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When we say calling cards, you may think about the way we used to dial long distance from payphones — but think further back to a time when calling cards were a status symbol. One not only had to be wealthy enough to have them made, but one had to have a reason to have them made. (Granted, like everything, they could be purchased inexpensively, but I think it’s safe to say it was known when your cards were of lesser quality.)  Dances, social events, teas – these were all occasion to exchange one’s card.

At Antique Elegance Show last weekend, the Red Hen had some lovely examples of calling cards.

Think about all the decisions that went into this purchase! What did you want to portray on this small piece of paper? Your status, your taste, your hopes and dreams — these little bits of cardstock were all that a handsome stranger had to remember you by, or that your future wife held onto until you next met. Romantic, for sure, but oh! the pressure!

I quite enjoyed going through the Red Hen’s stock, looking at the names. Imagine naming your child Epaminondas today? While some “old-fashioned” names are coming back into vogue, there are obviously some names that may never be used again…