Wednesday, 30 November 2005

I have always envied Max Ravenscar's calling card, as described by Georgette Heyer in Faro's Daughter. It was a plain card that just bore the words "Max Ravenscar, Esq". At the time - the late 18th century - such a card would have been hand engraved and printed on cream board. I was pleased to find that Mount Street Printers and Stationers could make cards of this sort, so last time I was in London I ordered some, and I picked them up on Monday. Mount Street have done me proud:

If you click on the image you will see a magnified version which shows clearly that it has been hand-engraved. What you cannot tell from the scan is that the print is slightly raised - the sign of proper engraving. I decided to go without the "Esq"; I understand that in some circles it is taken as indicating that one is a lawyer, which I am not.

In Max Ravenscar's day everybody would have known how to find him, so an address would have been unnecessary, and of course, with the exception of Bertrand Saint-Vire in Devil's Cub, nobody in Heyer's books had a mobile, or indeed any other sort of telephone. Even I must occasionally accept that times have changed, so the back of the card carries all the necessary details.

Oscar Wilde wrote that "three addresses always inspire confidence, even in tradesmen", so in this case we have a street address, an e-mail address and a url - although you already know the last of these.


Gabriele C. said...

That's very elegant.

BTW You might blacken phone and address; it's not prudent to share such information on a public blog. But then, maybe I'm overly cautious, I don't even share my real name but only my pen name. Don't want my uncle prying on me, lol.

Stephen said...

You have a point - I would certainly not want to put these details up in a form that was machine readable, but it would take human intervention to grab the contact details from here, and I suspect that there is little incentive for anybody really malicious to do that.

Kate Allan said...

Very nice. Nonetheless I agree with Gabriele. Might be wiser to be cautious.

Stephen said...

OK, OK - I have obscured some of the more sensitive details.

Liz Fielding said...

Gabriele's right. That is very elegant, Stephen. Makes my home printed jobbies look very ... home printed.

Barbara Grasset said...

Stephen, love your cards - very important - over here in France, the engraved card is the difference between elegant and just smart!! The only thing is that over here we have to write in the third person (singular or plural) if we use the card as an invitation, to send someone good wishes or to accompany flowers.