Fanny Peers' Silver Card Case Gifted to Her 1st January 1902


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THE STORY - There is something about the idea of Antique Card Cases that has piqued my interest for some time now. I think it is because they feel to me very much a product of the past, which we no longer have use for today, for does anyone go visiting and leave their personal card behind on a silver tray? (Although of course people are now using them for their business cards - not quite so romantic.) And I have looked at many a card case, most of them exquisitely decorated with chase or embossed decoration, some very grand with Tourist Landmarks and wonderful scalloped sides, but they all just felt a little impersonal, they reflected the act of leaving your calling card, but they did not convey anything about the person who owned them...Until this one! I saw this Card Case in an Auction Catalogue and my heart was instantly gripped, this is the Silver Card Case of Fanny W Peers, from Rostherne, Old Hills, Staffordshire and carries the date January 1st 1902. Often it is seen as undesirable to have a cartouche engraved with the name or initials of the person who owned it, but not for me, not this time, the fact that this cartouche carries so much information seizes my heart. And although it was the Cartouche that struck at my heart I have to say the card case itself is very beautiful. The case is silver and carries beautifully crisp hallmarks, it was assayed in Birmingham in 1900/01 and has the makers mark J.G. which I believe is for the silversmith's Joseph Gloster. It is engraved with the most wonderful swirls and stylised Acanthus leaves and the engraving is so bright. The sides are not shaped in any way but I think that is a good thing as it helps that Cartouche shine through. Now of course I have tried to research who Fanny W Peers was to find out about her life but alas I have found no information on the internet. The auction house though believed this was a gift given to Fanny on her 32nd Birthday with her full name being Fanny Wright Peers 1870-1949, also with this information I still could find no other information about Fanny, and why her Card Case carried her address.

DATE - 1900/1901

CONDITION - This card case is in the most wonderful condition, in fact I wonder whether it was ever used. There are no dents or dings in it that I can see. The hinge is still strong with no play and the fits both tightly and securely opening with ease. The gilt interior of the case is still bright. And the hallmarks are wonderfully crisp, indeed there are two sets of hallmarks a full set on the bottom of the case with the lion passant for sterling silver and the date mark of 'a' only on the lid. There is also a lone hallmark on the other side of the case close to the hinge of the letter 'M', which I am not sure what it refers to and can best be seen in the fifth photo.

DIMENSIONS (Approx) - Height 3&1/2" / 9cm, Width 2&1/2" / 6.5cm, Depth 1/4" / 0.5cm

I may not know who Fanny was, but I do know for me she owned the most poignant Card Case, I wondered whether she would have any idea of this when she opened the box in 1902. And maybe it is right that Fanny's life remains private just knowing that she existed and this Card Case was hers is wonderful enough. This would make a wonderful addition for any Collection of Card Cases, but it is also lovely to think that maybe one day Fanny's Card Case maybe used again, but maybe the cards within won't be left in silver card trays!

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