"Castle Top" Card Case, c. 1860

This coin silver article was made for the carrying of calling (or visiting) cards.  This variety was termed a “castle top,” because the the architectural scenes depicted on similar versions (first made in Birmingham, England) were often well-known English landmarks.  Castles, of course!

Though the example above is unmarked, the scenes are identifiably American:  Holy Trinity Church, in New York City on one side (photo on left) and George Washington’s Tomb on the other (photo on right).  The case is unmarked, but has the characteristics of those made by Leonard & Wilson of Philadelphia, which were often left unmarked.  

For more in-depth reading, here is an excellent article you may enjoy:  ”The First ‘Castle Tops’” written by Peter Cameron in The Silver Society Journal, Autumn 2000