common use now is as gift enclosure cards. Instead of leaving a card at a house, people frequently enclose a card in a gift rather than attach an additional greeting card. This practice eliminates the possibility that an attached card becoming detached and allows the recipient of the gift to be sure who gave which gift (for thank you note purposes).