Originating in the 18th century, but growing in popularity throughout the 19th century, dance cards were small, decorative notebooks used by women to record the names of the men who had promised them a dance at a ball.
As can be seen in the fan-shaped example above, the names of each dance that will be played at the event are noted already on the blue “Dances” sections, whilst the “Engagements”, or the names of the men with whom the woman intends to dance, are marked in ink beside them. Apparently the men would just have to remember by heart with whom they had promised the dance.
The dance cards came in particularly handy at the massive 19th century balls of Vienna, especially those during Fasching, just before Lent. Most dance cards incorporated a pencil and a cord to attach to the woman’s wrist, however, more elaborate dance cards of the elite were sometimes decorated with precious metals or jewels.
Pattern! ”Chainmail - signed with yellow alloy ‘maker’s link’, and decorated with yellow-alloy edges, denoting the high quality of the chainmail. (German, late 14th or early 15th century, weight 8.84kg)
source: “Masterpieces of European Arms and Armour in the Wallace Collection” by Tobias Capwell. ISBN: 9780900785863” Via effervescentaardvark.
Joris Hoefnagel, Flemishilluminator [1591-1596] Georg Bocskay, Hungarian scribe [1561-1562]
Watercolors, gold and silver paint, and ink on parchment 6 9/16 x 4 7/8 - in. MS. 20, FOL. 33
On this page, Hoefnagel echoed the swirling lines of calligraphy with the curved, stocky body of a terrestrial mollusk; likewise, the rounded sections of the orange in the center resemble the twisting loops created by the calligrapher. The graceful petals and delicate lavender color of the larkspur blooms to the right, meanwhile, balance the more robust forms of the marine animal and piece of fruit. One of the illumination’s most charming details is the almost mischievous look the mollusk seems to direct outward to the viewer.
Grow House Grow creates hand printed narrative-inspired wallpaper out of Brooklyn, NY. This is our own little wall to paste the interesting, weird and fantastic stuff that gets our imagination pumping.