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Gold and Banded Agate Carnet De Bal

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Gold and Banded Agate Carnet De Bal

- Item No.

Item Details

  • Width:
    2 1/4 Inches
  • Period:
    18th Century
  • Origin:
    England/Ireland
This opulent English carnet de bal, or dance card, evokes the elegance of a bygone era. Crafted of 18K yellow gold and rare banded agate in a luxurious Rococo motif, this exceptional booklet includes the original gold-sheathed pencil topped with an agate seal engraved with a tiny figure and the motto "VNIS A IAIMAS," or "unis a jamais," meaning "united forever." The pencil slides into gold rings attached to the binding's fore-edges, to serve as a fastener. Inside, original fabric covers the writing surface, perfect for penciling in a suitor's name.

During the 18th and 19th centuries, balls were one of the most popular social activities. Although ostensibly an occasion for merriment, conduct was regulated according to the strictest code of good-breeding, and as any departure from this code became a grave offense. To that end ladies began to carry carnets de bal, or dance cards. First appearing around 1720, the carnets de bal were used to record the order of an evening's dances, as well as the name of the partner for a particular dance. Typically a booklet with a decorative cover, they often listing dance titles, composers, as well as the person with whom the woman intended to dance.

Circa 1760

2 1/4" wide x 3 3/4" length

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Price: $14,500
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