I have to hand it to the Victorians, they really thought of everything. Then they went one step further and created a rule book to go with it! Take calling cards for example. Calling cards were created by the British as a means of introducing oneself into a social circle, as well as giving the social circle a method to reject the person if they did not want to include the unfortunate individual and his or her family in the circle. That's a lot of responsibility for a little piece of paper!
A newly married couple might spend a good part of their first of year of marriage paying visits to relatives. Others would "pay calls" when they came to town for a visit, and calling cards were a means to announce the person's arrival.
Calling cards were typically taken up to the house by the person's groom as the lady or gentleman waited in the carriage. Sometimes the caller was received, and other times the mistress of the house was "not at home", which often meant she really was home but just wasn't interested in receiving the new caller. I call that being snubbed!
Some of the lovely examples below from my collection have fancy edges, ribbon embellishment, and silky fringe. There's one little Valentine mixed in:
There is a whole slew of rules and regulations regarding calling cards outlined in Michelle Hoppe's informative article if you are interested. I'm more excited by the beauty of calling cards. Like so many things from the Victorian era, there's lush color, detail upon detail, and delicate feminine motifs. Oh, and plenty of roses. I always appreciate the roses!